Remodel and Additions in Maryland
A Two-Part Remodel
Residents of New York purchased a three-story Colonial-style home, with a basement, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It wasn’t quite how they wanted it, so they thought they’d have some work done on the house before they moved in, and some work done after. They found us, we discussed the project, and agreed to tackle it in two stages.
Before the Move
First, they wanted some cosmetic changes made, so the house would look fresh and finished for their move from New York. We refinished the floors and took care of some other minor work that needed to be done immediately. Spending that time in an empty home gave us a wonderful opportunity to review it in depth and familiarize ourselves with the bigger issues that would need to be addressed both before the residents moved in, and after they had lived there a little while.
After the Move
Once our clients had lived in the house for a bit, we met with them again. They expressed the wish to increase the square footage of the house.
Primarily they wanted to expand the kitchen, and build on additions- a family room, and a screened-in porch. High-end appliances, including a Viking stove with a special hood became a focal point in the new kitchen. Our clients adored the grain pattern in the granite counters that topped the new kitchen island. Custom cabinetry gave the whole room a tailored look. Taking a step away from the Colonial look of many Maryland homes, our clients opted for some southwestern accents, including terra cotta floor tile as a backdrop for their rustic, iron furniture.
The family room ended up being 20’ x 15’, received new sky lights, a wood-burning fireplace, and built-in bookcases. The porch was 15’ x 10’. These made for a substantial increase in shared living space.
The client wanted audio installed so they could listen to music throughout their home. To make the speakers invisible, we installed a special type of system that can be plastered over, completely concealing the speakers. The homeowners enjoy it when their guests try to figure out where the music is coming from.
To make their lives easier during this portion of the remodel, we set up a completely functional, temporary kitchen. This way they could still live in the house and cook for themselves while we expanded the permanent kitchen. It’s important for us to make our clients’ lives as smooth as possible during construction, and creating a temporary kitchen is just one of the ways we accomplish that goal.
Behind the Scenes
Less visible but perhaps more important, there was work to be done behind the scenes. The heating and cooling in the house needed to be updated and optimized. At the time they purchased the house, it had small window-mounted air-conditioning units that were barely effective. When the house was originally built, this Maryland village had restrictions against air conditioning units for noise control purposes. Despite being sizeable homes, they were built relatively close together, so noise was a concern. Fortunately for our clients, the neighborhood covenants had changed in recent years, so we had the opportunity to install a properly-sized air conditioning unit for adequate cooling throughout the home. Certainly, this was a huge improvement in their living experience.
To better weather the chilly seasons, the house needed an improved heating system. We installed a new boiler for general heating and hot water systems. One bathroom had a leak, which we repaired with a new pan and better plumbing. Many of these older homes have water radiators, including our clients’ home, which gave us the wonderful opportunity to install a new, high-powered boiler. The boiler had the power to run heated floors, so we added those to the kitchen and family room.
Details, Big and Small
Generally, the bathrooms were gutted, received new plumbing, and rebuilt from the studs out. A walk-in shower improved the master bathroom, and the guest bathroom received a new tub. As we often do, we installed a small window at the end of a narrow shower to let in more light. For finishing touches, we set subway tile on the walls, including wainscoting and accent tile.
As with most of the Colonials that we work with, we wanted to make sure to keep the style of the house intact. In this case, for the newly added spaces, we matched the original wood siding with a sturdier siding that would last longer. Finally, we added a flagstone patio and planters to finish hardscaping the yard.
This was a fun project, and a chance to really improve and preserve an existing home, and please our clients.
If you’re considering freshening up some spaces in your home, we’re here to talk to you about the possibilities.