Brooke’s House (aka “the Red House”)

Our family is very creative and visual, but sometimes I think that we are not the best with names. We grew up in a brick duplex that the Renovation Whisperer built in 1979…we still refer to it as “The Duplex.” The Duplex was built on land that had been a part of my great-grandfather’s, grandfather’s and then my father’s masonry/construction yard. So most of my life there was a big construction yard with a large warehouse building next to our home and we called it “The Warehouse.” Most of The Warehouse has been torn down and the Bathroom Whisper subdivided the property and built amazing and beautiful homes on the land, but we still refer to it as the “Warehouse Property.”

Now I live in what we have collectively coined “The Red House” since my parents purchased it several years ago. The Red House was adjacent to the Warehouse Property and had been built in the 1940s. It is a classic cape cod style home (central staircase, symmetrical front exterior with two dormer windows, white painted woodwork and fireplace, wood floors, etc). When the Renovation Whisperer first bought the home he thought that he was going to tear it down, but it had such great potential when you could see past the bad interior layout and deteriorating exterior.

Personally, I think that it was the windows that saved the Red House. The Renovation Whisperer is a sucker for light and large windows and despite the fact that the Red House was built over 70 years ago, the windows in the house are amazing and large. So the Renovation Whisperer, against his better business judgment, went to work redesigning this old home into a modern and usable home while keeping the charm of the original house in tact.

Because the house did not have any insulation in its exterior walls, the Renovation Whisperer framed in the interior walls and pumped in a high grade of insulation foam between the brick exterior walls and the new interior walls. This make the interior about 4 inches smaller each side, but it is worth it for the amount this saves on utility payments and the added bonus of sound insulation. He also replaced all the windows in the house, put in new plumbing, new electrical, and added a full bath to the upstairs, tore out the bathroom on the main floor to triple the size of the originally postage-stamp-sized kitchen, and worked his magic to really open up the house.

I love the Red House. It is perfect for a single career girl like me. Because the inside is like new I do not have big structural projects to work on. It is really just a matter of improving a prepared canvas, which I can handle…at least with my family’s help.  Perfect!

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