A Split Level Renovation with Modern Design, Problem Solving Basement Layout & Logistics Dealing with Annoying HVAC Returns
This split level home was about to get a facelift. It’s a bit difficult to share 9 months of work in one in progress post, but I’ll do my best. This one is photo heavy. (If you’d like to skip right to the reveal, it’s right here.)
The Modern Split: Exterior
While work began inside, exterior siding started going up.
See what the outside of the Modern Split looked like before!
The Modern Split, In progress: Let’s go inside!
I’ll refresh you memory and use a pic from the Modern Split: Before post. This is what the living room facing the entry used to look like. (The front door is on the right behind that wall.)
A common thread in re-construction: It looks worst before in gets better.
Notice that HVAC vent near the ceiling of the center wall. It’s in our way, so we had to get creative. Read on to see what we did about it.
After evaluation from our structural engineer and per his specs, we installed this beam down the middle of the main level! This was an exciting day, because it allowed us remove the temporary supports. The vision was about to come to fruition!
The solution to an annoying HVAC issue. Literally, there was no other place to put the return and remain within our local code regulations. You’ll see in the reveal post, however, we made lemonade from this lemon.
It just so happened this project was the perfect canvas for a learning opportunity, so Uriah volunteered to host the local BP meetups at the project during different phases of the renovation.
The glorious open layout:
Kitchen after drywall install:
I can’t wait for you to see what we did at this entry. Check out the Modern Split’s Reveal post to see an idea for working with an awkward space to make it more functional:
The Modern Split, In Progress: Upstairs
If you remember from before, the original bathroom layout had the vanity next to the tub and the toilet to the left of it. We chose to swap locations of these pieces because the scope already included a complete re-wire and re-plumb.
Given limitations of budget, we couldn’t do much about the footprint in the master bathroom, but we could increase head clearance in the shower:
Re-plumbing allowed us to move the stack you see above and reframe, allowing the shower to extend all the way to the ceiling.
The Modern Split: Let’s head downstairs
Downstairs in the basement, we faced quite the layout debacle. In order to waterproof the basement, the company we used had to install a trench and vapor barrier along the perimeter of the back of the home to catch any water that may permeate the walls.
This basically entailed drilling out the concrete for the pipe:
Then we had to reframe in the basement and meet code requirements for adequate spacing on exterior walls.
This also meant reworking layouts for the downstairs bathroom, laundry, and den. It was a tight fit in that bathroom and we had to move plumbing around to accomodate the required changes.
But as you can see in this sneak peak of the final reveal, all this work was about to pay off. Look at that open layout!