Plan Your Home Remodel: The Interior Renovation Stage

Follow the Improvement of Mike and Leann Rowe of Lutz, Florida, as they Reestablish a 1970s-era ranch Home in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Over the past couple of months, we’ve shown the way they found the ideal home, constructed their project team, assembled inspiration, established a budget, drew the programs and started building. The author is the project architect.

In the last installment, the outside construction was well under way. We were installing new windows and fixing the exterior siding, which had rotted in several places. Now we’ve completed the exterior, along with the local building department has shut out the license for that work, so we can proceed to the exciting inside renovations.

New closets, relocated plumbing, new finishes and moved walls are only a little what we’re doing. And all the items to go into the inside, from paint colors to furniture, must be chosen and arranged.

Let us take a look at how things are moving.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The exterior has taken shape nicely. While we still have landscaping to do, the siding has been repaired and the new windows and doors have been installed. We have also had a new deck. We have painted the outside in a palette of driftwood-like colors to relate the home into the local gulf.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

BEFORE: The Rowes didn’t allow the house’s ’70s inside and “fast-food-restaurant storefront” frighten them. The dimensions of the home, general and location Florida split-plan arrangement were exactly what they were looking for.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich

There was way too much wood within the home. In reality, some rooms had wood finishes on the flooring, walls and even ceilings. Although the plan was rather open, it felt all chopped up, especially because of a huge concrete beam that generated a true gap between the front and back of the home and obstructed the view of the water.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

This concrete beam, becoming uncovered here, affirmed the roof structure.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

This fresh sunburst window is where the aged storefront-style windows were. Big telescoping sliding glass doors now direct out into the deck and the boat dock. It’s Florida living at it best.

The new window and vaulted ceiling let in a lot of light and start the view across the bay toward the Pasadena bridge connecting St. Pete Beach to the St. Petersburg peninsula and the mainland. To carry through with all our casual beach-house theme, the vaulted ceiling is finished with wide-plank wood boards painted a soft white. Finally all of the trim in the home will be painted this white color.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Looking into the balance of the inside shows just how much demolition function took place. Today we have a true feel for how spacious and open the primary living area will be with that beam gone.

Removing the old concrete beam was not all that catchy. We installed a fresh beam of laminated veneer lumber. This new beam was placed in addition to the old concrete beam, and also the present roof structure was attached to it. Whenever that was done, we were able to eliminate the concrete beam. The new beam will be above the ceiling, so it won’t be observable in the distance.

More on how to set up a new beam

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

New walls have been erected new wiring has been run and the new plumbing lines for the island sink have all been installed. At the same time, we’ve been refinishing some the original wood paneling that we chose to keep, including in the skylight well. This wood will get the same soft white paint as the vaulted ceiling wood. There is no doubt that the inside will be a good deal brighter than it originally was.

Watch how the strategy for this open region came together

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The present concrete slab had to be cut and removed in areas to accommodate the new plumbing lines for the relocated sinks. While doing this isn’t the least costly manner of renovating a home, the final result — a massive island that enables a view from the kitchen sink from the water will be worth it.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

For the primary living space we’ve decided on Sherwin-Williams’ Copen Blue to pull the colors of the skies and water out. Before finalizing this color, we bought a sample could and painted a couple of areas to test it out. We also took a color sample into the furniture shop to make sure that it’d go with the leather recliner and cloth=coated sectional on order.

In regards to selecting a paint color, purchasing a sample painting and can several small places is the thing to do. Do not paint only 1 area, as color varies with the light. In the minimum, test your paint in a corner that’s in color and an area that gets bright sunlight.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Another part of the renovation is that a zero-threshold shower. This has meant chopping out the present concrete and replacing it with fresh concrete set lower to adapt the tilework. When it is done, Mike and Leann won’t have to step past a shower threshold and maybe excursion.

Before Photo

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Talking of this shower, we’ve visited a few tile showrooms and have decided on a 16-by-16 slate for the master bathroom floor and 12-by-24 porcelain tiles with glass tile accents for the shower walls. The slate includes a lot of variation, from blue-grays to greens to rust colors. Along with the wall tile is actually rather nice. It’s named Touch, by Mediterranea, also it has a linen look and feel — the nifty result of an ink-jet-type production process.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

We have been working on finalizing the inside cabinets, working with Jim Douglas of Douglas Woodworking in Clearwater, Florida. Douglas has provided detailed drawings of this vanity as well as kitchen cabinetry and a few of the other bits we’ll be needing constructed for the home. Having drawings like these done early in the building makes it possible for each the electrical and plumbing work associated with the chimney to be coordinated up front, eliminating expensive and time consuming rework later.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

The granite for the kitchen counters is Delicatus White. It has a lot of movement, with browns and golds and grays all swirled together. This will work very well with the cabinets; some will be stained a golden oak and some painted in Valspar’s Wicker.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Scores, if not hundreds, of items must be researched, selected and arranged in an extensive renovation. Leann, Mike and I have been going to light showrooms, tile and rock showrooms, furniture showrooms and a lot more places. When many individuals, including professionals at times, will wait until the final minute, the ideal approach is to select pieces early so they’re ready when needed onsite.

There also may be some thing you find that’s perfect. In this case and especially when it is a one-of-a-kind item, stake your claim for it when you can. This way you will be assured of getting exactly what you want.

Next: In a couple of weeks, we’ll have the rough work all done, the gutters installed along with the cabinets delivered and ready for installation. We’ll be close to getting the job wrapped up and ready for that inaugural party!

Next: The inside finishes go in

Start in the beginning: Component 1 of this Renovation Diary

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