The Split Level: Before Photos

Built in 1949, this split level house is ready for some updates!  It probably worked well when it was built, but for today’s lifestyle it’s a bit cramped.   And from an energy efficiency standpoint, it desperately needs to be improved.

So here's the tour:

Let's start with the split layout.  The house has multiple levels, so this diagram might help explain how they all fit together.  

There are 5 levels!  And most of them have pretty low ceilings.

Front door leads to tight foyer with staircase to living level

You enter the home at the garage level (level 2 in the diagram above).  It’s tight and dark – straight ahead is the laundry and basement stairs, the staircase to the living level is next to the front door.  There's a closet for coats, but this foyer doesn't exactly shout 'welcome' to guests.

And the staircases in this house?  Well, they weren’t designed for tall people!!  We’ve all bumped our heads a few times already!

Basement stairwell - yikes!

Stairway to Living Room has a bit more headroom

The basement is dark and damp.  One of the challenges of having a house built at the bottom of a hill comprised of rocky ledge - there is always some water down here.  That’s going to be one of the first areas we fix.


The main level has a surprisingly open floor plan for the 1940's.  The center fireplace is charming, but takes up an absurd amount of floor space for a small home.  And the ceilings are low – 7’ 4”, which makes the whole space feel smaller.


It’s a tight kitchen, but provides a good bit of cabinet and counter space. 

The owners don’t do a lot of sit-down dinner parties, so the dining space had a pellet stove installed, which does an amazing job of heating the house!

Go up to the next level and there are two small bedrooms.  See the front bedroom light fixture?  It must be original - and I kinda love it! 

Front Bedroom

Back Bedroom

and a bath is conveniently located between the two bedrooms. 
Bathroom is centered between the two bedrooms

The top level is an attic – which is dominated by the giant chimney.

It's possible to stand at the very center of the attic, but there isn't a lot of headroom anywhere else.

The total house has 732 square feet of living space, so it's a small house.  Our challenge is to increase the living space, while updating the systems and energy efficiency.  Now the planning begins!