Raleigh Remodeler Complements The Charm And Grace Of This Home In A Historic Neighborhood With Modern Living

Posted on | August 25, 2015 | No Comments

No one who loves design has driven through the Historic Oakwood district of Raleigh without a small covetous sigh. The area’s homes date back to the 19th century, and they still have all of the charm, grace and beauty that they were crafted with so many years ago. Today, we’re pleased to feature a Historic Oakwood home, adapted for modern living through a whole house renovation done by the experts at Sigmon Construction.

Sigmon Construction of Sigmon Construction ©

Known for quality work and exceptional attention to detail, Sigmon has been delighting clients with new builds and renovations for more than 30 years. North Carolina Design sat down with project estimator Harry Marks to find out more about their process, and to chat about how one renovates a historic home to meet modern needs.

Harry notes that remodeling projects are different from new builds, and they present different challenges. “You have to work with the structure at hand to give the clients what they want, while respecting the budget and getting them the most bang for their buck,” he explains. “You also want to do something that’s in keeping with what’s already there. Your goal is to enrich the property, not to impose a style on it that doesn’t belong.”

To get a great result, Sigmon Construction works hard to understand their clients’ needs. “First, we meet with the client onsite so we can see the structure and find out what kind of bones it has,” Harry notes. “Next, we listen carefully to find out what the client wants and what they’re bringing to the table. Some people come to us with a fully drawn out plan, and we love that. But we also love it when people come in with just an idea and want our help to create a plan.”

The owners of this home were an active, sociable couple set to begin a new phase in their lives. “They were both about to retire from high ranking government jobs in Washington DC,” Harry recalls. “They chose Raleigh for their retirement because they loved the community and the culture – especially in Historic Oakwood. They really wanted to preserve that City of Oaks style and feel in their home, while adding some flair and a fresh new look to an older part of Raleigh.”

The house had to be adapted to fit the couple’s lifestyle, which included lots of visits from grandkids. “They were proud grandparents, and they wanted a larger space that would flow well and be a good, safe environment for their grandchildren,” says Harry. “We added square footage toward the rear, to the first floor and the basement. We also created a kitchen with good, usable open space. The kitchen ties in to the living area so that everyone can gather in the different spaces and still feel connected.”

Of course, the couple wanted some creature comforts tailor-made for themselves. “They really loved the downstairs basement area,” Harry observes. “The husband has a place to sit back and relax, and the wife has a Pilates studio. They both really enjoy wine, so we added a large wine cellar to house their collection. The main entrance to the house is in the basement, so we added in a dumbwaiter that the homeowners could use to send groceries and wine to the main level without having to lug everything upstairs.”

The homeowners also got the bathroom of their dreams. “It’s luxurious – it has marble countertops and marble tile,” Harry recounts. “However, it has a natural feel, and it’s the simple, clean and refreshing space they wanted. It even has some modern comforts like heated floors and a towel warmer.”

The project, while rewarding, was not without its challenges. “We had to preserve the home’s history and ensure that it fit in organically with the neighborhood,” Harry says. “For example, we couldn’t add a second story, and external siding had to be made from natural wood products. But it was fun to take this home built decades ago and make it suited for a modern couple. And now they can look forward to retirement in their dream home, in their dream neighborhood. It doesn’t get better than that.”

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