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The family that bought this two-story home fell in love with its architectural style but knew it needed a considerable amount of work. They also knew they’d need to add a fair amount of square footage for it to make sense for their family. We added over 2000 square feet with a two-story addition plus an additional 500 square feet with a new back porch.

After several months and thousands of man hours the two-story addition looks great. With all of the repair work that was needed, we essentially created a new home with the style and architecture of a much older home.

The house we started with was in sad shape. It had been added on to in a couple of different places but these additions, built by a separate contractor many years ago, had not been built to match the character and architecture of the existing home. We demolished those additions and started over with a new larger foundation.

After framing the addition and tying in the roofing structure, the work on the inside of both the old and new spaces began. The results are spectacular!

The bedrooms upstairs are larger and appear even more spacious with the increased amount of natural light. The new master suite is modern and up to date just like the homeowners wanted. With a few personal furnishings and finishing touches by the homeowners it looks very elegant. Downstairs the front room is beautiful while the study is a bright, comfortable retreat.

Demolition of old addition on two-story house

The massive family room turned out wonderful with an abundance of natural light and a new fireplace as the focal point. And, let’s not forget about the large back porch. It now offers a comfortable outside space where the family can relax and enjoy the beautiful weather of the deep south.

One thing to keep in mind with a renovation project like this is that the scope of work is large, which means there are many details to keep track of. The job foreman is the one who holds it all together so it’s always in your best interest to form an open line of communication with him or her. The foreman is responsible for all of the carpenters, sub contractors, material deliveries and even making sure, that as the homeowner, your vision is coming full circle as the project progresses.

With great attention to detail, we were able to make the transition from the existing home to the new two-story addition seamless both inside and out.

If you are interested in more information on the fireplace used in this episode, please read Pre-Engineered Masonry Fireplaces.

Producer's Notes from Allen Lyle

This project could very well be classified as the 2nd Reconstruction of the South! This was a massive remodeling project that took several months to complete, but the end result was beyond astonishing. A few weeks ago, in fact, you saw an episode on updating an 80-year-old kitchen. That was also part of this project, but since kitchens are such a major renovation to themselves, we wanted to separate the episodes. Even though not many people are going to invest in such a grandiose remodeling project, there were several areas that are important to note for even the smallest jobs.

The new addition, while it was being tied in to the old structure, was pretty much treated as a new construction project. All 2000+ square feet was able to be built on a concrete slab. In many older homes, though, when work is being done on the existing structure, you have to work with the existing foundation. Perhaps, like in this case, your house is built on brick piers. Too many times have I been approached about piers that are cracked, crumbling or leaning.

The Project Progressing

Is this a do-it-yourself fix? Truthfully, it depends on how claustrophobic you are. Piers can be repaired one at a time, but it takes crawling under the house, jacking the floor joist up with a hydraulic jack and making the repair as needed. In most cases it means removing the pier, digging down and pouring a new concrete footing to build a new pier from cinder block and, once everything is complete and fully set, lowering the jack to re-seat the joist on the new pier.

This can be a slow process and often results in cracks and nail pops inside the house, but overall, fixes the problem. If you want it done more quickly and don’t mind upping the budget, hire a professional.

Another common road block when renovating an older home is trying to determine how feasible it is for plaster to join up with drywall. Many finishers will tell you that you should never seam the joint with plaster, because drywall paper was not meant to absorb the water in plaster and it will lead to nothing but the growth of mold.

Others will say such thinking is rubbish. Use joint compound and feather it into the plastered area. Either way, it becomes difficult to match the two surfaces for a uniform look. My opinion? Do what we did and tear out all the old plaster. Chances are if your home was plastered, especially with an older home, you need to re-wire anyway. Bite the bullet, open up the purse strings a bit more and update the house completely.

The Finished Back Porch

Speaking of older homes, if you live in an area where your remodeling is under the jurisdiction of an historical committee, you have to make any new changes conform to the look of the original construction era. Such was the case here. This is a lot easier these days than it used to be. Today you can find all kinds of long-lasting green products that look like “old style” construction.

The cement fiber lap siding is a good example. It looks like true wood, but won’t suffer from the exposure to the environment as true wood lap siding. Even roofing materials have composites that can fool the eye. They tend to cost more up front, but the long-term savings are worth it.

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Cleaning Between Deck Boards

Hook on wooden broom handle for cleaning between deck boards.

It can be difficult to remove the leaves and other debris that can become trapped and accumulate in the gap between deck boards. If the debris is not remove regularly, it’s becomes not only unsightly, but it can lead to rotting of the deck. To solve this problem, screw an L-hook into the end of an old broom handle. Slide the hook between the deck boards and use it to pull out the debris. (Watch This Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Franklin Chef Outdoor Refrigerator

Having a refrigerator in your outdoor kitchen is great for cooking out and outdoor entertaining, but standard indoor refrigerators aren’t meant to be used outdoors where under extremes in temperature from the cold of winter to the heat of summer. This outdoor, stainless steel, mini fridge from Franklin Chef features a reversible and lockable door and is designed to hold up to the elements/ The Franklin Chef outdoor fridge can be installed either freestanding or built-in and is available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
When to Remove a Tree from Your Yard

There are times when a tree may need to be taken down and removed from your yard, such as when a tree is diseased, has died, is too close to the house, has grown too large for the area, harbors harmful insects, or doesn’t fit with your remodeling plans. In any of those situations, it’s best to have the tree removed before it becomes a hazard. Small trees may be removed by the homeowner while a tree service should be used to remove larger trees. (Watch This Video)

Editorial Contributors
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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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