When Leah and Kris stepped into this 1922 Arts and Crafts home for sale, they immediately fell for it. “We liked the lot size and shape, it’s proximity to downtown, the bones of the house, and of course we loved the Oak tree” says Leah. The Oak tree is indeed magnificent, located in the center of the back yard, surrounded by beautiful flowers and bushes that the couple planted when they renovated the house. How did the house look like before you renovated?
“The house hadn’t really been taken care of at all. It was as if the house had been frozen in time, in 1950. There were cracks in the foundation, windows that wouldn’t close, no lighting, dark paneling over the plaster walls, and the original furnace.” Leah and Kris recognized that they will have to work hard to restore the house but they also realized that it has a lot of potential. The renovation process
“Because we planned on living in the house during most of the remodel, we did the renovation in three parts. During the first part, we were able to rent back our old house for about a month. We moved as quickly as we could to get the house in livable condition for our two sons”. The couple was able to accomplish a lot and within that month they replaced the furnace, removed asbestos, ordered new windows throughout, refinished the hardwood floors that were original to the house, painted, and started work on one of the bathrooms. “Once we moved in, during phase two, we finished both bathrooms (the downstairs and the kids’), installed all the windows, new doors, and trim, added A/C, had custom cabinets created for the living room and family room (A/V cabinet), and started working on the plans for phase three”. Phase three was the addition. The couple’s goal was to add on a third bedroom upstairs (making 4 total bedrooms), a master bath, relocate the laundry upstairs, remove an old garage and create a driveway up the front of the house instead of the back drive they had. “And of course above all, there was the decision we made to restore the house to its original Arts and Crafts style”.The decision to restore the house
“We knew that we didn’t want to tear down the house. The house, originally built in 1922, had lost its style when the previous owners added a second story to the house in the late ‘40s. When we came along, the house was in desperate need of a face lift”.
In order to restore the house to its original roots, when Leah and Kris did the addition, they extended the roof overhang about a foot. “There wasn’t a roof overhang; the roof was flush with the house. We added fascia to the roof line as well and corbels to hold up the overhang. And of course, we added the porches with the Craftsman pitched roof and soffits underneath”. The outcome is beautiful. You can see that carful attention was paid to original details. The old Arts and Crafts house was reborn.How did you manage to live in the house while renovating?
“It was difficult but we were fortunate. We felt overwhelmed and very stressed out at times, but were very pleased that we were able to do the renovations. It took 2 and a half years. When it was over, it was worth it all the pain. I think that there is some benefit to staying on top of “things” when you live in the house. You certainly know when the teams arrive, take a break, and leave for the day. It keeps people in check.”
How do you like living in the house?
“We love it. There are some things that we wouldn’t do again, but they are few. Most of them we would, so I would say that makes our project a success. We are very happy here.”We couldn’t have made it without them:
- Structural Engineer – Joaquim Roberts of Hohbach Lewin
- Ron Hiatt (Hiatt Construction) for all cabinetry and kitchen design. He also did the master bath vanity.
- Peninsula Building Supply for all exterior stone
- Bay Stone Depot for Travertine and Carrera Marble
- University Electric for appliances
- Argonaut Windows and Doors for Marvin windows and doors
- Argonaut Shower and Mirror for frameless, starphire glass for showers
- San Jose Concrete for the driveway approach work
- Marble Creations for the granite slabs in the kitchen and master bath
- AIW for all fixtures in the bath, from the bath tub to knobs
- Pine Cone Lumber for Ipe