They could have just moved from their Timbergrove Manor 1950 rancher home. Or razed it and rebuilt on the lot. In fact, they considered both options.
But the house, perched on a tree-filled knoll to catch the breeze, was their home and their neighborhood, which the homeowners say is “getting younger.” So David and Skye Mansfield Templeton opted to more than double the original home’s size to just under 3,000 sq. ft. to better accommodate family life with two young sons. They also wanted to keep the home’s original front elevation. And the trees.
Friends and family thought they were “crazy,” she recalls. Then the bones of the new space appeared, and they could see what she did: space to live, grow, and entertain — inside and outdoors. Neighbors tell them they’re glad the big trees have stayed and that the back property line has remained open.
The project became a “Go big or go home” exercise, quips David Templeton. It all began with a few ideas, a piece of paper and some refreshments on a lazy Sunday afternoon 18 months ago.
Construction is wrapping up after seven months. (Make that seven months in a 900-sq.-ft. apartment with two children asking, “Is the new house ready?” since about the first week of the project, he adds.)
SCOPE IT OUT
“We remodeled for how we live, not just for how it looks,” Skye Templeton says of the project’s scope and details. A fan of HG-TV’s house flipper shows, she knew that “you really have to use your imagination and ‘picture’ your vision. The shows gave me confidence that our project was doable.”
The couple’s must-haves included a home office and outdoor kitchen for him and a bathroom for her so she didn’t have to share with the boys, ages 5 and 7. And storage space. Lots of storage space.
Weighing in at about 1,750-sq.-ft., the two-story addition’s new rooms are in proportion to the scale of the re-worked originals. The space adds volume toward the back of the home.
The new space downstairs added an open-plan modern kitchen and family room. Sets of glass panel doors access a large outdoor kitchen. The doorframes incorporate screens that roll out like pocket doors. The bedroom wing, which runs front to back, added a master bedroom at the back of the home, converted the previous one into a master bathroom and laundry room, and rebooted the front bedroom.
The second floor gained two bedrooms, a bathroom and a bonus room. The latter sits at the top of a turned staircase that enables a mom to keep an ear out.
Meanwhile, the project scope also included repurposing the former living room, with its picture window facing the street, into a dining room, with built-in serving and display features; converting the former dining room, previously an open space near the front hallway, into a paneled office, with doors (and walls); and bringing all wiring and plumbing up to code.
Skye Templeton says she has been making a daily pass to the property to check on progress and “to make a lot more decisions than I ever could have imagined.”
As if out of a scene in “The Money Pit,” she recalls, “the first time they came to the house and there were stairs, I ran up and down them saying, ‘We have stairs! We have stairs!’”
Templeton says the carpenter deftly interpreted the Pinterest postings she had placed on boards in every room “to put my ideas into his head; he’d improve them.”
She is impressed with how every available space has been cleverly captured for storage, such as the appliance garage angled into the little-used corner of the kitchen counter, the sliding spice rack, outlets in cabinets to reduce cord clutter; and a pantry tucked into the stairwell. Another space-saving element is the use of pocket doors in areas with multiple doors so they don’t bang into each other when they swing.
TRY THIS AT HOME
For others considering a similar topping of their ranch-style home, the couple has a few suggestions.
First, “Document everything you want in the plans,” she says. Don’t assume that something called for in one room, such as special lighting or trim, will automatically duplicate in other rooms.
Second, before the wallboard goes in, make sure you have anticipated everything you might ever want to add down the line. There’s no point in adding a gas line for the porch lights, for example, if it means cutting through freshly installed walls.
And third, choose an architect and builder carefully. They can really improve your ideas. This project’s team included builder Kelly Bennett of K. Bennett Builders, carpenter and contractor Benny De la Garza of Benny’s Creative Carpentry, and architect Jason Webb of Turning Leaf Designs.
“We’ve gotten everything we hoped for,” she says.
To share your renovation survival story in The Do-Over, contact firstname.lastname@example.org