Remodeling and Adding to a Historic Lanham, MD One-Room Schoolhouse
The homeowners and their two children were living in the house the husband had grown up in. The goal was to keep the original feel of the old one-room schoolhouse, while updating the interior, and adding a 2-car garage, family room, and basement wine cellar to the historic house.
The most challenging aspect of this home addition and remodel was getting everything to fit into a confined ceiling height (about seven feet) in the basement. We also needed to special order materials for the 16-foot wide garage door.
The homeowners wanted something bigger for the entire family to enjoy. The children had been using the finished attic as their sleeping area and one goal was to create another bedroom in the basement for the son to use as his bedroom. The attic, which did not require any work, then become the daughter’s bedroom.
The house remodel started with the basement. What was the old garage under the original part of the house was converted into the son’s bedroom. Rather than install carpet over top of the concrete, we put a sleeper floor in the old garage, which raised and insulated it. We also remodeled the existing makeshift bathroom to make it more user-friendly, putting in a new shower, toilet, pedestal sink, and drywall. We used bamboo flooring through and carpeted the bedroom.
Next, we added on a two-car garage with a large family room above. This home addition is adjacent to the existing living and dining rooms and was built with the same 10-foot ceilings as the original house. The kitchen, which is next to the dining room, was not remodeled. Other steps we took:
- Removed one window each in the dining and living rooms to make walkways into the new family room.
- Put in a Vermont Castings gas stove and fitted an antique oak fireplace mantle around the new area.
- Installed reclaimed and restored heart pine wood flooring. The deep red color of heart pine adds a rich look to the room.
The painted wood-based metal clad windows we installed are modern, but were special ordered so to complement the home’s architecture. We worked hard to locate materials that would give the homeowners the look they were after, and it’s hard to tell they are energy efficient windows!
We really felt it was important to go the extra mile in finding materials that were true to the home’s historic origins. We installed hand-bent metal roofing to match the original standing seam metal roof, and the installation and application methods we used are all period-correct original. We were also able to match all the interior millwork by removing some pieces from the windows and baseboard and taking them to a custom millwork shop to be duplicated.
The Wine Cellar
There was some space under the steps leading down into the basement and the client, who loves collecting wines, decided to use it for wine storage. Basements are excellent locations for wine storage because they’re naturally cool. We took a door from another part of the house, cut it down to fit the tiny opening under the stairs, and then put in low-voltage lighting. We also built custom wine racks that hold about 150 bottles.
Finally, we made an opening in the cinder block wall and put in a window. Although located under the outdoor deck, it still lets in a lot of natural light.
DuPaul Construction Comments
The coolest thing about this project was that it was a one-room historic school house that was originally located across the street. At some point, a foundation was built and the house was successfully moved by the homeowner’s parents across the street and set on the foundation. The owner himself had grown up in the house, then bought it so he and his wife could raise their family there.
We’re proud of the remodeling work we did maintaining the original home’s appearance. Because the original house had a block foundation, we did the same for the addition and it’s very difficult to tell it wasn’t there all along. The same can be said for the gas fireplace addition in the new family room – you would never know it was not original to the house!
We hired DuPaul Construction to build a 400-square foot addition over a two-car garage onto our 115-year old house. We really wanted the home addition to look like it was part of the original house. DuPaul did an excellent job solving problems related to adding to a very old structure. The company’s previous experience working on historic properties was evident. We later hired DuPaul to refinish two bathrooms at our condominium in Ocean City, Maryland. “T.H.”