Award-Winning Renovation Of Raleigh Home: Exterior Facelift, Expansion Of Interior Rooms And Basement Remodel

Posted on | November 10, 2014 | No Comments

There are renovations and then, there are renovations. When Raleigh builder and remodeler, Barry Corbett of Corbett Design Build met with the owners of this 1940’s home, the first question they asked was, “Can you make our home not look like a duplex?” By the time the project was finished, the front of the house had received an incredible facelift, interior rooms on the front of the first floor had gained valuable new space, while others on the second level were created from added space, and the project had moved on to also include a total renovation of the basement. Barry recently shared with North Carolina Design the details of this award winning endeavor.

Images Courtesy of Corbett Design Build ©

In giving the front of the house “a facelift,” the decision was made to expand the footprint of the house. “When I pulled the front of the house out, the living room went from 11 to 16 feet deep,” Barry recounted. “The front wall of the living room was originally taken up by the fireplace. It was a dark room. By shifting the fireplace to the other wall, it just made the room much more inviting. The addition of the windows across the front changed the whole feel of the home.”

“By expanding the footprint of the house, the added space allowed the dining room function better for the family in terms of entertaining and family gatherings. It also created an additional 5 feet to the breakfast area which also enhanced the clients’ daily living. Bringing the front of the house out meant that I had to reconfigure the roof above it. In doing that, I was able to get another bedroom upstairs as well as a spacious walk-in closet.”

Creating a look that is aesthetically pleasing is important, but this is always balanced against function at Corbett Design Build. “Whatever we do, it is going to look good,” affirmed Barry. “Sure, it would have been great to eliminate that second front door, but our client has a knee issue and she needed this entry to bring groceries into the house.” Bringing the front of the house out allowed the front door to be repositioned. The location is essentially the same, but the new side facing door means the home no longer “looks like a duplex.”

Every client comes with a unique set of wishes and circumstances. While most people would want a patio off the rear of their home, that would have involve negotiating a lot of steps for these homeowners. “We created a patio in the front of the house so that she can park right next to it in her driveway,” said Barry. “They are able to entertain friends on the front, next to the house and the kitchen. She does not have far to walk to get into the house. Their home is more accessible and allows them to get more pleasure out of it.”

Once work was complete on the first and second levels, both the clients and the contractor focused their attention on the basement. This space had likely not been updated in fifty years. As home to an adult family member and spouse, the basement provided the bare necessities, yet had great potential to offer much more. “This was a fairly good sized space – a living area, bathroom, bedroom and a kitchen with a sink, stove, refrigerator, and about 4 feet of counter space. It was decades since it had been updated,” detailed Barry.

The basement transformation was outstanding – and awarding winning. While the exterior of the home won a STAR award from The Remodelers Council of Raleigh for Best Exterior Facelift, the basement won a STAR award for Best Basement. Bathed in white and accented with stainless steel appliances, the kitchen would be a nice primary kitchen in many homes. Equally outstanding is the bathroom, complete with double sinks and a walk-in shower. Crown molding follows from room to room and light abounds throughout the entire space, never giving any indication that this is in fact a basement. The main living area completes the renovation with a continued feeling of warmth.

Once complete, Barry was very pleased with the finished result – and so were his clients. “I wanted something that functioned well, but I also wanted it to blend into the neighborhood,” noted Barry. “As a builder and remodeler, I believe a project should look updated, but at the same time, it needs to respect the character of the existing neighborhood. In the end, we did just that, and also made our clients very happy.”

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