Our Key West Remodel: Starting to See Progress

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307 Truman Ave. circa 1965. This home first appears on the Sanborn Fire Maps in 1889, making it over 125 years old.

Having started this journey back in September of 2015, we can rest a bit easier now that we are seeing some signs of progress. Our remodel plans included adding a third sawtooth addition to the rear of the home, remodeling the kitchen & master bath, replacing both the front porch and the backyard deck, replacing the decaying fences that surround our property, and even a complete overhaul of the existing foundation. Considering that roughly 70% of our home is well over 100 years old, we really haven’t run into any snags or hiccups since we started construction 15 weeks ago. We’re finally at the point where we can begin to share some before & after photos. Let us know what you think!

The kitchen lies in the rear of the house and faces the back yard. It’s the main entrance to the rear deck and pool, and also the focal point of the interior space. It was an addition to the historic main part of the house that was probably constructed sometime between 1940 and 1960. The irony of this “new addition” is that it was the most poorly constructed part of the house. In the original part of the house, the round pegs can still be seen holding the original mortise and tenon joinery together. Although the original studs and joists have been reinforced many times over the last 100+ years, the quality of the original woodwork is still visible. Unlike this historic carpentry, the kitchen addition was built with sloping floors, uneven walls, and a general feeling that the builders didn’t have quite the same skill-set as their forefathers.

The Kitchen: The goal was to add a third sawtooth roof to the rear of the house. The peak of this third roofline would be half inside and half outside, drastically increasing the ceiling height both inside the kitchen, and outside over our new deck. We raised the ceiling about 7 feet and added a transom window above the door. We also added the collar ties that can be seen extending through the wall above the new transom window. We leveled the sloping wood floor and added a subfloor and new tile. Here’s both the before and after photo:

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Before:  The original kitchen addition was probably added somewhere around 1950, but updated within the last 10 years. Through the window, you can see the blue awning that used to cover the back yard deck.
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After:  Here’s the entire updated kitchen space. The top of the image is distorted slightly due to the panorama shot.
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Cabinets & appliance removed. The new windows and door will be impact rated in order to better protect against severe storm damage. You could see daylight where the floor meets the wall (behind the plumbing). There was a large gap due to the uneven floor.
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Removing the existing floors and installing the engineered lam beams for badly needed structural support.
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For several weeks, this was the path to our only bathroom.
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Extending the height of the new kitchen wall. You can see the framing for the new transom window. We’ll get much-needed insulation, which didn’t exist in the walls before.
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Subfloor has been added and new walls are close to completion.
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New kitchen tile is done. Cabinets are starting to go back.
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Drywall and electrical are almost done.
kitchen after1
The completed kitchen. The new collar ties extend through the wall to the outside, above the new transom window. We were able to keep our original cabinets and appliances. A new countertop and new tile floors were also added.
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All done except for the ceiling fan.

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The final product.

Next Time: Before & After Photos of the New Covered Deck

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3 thoughts on “Our Key West Remodel: Starting to See Progress

  1. Laura Beth July 25, 2016 / 11:45 am

    Gorgeous! Wow, what a difference!

    Like

  2. everythingkeywest July 26, 2016 / 6:14 am

    Thanks! My wife is the architect who created the design and everything is really starting to take shape. More photos to come soon!

    Like

  3. tulumtraveler July 26, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Your wife is a freakin’ amazing architect!!! The place looks awesome.

    Like

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