This project appeared in the October 2002 issue of Southern Living magazine. PSG Construction was also awarded an Aurora Award for this circa 1925 historically correct restoration/addition project in conjunction with the Southeast Building Conference at the 21st annual Aurora Award ceremony held Saturday, July 28, 2001. PSG Construction was selected from fifteen entries in the category for Remodeling, Rehabilitation or Historic Restoration. In addition, the project also received a 2001Parade of Homes Remodelor's Showcase award.
The first time Lisa Poole walked through the Lake Eola Heights bungalow, she "fell in love with the house." That was in 1996, when she purchased the circa 1925 home located in the downtown Orlando historic district. Single at the time, Lisa, who works for Disney Feature Animation, recognized the house as a gem in spite of its obvious need to be restored. Original three-over-one and four-over-one windows were in need of repair, and some were inoperable. Time had taken its toll on the kitchen in spite of a marvelous oak buffet and hutch that were original to the house. An attic, accessible by a steep set of stairs, was crudely finished. Lisa knew the home's original state could be renewed.
"I grew up in older style homes." Lisa explains. "They have so much character and charm. They feel homey to me." Lisa lived in the home for four years before deciding it was time to return the existing 1796 sq. ft. space to its original condition. She also wanted to add a family room and master bedroom suite, but only if they would look as if the addition were part of the original space.
"I loved the house the way it was," Lisa points out. "It was important to me to respect the architectural integrity of the house. I chose PSG Construction to complete the work because they have a fabulous reputation," Lisa recalls. "As soon as I met [PSG Partner] Stephen Gidus, I realized that he was a person who would show up when he said he would be there; they would call me when they said they would call. Stephen and [his brother and partner] Paul are as picky as I am. I didn't have time to mess around with people who were going to be inconsistent."
Numerous Architectural Details Returned to Their Original Splendor
Working with Ross Design Group, PSG Construction was able to meet Lisa's goals. "We wanted to preserve the architectural integrity of the original home and add new space that seemed as if it had always been there," Stephen Gidus says.
Restoration to the original living room, dining room, sun room, kitchen, two bedrooms and bathroom involved attention to many details. Before any interior work could be completed, however, it was necessary to structurally reinforce one side of the foundation. The original windows were re-glazed and made operable. Oak and heart pine flooring was refinished throughout, and the interior was completely repainted. The bathroom's original tub and sink were restored. Button light switches were replaced, and new HVAC was installed with concealed duct work to maintain the original integrity of the home.
The existing kitchen space was fitted with amenities that offer contemporary conveniences without jeopardizing the home's original character including a farmhouse sink, marble countertops and commercial-style stainless steel oven and exhaust hood. A hand-scored plaster wall mimics the original. The built-in buffet and hutch were covered and protected during renovation and now offers authentic charm to the kitchen as well as much-appreciated storage space.
During the course of the project, Lisa was married to David Poole, who is a professional pianist. The sun room in the original portion of the house showcases David's ebony grand piano. On weekends, Lisa and David enjoy browsing through antique shops in Mount Dora. Several of the light fixtures in their home were found there.
Over 30 Original Details Matched in Addition
To complete the 940 sq. ft. addition which includes a family room, dining area and master bedroom/bathroom suite, PSG Construction paid attention to subtle details.
"When we first met with Lisa, it was evident that she had a real appreciation for the architectural details of older homes," Stephen recalls. "We wanted to carry out her vision for this home to the fullest extent possible." To do so, PSG Construction began researching the details of the 1920's home in order to match them for the addition.
"We researched and either matched or custom made over 30 details in the addition," Paul Gidus says. "One of the most subtle details is that the addition is built on a crawl space because that's how the original house was built," Paul explains. "If we had built the addition using the typical slab-on-grade method, Lisa and David would have been able to feel the difference when walking from the original part of the house to the addition. Slab-on-grade would have been less expensive than the crawl space, but it would not have done the project justice."
Windows for the addition were custom milled to match the original windows. The three-over-one and four-over-one windows have true divided putty glazed sashes and rope with pulleys and weights concealed behind jambs. Parts were salvaged from vintage windows and used on many of new windows. Glass door knobs and brass hinges were located on eBay™ to match those in the existing home. Even the 8" baseboard in the addition was custom milled with a beveled edge cap, to match the existing baseboard, using a custom-made tool. Other matched details include room scale and 9'4" ceiling height; window and door casings; two-panel doors; picture moulding; electrical switches; and 3/4" oak flooring.
Most prominent in the new family room is the floor-to-ceiling built-in entertainment center that spans the length of one wall. Bead board lines the back of the entertainment center, matching the original front porch ceiling, new back porch ceiling, and master bathroom walls. French doors matching the existing original front door lead to the new back porch.
The master bedroom is in keeping with the size and nature of the original bedrooms. French doors open to the back porch. The tile pattern and installation design in the master bathroom mimic that of the original bathroom floor. New fixtures complement the home's original heritage. A walk-in closet is inconspicuously tucked into a corner of the bathroom to provide plenty of storage space without compromising the true architectural style of the period.
Exterior is Given Equal Attention
Equal attention was given to details of the addition's exterior. The stucco texture of the original home is seamlessly matched in the addition, as well as the skirt detail at the stem wall. Crawl space vent grates were custom manufactured to match those on the original portion of the home. Gable end support bracket details and bead board soffits were copied. The new side entry mimics the front entry with door style, sidelights, decorative wood detail above the door and configuration of the concrete steps. The original driveway was reconstructed with twin strips of concrete and a grass middle section.
During the nine months that the project was in progress, Lisa rented a home located just around the corner, allowing her to easily and frequently check on the progress of the project.
PSG Construction gained the Poole's permission to enter the home in the 2001 Parade of Homes Remodelors' Showcase, and was awarded First Place in the category of Historic Restoration with Addition.
"We are really ecstatic," Lisa says of her home. "We are so happy being in it."
Paul and Stephen are just as pleased to have recreated a portion of the past that allows the Poole's to personally enjoy the architectural splendor of a past era and take pleasure in the original charm of their bungalow. Now Lisa and David can feel as if they have stepped back to the 1920's upon arriving home each night.
Cabinetry - S & W Kitchens
Windows - CCS Restoration Millwork
Roofing Contractor - Steppi Roofing Inc.
Interior Trim & Doors - Residential Building Supply
Closets - Get Organized, Inc.
Wood Flooring - Specialty Floor Designs
Interior Furnishings - Aaron's Country Store