My brother, sister in-law, and their grown children were looking for a second home at the shore. It was a difficult search as this was before Hurricane Sandy and there wasn’t much selection in the market. What was on the market needed extensive remodeling as most of the houses that I viewed were last updated in the 1970’s. When we saw this house which we call ‘Helm’, I knew we had possibilities for a comfortable up-dated shore home. Although this home was not directly on the beach, I thought there was more potential for outdoor living and sporting activities on the bay side. The location of the house on the lagoon side offered amazing views. With a corner lot, the waterfront was around 230 linear feet. There was enough room for a future swimming pool and plenty of dock for a boat as well as paddle boarding, jet skis, and kayaking.
The interior of the house was a complete tear out with the exception of a few bedrooms on the second floor that needed cosmetic up-grades. We had a very constrained timeline as there was a party scheduled in September and the house was settling in the second week of May. That gave me four months to completely remodel this home. And, to top it off, the family wanted to use the house on the weekends which we accommodated and so did they!
Since the house was not occupied, I started right away interviewing contractors and bringing in an architect to draw floor plans for construction and permitting. I had the new kitchen plan, the general floor plan, and the finishes all selected before the closing. This gave me a running start!
We decided to do the project in two stages. First we would tackle the bedrooms and baths. Second the main living areas. In the first week I had the second floor bedrooms painted and the carpeting replaced. The carpet on the first floor was removed and two of the bedrooms painted. The decks were power washed, the landscaping was removed, the exterior of the house was painted, the outdoor furniture delivered, and the bedrooms set up. This was the pace until the installation of the main furnishings and set up of the entire house by September 16th, the date of the party. It was the fastest pace of any project I have experienced before or since.
Six weeks later Hurricane Sandy struck and the home had four inches of water flood the first floor. The areas infrastructure was damaged and was closed for access until January 2013. I had to document insurance claims and then put the house back together. We also added a pool, completely new landscaping and fencing.
I acted as Project Manager and Interior Designer for this project. This is definitely what I love to do.