The Burnt House is no longer burnt!
In late 2017, Brooke Carlson was almost home and very much looking forward to seeing her beloved puppy. She was met by a traffic jam, smoke in the air and several fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles.
In a bit of shock, Brooke could only muster out “it’s our house” while Stefan was on the other end of the phone. Their attention quickly shifted, assuming the worst about their pup.
Though she was ready to charge into the burning house to find him, it’s with relief that she found out one of the fire marshals had him safe in truck #4.
Several grueling hours later, they were allowed to walk into an unrecognizable house to recover anything that could be salvaged – which wasn’t much.
The source of the fire was a group of neighbor kids that had started a gas can on fire, catching the Carlson’s home and consuming it in short order.
After a laughable offer from the insurance company, the decision was made to skip bulldozing the house down. Being that it’s a 1900’s home, Stefan couldn’t bring himself to tear it down, but rebuild what’s left – keeping the character and charm of a historic home.
Watch the video below to hear the full story!
About the remodel:
Starting (nearly) from scratch on this home gave us the opportunity to rethink a lot of the living space, and add some square footage on where there was room.
Previously, the layout of the house had several load-bearing walls that were removed and braced, giving the house an extremely open concept. Exposed wood beams and natural light are aplenty throughout the home but especially on the main floor.
(post fire and post remodel)
The arched window in the kitchen is actually the top of a larger window frame. The 8ft windows upstairs are a huge feature in the master and were actually the lower half of the kitchen window, repurposed and put to good use.
It’s good to be cautious with reclaimed windows – be sure to inspect them closely since you rarely know the history of them. Bad windows pose tons of risk to your energy efficiency and keeping you from the elements.
Six feet on each side of the house was gained upstairs, giving enough room for an entire bathroom, hallway and walk-in closet, as well as more space off the back of the kitchen. The ceilings were also raised and leveled-off, removing the steep ceiling line.
The floors are reclaimed and refinished pine from several houses around Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin. The chevron floor pattern really helped the added hallway from feeling cavernous. Additionally, the added hallway created extra privacy from the master and guest bedroom since previously it was a jack-and-jill bathroom to both of the bedrooms.
Ironically, the added hallway was a make-or-break as to whether or not they would stay or move to a new house and it turned out pretty awesome if we do say so.
A few details to note on this remodel are hidden in plain sight in the kitchen. The exposed shelving is actually the old floor joists of the house before the fire. The exposed beams in place of the load-bearing walls are actually the 100-year-old subfloor, refinished and doctored up to give them a clean look while keeping the character.
Just as we mention in just about every update, we had a challenge in the kitchen where the stairs going down created an interesting bump out. Instead of adding a wall and shrinking the kitchen, we made it into a quartz countertop, giving us a functional use of an otherwise unusable space.
The door just off the kitchen is one of our personal favorite details. It’s actually the original door, which we stripped down and refinished to add to the character of the space.
The French front doors are veneered walnut, reclaimed and refinished. The lead out to the front porch, where the ceiling is wrapped with more reclaimed wood.
Perhaps the most drastic feeling change came in the basement. What was previously a narrow, cavernous space was made into a beautiful, bright apartment, complete with kitchenette and bathroom.
The house went from being a 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms to a 4 bedrooms with 2 ¾ bathrooms. Much was added and much was removed with this remodel and was by far one of the most extensive projects to date.
We’re excited to put Stefan and Brooke into a home they love again with some awesome features. What are some of your favorite parts of this house? Tell us in the comments!
From ” a heap of burnt rubble” to “palatial”! Virtually, a home restoration “miracle”. This is truly a builder’s “phoenix”. A house, “reborn from the ashes”. This takes a vision and motivation, that few have. Congratulations to the team that achieved this.