John Webb provides us with a complete overview of a recent Modern Home Remodel that he had a great time working on. John has been a modern home designer for over 30 years. While he has done several more traditional home designs, this home needed to get the John Webb Upgrade.
“So, it was an A Frame built in the late Seventies I’m guessing. And it had reached the end of it’s first lifetime. It was a very conservatively built home, nothing special. You could see that the previous owners had changed this and added things without considering things structurally. So, we basically came in and got rid of all the things that they had added here and there.
We opened it up to the outside walls and took everything out of the middle because of how it’s designed. Being an A Frame the walls are at an angle, so we maximize the space in their by taking the IKEA cabinetry and pushing it into that triangular space.
So we have more space by getting the cabinets up off the floor – more cabinets and shelving in the wall. We’d cut out where we had the A Frame of the wall, and make table tops and counters out of that wood.
All the closets we opened up and maximized using the Pax cabinets so everything is built in. We’d alter cabinets here and there to suit the areas and the weird angles.
We kept the place very organic and natural looking. It’s basically white with black windows inside and out with light IKEA cabinetry. We did a natural hickory floor – real wood, solid wood. And when we redid the fireplaces we used real stone, done by a mason. They were existing so we just ripped the fronts off and redid them completely in a new style.
The bathrooms were small and weren’t planned so we basically ripped everything out to the studs, took soffits out, opened everything up and maximized the space. I ended up getting, I think, a 4 and a half foot bathtub to maximize space to be able to get a decent sized vanity in there with drawers.
And, where you have hidden space under stairs or the exterior walls, we’d maximize that by cutting holes in and sliding cabinetry into those spaces, so they weren’t in the room. So everything’s built in.
All the choices are timeless. We used a light colored, not all white, bit a nice bright, very neutral pallet. So, whatever colors you put in and add to the space will be really nice. For years it will never go out of style.
So, we used porcelain tiles and quartz counters where they could be used. We used a lot of the IKEA vanities and products just because they help to maximize the space, adding drawers and storage for each area.
It was a difficult house on where to start and where to stop. Even though we were really only dealing with the inside. Even on the Third Floor we opened the loft up, which was just a storage space with ta very steep staircase. We couldn’t mess with the staircases just because we couldn’t bring them into today’s code standards. But, we put nice rails and extended pony walls so they were at code so people wouldn’t fall, so children wouldn’t fall off of them and down the stairs.
And, we got heat and cooling to all the floors. All of the floors have heating and cooling. Before, I think just the two living rooms had heating. So now we have it redesigned so it’s all zoned, each floor and all the bedrooms are on their own with heat pumps, for air and heat.
It all turned out beautifully how everything seamlessly came together. Coming back down to where do you stop snd where do you start it in a house like this. We ended up going on the outside. You know, the siding is fifty years old. And it’s cedar so most of it is good so we patched a lot of it in. We put a roof over part of it so it wouldn’t leak.
Soffits you could see different things on the bottom, we used tongue and groove so we got it looking like it always belonged there. And we touched up the house.
Some day when he recovers from all of this he’ll have the whole house painted and caulked up. It looks good as it stands.
Even so, the client wanted, out on the deck where it’s open and water is always flowing though it, we created a fake ceiling on the bottom floor out of corrugated colored tin and detoured the water to a big gutter we designed in there. Then he poured concrete al the way around underneath it. For the first time this place has a porch downstairs can have furniture put on it and not get rained on. All the way around the house it’s all connected now.
Basically everything is brand new in this house. From doors to light fixtures upgraded to LED, all the electrical – not all of it, but a majority of it has been replaced. And the plumbing – all the basic lines were done but all the connections to all the new plumbing fixtures is all brand new.
So, we touched all the parts that were important. As expensive as the house was, we really did save quite a bit of money by not starting over. The clients are in a good spot, you know tax purpose wise, starting over you would be in a whole new tax basis. So you would have had a lot more taxes to pay.
They did really well. Just for the future they did really well, they bought the house at a reasonable price in the beginning. It appraised for quite a bit more – probably double – than what it cost in the first place. So, they’re at the original tax basis with some repairs done on it. So, they’ll have some saving for a lot of years because they chose to remodel.
It’s funny – we’re don with it now – every detail from the door hardware to the cabinet hardware to the handrail that goes upstairs, it’s all been custom fit and made and put together. You know we glued stuff up and made it from parts we tore out of the house. Originally if they were solid wood we reused it, we repurposed it. We made smaller pieces bigger by gluing them together. It was just part of the plan.”