Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Beach Cottage - Reinventing a 1940's Cape Cod

It took 4 long months, during the coldest winter we can remember here in Maine.  But it was worth all the hard work and freezing fingers!  We've gone from a 1940's time warp to a bright, open floor plan, ready for this century  And as we get the last few items finished for the new owners, it seemed like a good time to share all the before and after photos.

The Exterior:

We went from a typical 1940's cape cod, with low ceilings and cramped spaces, to a light bright 2 story house.  It required a variance, raising the roof, and lots of hard work.  But oh, what a difference!
Exterior Before
Exterior During

After:  Raising Roof on Cape Cod


View from Front Door - Before
The Open Floor Plan:

By removing 3 walls, we were able to have a floor plan that works beautifully for today's lifestyle.





View from Front Door - During



View from Front Door - After

After

Dining Room Before (behind the wall)
The Dining Room:


The dining room was originally a bedroom, hiding behind that wall next to the hallway.  And the cool phone nook?  We moved it to the new kitchen!

Dining Room After

The first question I get when people ask about the new owners?  Are they keeping the striped wall in the dining room?  And the answer is an enthusiastic yes!!!














The Kitchen:
Kitchen - Before
The kitchen was a small, cramped dark space.  It had the stove and fridge crammed into one corner and the only eating area was in a 6x6 space on the other side of the room.
Kitchen - After












We had to eliminate a window in the kitchen to make room for the new appliances, but with the new, open concept floor plan, we have so much light in the space, you don't even notice it's gone!
Kitchen - Before


 The Master Bedroom:
Master Bedroom - Before
Of course the 2nd floor is brand new, so it's hard to compare 'before and after' photos.   But here are a few pics, to give you an idea how much it's changed.  The biggest difference?  Headroom!  We had to get a variance to raise the roof height, but that was the key to making this space livable.  For tall people like me, the low ceiling height just didn't work.

With the new higher ceiling, we were able to reclaim lots of floor space (we didn't change the footprint of the house at all). The new, large shed dormers and windows transform this room.  It's hard to believe these before and after photos were taken from the same angle, but they were!


Master Bath & Laundry

Kids Room Before
The Kids Rooms & Bath:

We had a similar amount of change on the other side of the house.  And saw the same amount of benefits:  with the new roof height and shed dormers, we were able to include 2 bedrooms and a hall bath.
Additional Bedroom on 2nd Floor
Kids Room - After
New Hall Bath

The Rest of the House:


And finally, we were able to make additional updates on the first floor.  Here's the very blue first floor bath that we started with.




































The first floor bedroom didn't see a major change, but just brightening it up with new paint, windows, refinished floor and lighting made a big difference:
Bedroom Before

Bedroom/Office - After
Last, but not least, we added a mudroom off of the garage


I hope you've enjoyed following our progress on this great project.  If you'd like to see more, you can click here to go back to the beginning and see how it was done.  And be sure and 'like' us on Facebook to see our new project - the transformation of the Craftsman Bungalow!




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29 comments:

  1. Great job!!! it's absolutely beautiful

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  2. Awesome work, thanks for sharing. This Old House used to be my favorite... now it's SoPo Cottage!

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  3. Thank you all so much for your kind words!!! This was one of the biggest projects we've ever done and it was a bit stressful at times. But somehow I forget about all of that once the project is complete.....funny how that happens. I can't wait for the new owners to start living there and enjoying the space!

    Laurel

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  4. We have a similar floorplan and would love to have an upstairs "master suite" someday. Thanks for sharing all your hard work!

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  5. Lovely! Only thing missing are the names of all the beautiful paint colours you used :) Well done!

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  6. Yes, I'd love to know the paint colors!!!

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  7. All of the walls throughout the majority of the house are Rice Grain by Sherwin Williams. It's a great neutral and has an interesting way of looking like different colors during the course of the day as the sunlight changes in the rooms!

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  8. we are considering purchasing a 1950's cape with similar floor plan. We would also like to add a dormer addition and remodel the kitchen with an open concept. Would you mind sharing an approximate budget?

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    1. Costs can very so much by region it would really be hard to give you a ballpark (and I always end up spending more than I budget anyway!). And a lot depends on whether you're adding baths, new furnace (sometimes you need a new one to compensate for the bigger living space), level of finish, etc. With that many variables, I don't think I can give you a useful answer! Sorry!

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  9. Great work! I'm really glad to have found your blog. I love all the different patterned window valances you use in your homes. Do you make them yourself or do you have a source?

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    1. Thanks for reading the blog Kelly! I make all the valances. They're really simple rectangles that I staple onto a piece of 1x1 lumber and then screw into the window trim. Easy!!

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  10. Hi Laurel, your renovation of the 1940s Cape is beyond incredible. We recently bought a 1950s Cape with desperate need of adding and renovation. As we have only 2 bedrooms now, but 4 kids, the remodeling should have already started. But I'm afraid of making a mistake. My question is do you use an architect, designer or yourselves. We need someone with great insight to help with a practical design. Do you have any advice? Thanks so much. Loren

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    1. Hi Loren,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. We didn't use an architect or designer - I typically take on that role with the support of my contractor. But of course we've had some practice on other houses so it wasn't quite as daunting!

      Before getting started, I would suggest you spend some time drawing up what you think you want, cut out lots of pictures for ideas, and have all that ready. That should reduce the costs of using professional artchitect/designer services (BTW - if you go back through our blog posts, I have the floor plans and lots more details on this Cape. Hope you find it helpful!). But you might want to start with a general contractor first, for their advice.

      Best
      Laurel

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    2. Dear Laurel,
      I think that your response makes sense, but for the sake of having a reference, can you give a range in the cost? I think there are many families that are in the process of buying a smaller home for a certain amount, and would like to know even a range of cost (lower and upper, or just one side :) for making a similar change to their cape. Thank you very much! If you choose not to answer, we perfectly understand.

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  11. What was the original and new square footage

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  12. What was the original and finished square footage

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    1. We started with approximately 1300 square feet and ended up at 2100. Adding that 2nd story made a huge difference!!!

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  13. Glad to see anither cape with a former bedroom on opposite side of house made into a bedroom. My husband cut a single doorway several years ago and I'm trying to get him to open the wall on the side of staircase as you did . you kitchen and living room look much than ours, wondering the approximate size if them.

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  14. Glad to see a cape with bedroom on opposite side of house converted into a dining room. I'm trying to get my husband to open the single doorway into the stairs as you did so the dining room seems more connected to the living room. We have a half wall between the kitchen and living room which he won't remove. Wondering what the size of your kitchen and living room are .

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    1. Hi Jane - nice to meet you! I can't remember the exact dimensions of the rooms - but the overall first floor is 36 x 26. So it's a pretty compact house.

      Hope that helps!

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    2. I found the link with the dimensions! http://www.sopocottage.com/2013/11/the-beach-cottage-floor-plans.html

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  15. I love it! You did a fabulous job! Thanks for sharing! Was the addition to the roof very costly? My husband and I are thinking about buying a 1950s Cape Cod, but it's even smaller than this one. The basement is only 720 square feet. The first floor is, of course, the same, and then it has two small bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor. I'm totally in love with the house, but I'm afraid it will be too small for my family of three. That addition to the roof would be fabulous!

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    1. So glad you like it! It was a great project and made the house so much more livable! Regarding costs, it's almost impossible to compare projects....this was a totally new second floor (not just dormers) plus kitchen, 3 full baths, furnace, electrical etc. You would get a good idea of costs, by speaking with a local builder. They would have a better sense of the scope as well as costs in your area.

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