The owners of this suburban home had made a firm decision: They wanted to stay on their coveted riverfront property without tearing down and starting from scratch.
Empty nesters with an elderly parent in residence, the owners sought both to update their home and to create an environment that would meet their needs long after retirement. This meant transforming their 2,300-square-foot, one-and-a-half story house into an elegant, spacious home at a price of nearly half a million dollars.
|The riverfront home needed an exterior makeover even before the addition. Schafer builders maintained the existing roof pitch where possible, but completely changed out all the siding, masonry, roofing, windows and doors.|
"At first I wanted to make sure they really were serious about this project," says Bill Schafer, president of Schafer Builders, "and that they had the means and the understanding to do it."
He soon confirmed that they knew who they were hiring and why. Having remodeled other homes along the Fox River, Schafer Builders, a full-service residential and commercial remodeling company, knew how to cope with the challenges this site presented.
Codes and ordinances regulating the river's floodplain restricted growth in the home's footprint, which meant coming up with a design that gained extra living space through a small first-floor bumpout, a large second-story addition and a complete reconfiguration of the floor plan.
The homeowners' desire for a pool and the need for an expanded septic system added several rounds of meetings to obtain variances, plan approvals and building permits. After working with the homeowners on the design plans for three months, Schafer Builders began construction on the project, the largest residential remodel in the company's history, in October 2003. It closed out in June 2004.
The new look and functionality of the home honors the area's casual, outdoor, boating lifestyle. Schafer Builders was able to extend the garage forward without illegally encroaching on the lot lines. That allowed the family room to expand into what had been storage space and the garage.
Schafer Builders moved the staircase and expanded the foyer to two stories to update the entry — once small and dark, now open, light and dramatic. The foyer opens onto the kitchen and the family room, where new and additional windows add to the open feel. The remodelers relocated the fireplace and built a plasma screen television into it, making that combo the focal point of the family room and easily seen from the foyer and kitchen. New ceiling fans and lighting that can be controlled by remote or wall panel provide increased comfort.
The expanded second floor now consists of a master suite with a luxury bath and shower, a loft office, two bedrooms and a hall bath. Thanks to a new custom vanity, the hall bathroom, which was once too tight for comfortable use, now accommodates any user.
Schafer Builders "reclaimed" extra storage from the garage attic adjacent to the master suite. The owners currently use the area to store off-season items, but if they someday decide to live completely upstairs, the storage room could be converted to a dining area, since the master suite features plumbing and electrical for a kitchenette.
The closet in the loft actually provides "inner" space for an elevator, should the owners someday find the stairs too difficult. The homeowner, president and salesperson came up with the idea when they noticed the loft closet wasn't situated over anything behind the walls — no supports, HVAC or plumbing.