Remodel of a 100 year old house

Home Remodel Overview:

Clients purchased home several years ago with the intention of remodeling the home. Mindful Designs conducted an extensive study of the home and, upon client request, provided a several phase approach to remodeling their home and upgrading the insulation, windows, and mechanical systems along the way. The first phase which began in March of 2012 and is still underway, focuses on a complete basement remodel, a new mechanical system throughout the home, and upgrades in insulation in areas where it makes the most sense at this point in time. The scope of work is summarized below, and as we continue the project, we will add more pictures and bits of interesting information.

1. The Chimney has been removed , in order to both eliminate it as a significant source of heat loss and to provide a mechanical chase from the basement to the attic. The original craftsmanship of the chimney was quite impressive and we will be re-using some of the brick in the basement with a decorative piece which will imitate the original architecture of the upper chimney.
2. In the attic, we discovered some vermiculite contaminated with asbestos. This area was quarantined and the asbestos was professionally removed and disposed of. No other suspect areas have been discovered since.

3. The Basement was gutted and new footings were created so that the home could be supported by new I-beams, creating an open floor plan in the new basement and also allowing us to excavate as much material as was practical from beneath the old slab. We were able to add gravel, 2-3” of polyurethane spray foam, and a radiant heated slab. Even with the added gravel and insulation, the new basement will have 4-6” of additional headroom. The sub-slab spray foam provides an incredibly high-performance thermal encapsulation for the radiant slab, helping us squeeze every calorie of heat possible out of the slab and into living space rather than into the earth which surrounds the basement.


4. Historically, the Original Stone Foundation would leak some water into the basement when groundwater was high. By adding a 10 mil vapor barrier up the wall of the original foundation to exterior grade height, and integrating it with a french-drain system, we will manage any incoming water in the future and ensure that it does not make its way into the finished basement or the wall cavities along the exterior wall.

5. Along the stairwell into the basement, we restored the original stone foundation – removing the old grout and cleaning the stone, packing the wall solid with new grout, and finger-wiping the new grout lines between rocks as they did originally over 100 years ago. This section of the foundation was excavated from outside so that we could apply exterior insulation. The exposed stone work will be a finished feature within the home, and it will also allow us to maximize the width of our stairwell which was constrained due to the existing kitchen layout above (the clients have no intention of remodeling the existing kitchen on the main level and widening the stairway opening would have had major repercussions on the existing kitchen).

Stone before cleaning


Stone after cleaning


Excavating exterior of wall in prep for insulation


Opening from the upstairs

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