Before any demo happens, comes the plan for what is going to get demolished, and the game plan for the entire project.
When you purchase a home with the intent to renovate it and sell it, you have to work backwards from the finished product.
When Joe and I look at home, we are looking for great bones (solid foundation, sound roof, sturdy structure, workable floor plan, high ceilings, potential for lots of natural light, character, charm and personality) Location is also KEY when reselling a home. We look for a great neighborhood with a good school district, convenient shopping and dining, that is safe, well maintained and in a desirable area.
The White House Project, in particular, had so many aspects of what we were looking for as far as location, and great bones. What drew us to this home was the exterior charm, the high ceilings throughout, the potential for an open floor plan, the original wood beams, and the great location.
The original house was very dark, with not a lot of natural light and dark brown builder-grade material everywhere. But with (a WHOLLOTTA LOVE) some re imagination, newer, nicer finishes and opening up the layout… we KNEW this house could shine!!
The kitchen was completely blocked off from the rest of the house by a full wall. In the 1920s when the original house was built, this was quite common because it was considered improper to expose guests to the kitchen, especially during a dinner party. The concept of an open floor plan is a relatively new concept that we KNEW we had to incorporate!
We knew the biggest aspect of this house we had to change would be to create an open floorplan. This included structural bracing and knocking down the large kitchen wall, changing the entire layout of the kitchen, and rerouting the plumbing and electrical for the new layout. It also included expanding many of the doorways both widening and giving them more height. The second floor was also very cut off from the first floor because of the narrow staircase and the expansive upstairs hallway which enclosed the entryway. So those things were all on the list to improve!
The bathrooms were in good shape and just needed face lifts with some newer and brighter updated materials.
Once we had a clear picture of the new floor plan and concept… we got to work on the demo! As a family, we wanted our children to get involved. We gave them some safe and easy enough chores. Like taking down the shutters, unscrewing cabinets from walls, hammering walls down, cleaning up, etc. This empowered our children with a strong work ethic, development of new skills, and a sense of accomplishment. This is a very important concept to Joe and I as parents. To teach our children by example, leadership, and determination to work together as a family is a goal for us. For every member to be a team player and participate to accomplish a common goal was definitely part of the plan from the beginning.
This was not always an easy task!! Let’s get real… my kids are no different than most of this generation in the fact that they like immediate satisfaction, they do not appreciate hard work and they have a short attention span. Several days of work for them did not result in instant gratification but the long-term goal of teaching our children and them feeling like they were part of the process was well worth all of their complaints and temper tantrums! (Maybe?? LOL)
Some tips that really worked for us to help them enjoy the process more was to give clear direction, explain proper use of tools, create competition between the siblings, take several breaks and having fun incentives (fun places to go, new restaurants to try and OF COURSE… ice cream!! If all else fails ice cream ALWAYS works with my kids 🙂