Award-Winning Million Dollar Renovation Warmly Welcomes 1960′s Charlotte Home Into The 21st Century

Posted on | March 30, 2015 | No Comments

Whole house renovations are no small feat. They come with dust, disruption, and a host of challenges to overcome. But when expertly done, the dramatic and beautiful results make everything worthwhile. This was definitely the case with such a project undertaken by Charlotte remodeler Shea Custom. Shea Custom is a division of Shea Homes, which is one of the country’s oldest constructions companies, proudly building since 1881. North Carolina Design talked to Gil Shea, a partner at Shea Custom, and Charlie O’Melveny, the Operations Manager, to find out more about their part in this exceptionally successful renovation.

Images Courtesy of Shea Custom ©

Gil and Charlie’s vision, expertise, and tenacity turned a problematic home into an award-winning show-stopper. The project won a 2012 CotY (Contractor of the Year) award, as well as a Charlotte 2013 Excellence in Remodeling GOLD Award.

Originally built in the late 1960′s, the two-story Mansard-style home had many attributes the homeowners loved – with good bones, an ideal country club location, a first-floor master bedroom, and beautiful old oak trees in the yard. It lacked, however, the space the family needed, plus it had a dark, dated interior, with problematic and cosmetic issues throughout that sorely needed to be addressed.

The homeowners met with an architect to draw up plans for a whole house renovation, which would create a bright, airy open concept living space and add significant square footage. They then hired Shea Custom to take on the project. Almost right away, Gil and Charlie were faced with challenges.

The first, and main challenge, was integrating the old in with the new. “The home had to stay in keeping with the original architecture, and the surrounding community,” explains Charlie. “The homeowners also really wanted to maintain the beauty afforded by the original trees, which was an issue for the renovation because they were very close to the house.”

The next major challenge was the roof. “The homeowners were very concerned with value, and building upward is a more value-driven decision than building out,” Charlie explains. “We wanted to add square footage by stacking a third floor on to the existing second story. The original roof, however, was built in a mansard style, so it was practically integrated with the walls. This meant we basically had to remove the whole second floor in order to build the third floor.”

As the renovation went on, even more challenges cropped up. “The hardwood floors were not level,” notes Charlie. “That was a difficult problem to fix — we had to rework the subflooring in just the right spots to get them to transition smoothly.” Gil adds “The custom trusses in the great room were a huge challenge to install. And then, there was the fact that the home’s exterior had three different types of brick. We had to figure out a way to make the whole façade cohesive.”

In the end, the home gained nearly 1,400 square feet of space, with minimal changes to the footprint. It now boasts a spacious open floor plan; a cozy, sunlit great room; a modernized kitchen with upgraded appliances; an updated master bathroom; a new bonus room; and a third floor that features an extra bedroom, a bathroom, and a game room.

The renovation fits so flawlessly in with the home’s existing architecture, and is so smoothly and impeccably executed, that you would never suspect Gil and Charlie faced challenges at all. But that’s not what gives them the most satisfaction. “We took a dream of our client’s and we made it real, and we delivered something we could be proud of. That’s a great feeling.“ Charlie agrees, adding “Just the look on the homeowners’ faces – seeing their satisfaction and joy – that’s what really makes this job rewarding.”

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