Hidden Potential

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Source: ELAN Magazine January 2018

There can be surprisingly daunting engineering issues when working in uneven terrain. Because compaction issues are so exacting, a lot of contractors won’t take on projects like this ~ Sonny Nazemian

UPDATING A MID-CENTURY RAMBLER By John Byrd

What’s to be done with a 67-year-old house on a quarter-acre lot in one of Northern Virginia’s more desirable suburbs? Investment adviser Carol May purchased a circa-1950 brick rambler back in 1994. As the years rolled by, she considered enlarging the home’s main block, upgrading the kitchen, maybe even converting a small room into a den for TV viewing.

Like many post-war homes, the kitchen was small. At just 40 sq. ft. (and equipped with Truman-era appliances), staging a multi-course meal required a lot of juggling. “There was never enough counter space to start one dish cooling, while other ingredients are peeled and sliced and a third is marinating,” May recalls. “Ironically, I really love cooking, but to explore complex recipes I was going to need a different kitchen.”

Not to be undone, May was quietly contemplating several kitchen enlargement scenarios when fate played a hand. “We had so much rainfall one spring that our backyard flooded,” she says. “The water ruined our enclosed sun porch and the entire basement. Parts of the house started showing signs of rot. I knew I had to take action.

Soon the homeowner began making sketches of dream-home improvements and soliciting feedback from local remodelers.< Read More >