Raleigh Remodeler Raises The Roof On 1930′s Bungalow

Posted on | January 8, 2015 | No Comments

Aaron Fitzgerald hasn’t created his dream home yet – but he’s getting closer. Aaron is the founder and owner of Aaron Fitz Construction, an award-winning, full-service construction and remodeling company in Raleigh. He has been steadily working his way up to building his family’s dream home, one renovation at a time. Today we’re featuring the latest renovation on his quest, a cozy 1935 bungalow in Raleigh that he beautifully transformed into a spacious, two-story family home. North Carolina Design asked Aaron to share details about the transformation, and to tell us what it’s like to have himself for a client.

Images Courtesy of Aaron Fitz Construction ©

Aaron started off by searching for a home in the area where he and his family eventually wanted to settle. “We were living in Holly Springs, and we decided to make the move into Raleigh,” he recounts. “We knew from the beginning that we were going to choose something we could remodel. We searched for 6 to 8 months just to find the right project.”

Aaron was specifically looking to find a home where he could add a second story. “It’s easier to build straight up than to build out wider or out back, so I knew we would be tearing the roof off of something,” he notes. “But none of the houses we initially looked at had access to a second floor. We finally found one that seemed right – a 1935 bungalow with a staircase that led up to a storage area.

“The original house was 1237 square feet. We doubled the square footage by adding a second floor. It was an almost total gut job; we took down everything but the load-bearing walls, and re-plumbed and rewired everything. Everything is new.”

Aaron found it refreshingly easy to be his own client. “The project actually went pretty smoothly,” he concedes. “I knew exactly what I wanted, and how I wanted it done. Also, when you thoroughly gut a house, those sudden unexpected issues that can come in renovations don’t even matter. There’s nothing left to surprise you.”

Because the house wasn’t designed for Aaron and his family specifically, each decision was made with resale in mind. “Originally, the home had two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, a dining room and a tiny kitchen,” he notes. “We reconfigured everything to get the best function out of the existing footprint.”

On the right side of the downstairs area, Aaron and his team used the existing bedroom spaces to create a master bedroom, a master bath and a powder room. On the left side, he removed a wall between the dining room and the kitchen to create a very spacious and functional eat-in kitchen. Upstairs, he created three bedrooms, a bathroom, a laundry room and a family area, which can be used as a playroom, an office, or a bedroom.

While Aaron completely reworked the home’s living space, he kept its original style and charm. “We like renovating older homes, and keeping them true to the era in which they were built,” he affirms. “I personally like the Craftsman/bungalow style of this home. It gives it a lot of character.”

Aaron’s mind is already turning to his next personal project. “We’re going to keep going until we get to the dream house,” he says. “I figure at this point, we have about two more houses to go.”

Publishers note: Fans of the HGTV series “Love It Or List It” can catch Aaron on several episodes of the popular show this season. As homeowners decide whether to stay where they live or move into another house, Aaron will often be the contractor renovating their existing home.

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