Pool Removal Report
This report – for a construction company – formed the text of their application for Project of the Year. This content is not on the web.
Taking the Plunge in Reverse
The conundrum faced by the new owners of this antique home was twofold. Would the existing, restoration budget be better applied to upgrading the outdated indoor pool? Could there be another solution, creating more bang for the available remodeling buck? Whatever route was chosen, the work had to be accomplished while preserving the basic structure.
An obvious option was upgrading and restoring the pool, but it was costly and the clients felt their remodeling budget could be put to better use.
After making the decision to eliminate the swimming pool and reclaim the area, plans for the conversion were finalized. This was not just a question of filling in a hole in the ground. The pool had to first be broken-up to eliminate the problem of “floating” should the water table rise. Only after that, were ground and gravel brought in before rebar and concrete were added to create the new floor.
Access to the pool itself was difficult; several different floor levels and no doors meant the only access point was through the wall. Initially, removing one of the sliders created an entry point for the hydraulic jack.
With the pool eradicated, attention turned to the ceiling where black timber and rot were found. This required a professional engineer to evaluate the structure and make recommendations for the clients.
With a family room, flex space, and en-suite guest quarters included in the plans for the retrieved sections, the difficulties of the dark and dingy laundry and pokey stairs could be resolved. Flow between the existing living areas was less than ideal and an additional objective was to address this problem between the upper and lower levels of the home, both inside and outside. The problems of a leaky deck above the pool and structural damage, a result of excessive humidity, had to be repaired.
Costly or Not. It Must Go
The overall remodel cost of this project was $655K with a hard cost per square foot of $250.
Bringing this antique home from traditional to “today” without losing any of its charm was accomplished by filling in the pool and sympathetically converting the reclaimed space. With the pool filled in, a substantial volume of useful living area was added and on the pool level, you will now find spacious guest quarters and a bright playroom.
Transitioning between the two levels is a lower mezzanine, with storage, and room for a future wine closet. Perhaps, the best feature of the interior reconfiguration is the location and design of these stairs that lead into the new conversion. Eliminating the dark awkward stairs and fear of bumping your head makes an inviting entrance to the lower level.
Unlocking The Potential
The lower level is a flex space, and can be used in limitless ways. The owners opted to tile the lower level playroom floor as they envisioned their young son using the space to ride his bicycle indoors. It will work just as well as an exercise room or as a family room.
The guest quarters are bright and sunny, with a beautifully appointed ensuite bathroom. French doors would allow this space to function as an office or work-out room should the additional bedroom no longer be necessary.
With its huge shower and modern floating vanity, the ensuite bathroom resembles a luxury day spa. Floating shelves next to the shower provide convenient storage for towels and baskets of toiletries.
A spacious deck providing wonderful outside views has replaced the old leaking deck above the pool and is accessible from both levels with new steps going down to the backyard.
Even the former laundry room received a fresh update. A duct that ran across the window was removed, the window replaced and the stairs that came down into this room relocated, making it larger and sunnier. A tile floor has replaced the dingy carpet. The original door that led to the former pool space now accesses a bonus area that will act as storage and wine cellar.
Better Than Ever
The re-purposed lower level adds quality space to the home; dark dank spaces have been replaced with open, bright rooms full of custom features not often found in antique homes. The final layout offers features and details that respect the integrity of the original antique home whilst incorporating the best of contemporary materials. The transition is subtle, by keeping all visible elements period correct. And, at first glance the house looks much like the same dignified, shuttered structure it would have been a hundred years ago.