Just over a year ago my real estate clients purchased a home in the Gran Forest neighborhood located in Cumming, GA with a plan to make several major renovations. Read the story of their home search. When I wrote about it at the time, I promised I would update you once the work was completed so I am here to share the details.
Before we start, let me clarify that not every home for sale is a candidate for a major renovation. For a project like this to work well, the home needs to be in good condition structurally and in a neighborhood whose price point can withstand the additional costs involved. You don’t want to risk over improving for the neighborhood unless you plan to stay in the home long term.
I knew that my clients have excellent taste so I expected that their makeover would be spectacular, but I really wasn’t prepared for all that they accomplished. Their renovations touched virtually every space in the home, but I’ll only be walking through the major areas with you here.
Of course, like any good real estate agent, I have to start at the beginning…. curb appeal. At the time of purchase the house needed a MAJOR update to the curb appeal (landscape, garage doors, etc…) and repairs to a bit of deferred maintenance. There were no structural issues (verified during the home inspection), but the old girl looked tired! Now, the home looks fresh and inviting. The removal of the overgrown shrubbery also allows more light into the house which is a nice bonus.
While we are outside, let’s just step around to the back yard. The new fence was for practical purposes as well as aesthetics, but I love how nicely it frames the yard. A little pruning and a whole of added decking makes a major difference in the look and functionality of the space. The small original deck was removed and replaced by a larger, multi-level deck to better accommodate entertaining.
The interior changes begin as soon as you walk through the door. All of the carpeting was replaced with hardwood and the existing hardwoods were stripped and re-stained with a warmer, updated color. New paint colors and updated lighting also enhance the feeling of light, fresh and new throughout the property.
Starting in the foyer, a new chandelier (not visible in this shot) replaces the old brass fixture. You can see the stairs, which were previously carpeted, now boast hardwood treads and iron spindles. This space now creates and elegant entry for visitors.
The dining room benefits greatly from the removal of the over grown shrubbery as light now pours in through the new plantation shutters. An on-trend paint color and modern lighting really give this room a fresh, sophisticated feeling.
Across the foyer is the living room which previously felt dated and dowdy. The home owners removed the dingy carpet and replaced it with hardwood and added the plantation shutters which provide privacy while allowing light to flood the room.
Passing into the family room, one of the things you notice right away is the abundance of light. Replacing the heavy valances with plantation shutters also gives the illusion of larger windows.
Turning to the kitchen, I have to say that nothing really prepared me for the change I found here. The homeowners kept the major things in place (cabinets and appliances are original), but the updates are dramatic. The only thing I can think of to describe it is “country to country club”! The lighter cabinets reflect more light making the room appear larger, the glass tile backsplash is on trend but not “trendy” and the updated lighting sets the perfect tone. (note the chandelier over the eating area has been removed to cause less
Just off the kitchen is the main level bath and powder room. This bath serves both the guestroom and main level visitors. Once just a plain-Jane tub/shower combo, it is now offers a sleek, tiled double shower with a frameless, glass shower door. A new vanity, with a granite top and an oversized mirror, adds more storage further updating the room’s over all appeal.
Heading upstairs to the master suite, all I can say is “ahhhh”. The homeowners have truly created a master suite oasis for themselves. Replacing the dingy carpets with gleaming hardwoods and the heavy drapes with plantation shutters gives the master bedroom the feeling of an upscale bed and breakfast – not a bad place to wake up to everyday!
But, as beautiful as I think that master bedroom is, nothing can overshadow the spa-like master bath they created. The transformation here is incredible! Of the entire project, this room is the true Cinderella story. What my photos can’t show is the mold under the carpet (Yes!… carpet in the bathroom.. yuk!), the chipped tile and dirty grout that graced this once sad little bathroom. Now, it is an oasis worthy of any spa I have ever visited.
As you can see, this is not a huge home nor is it an extravagant home, but the owners have made a smart, upscale renovation that has turned the house the bought into their castle. Of course mots of their updates will definitely amp up their home value when the time comes to sell!
I think that this story shows the importance of looking at a property’s potential when looking for a new home. Of course, not everyone is willing to take on a major renovation like this, but looking for a home that can benefit from a few updates can certainly be a rewarding challenge.