Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Claremont House!!! Part 1

This was a massive home, 4.500 square feet, three floors in height, not counting the full basement. The home was built in the 1920's. Somewhere along the line it became a Nursing Home. We stumbled upon this home and immediately realized it's value. We bought this 15-room Nursing Home at a great price. The plan was to return it back to a residence, and to make rental units in the upper floors. This house needed everything. We gutted all the interior walls, which were plaster with wood lathe. As I recall, we filled about twelve 40-yard containers with all the debris from this project. We completely re-wired this home, all three floors. We turned a hallway window on one side of the home to an entrance leading to the upper levels. It was the perfect location because there was a set of stairs to the upper floors directly behind the window, so all we had to do was add outside steps going down from the new entry.

Every piece of woodwork on the first level was oak. Back then, painting over wood was very popular, so all this beautiful wood was covered with a horrible green paint. After many gallons of industrial strength paint remover and endless man hours, all the beauty was unveiled. The transformation was incredible! The beamed ceiling, the fireplace, the turned staircase -- all were golden oak. This staircase to the second level was too beautiful to give up, and not practical for the tenants to use, so we lined the staircase walls with an antique clock collection and created a library in the nook where the staircase turned to continue to the second floor.

The huge full basement housed the heating unit, a humongous commercial dryer left by the Nursing Home, and tons of extra extra room. The really cool part of this home was that there was literally plumbing set up in every room, which made it a snap to set the rental units up with both kitchens and baths. The first floor had solid white oak floors; unfortunately, before we could enjoy them, we had to remove the three layers of asbestos floor tiles that covered them over the years. The blessing was, that although it was brutal labor-wise to remove these tiles, they had kept the floor in great shape, and they were perfect after sanding, staining, and finishing where completed. Each day and every day, we worked hard and long to restore this old giant. To Be Continued!

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