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University District rehab: Adding A/C, building ceilings, connecting with family

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A little yardwork has been done this spring.
Courtesy of Miranda Steinhauser

We’re back with another update on this University District home that’s being meticulously renovated and documented along the way. For many more details, the owners are updating this blog with stories and photos of this renovation.

Since getting the keys last November, they’ve unloaded dumpsters of stuff that had accumulated throughout the years, reconfigured some areas of both the downstairs and upstairs for modern living, and cleaned up so much of the yard.

Now with A/C!

Updates from April have the couple installing air conditioning in a home that’s never had it before. Because the house has so many plaster walls, they decided to install a High Velocity Forced-Air Mini-Duct system, which had them running tubing through the house, in closets and into the rooms where they might need A/C. Their whole process can be found here and here.


Part of the fun of rehabbing an older house is finding things you’d never dream of. While ripping up carpeting downstairs, they came across an interesting remnant from times past...a foot-activated maid’s bell in the dining room.

This find could be relocated, but not used for its original intent.

Framing new arches

Another challenge they’ve taken on is reconfiguring the downstairs to a more open layout, while still retaining the character of the home. Like many old homes, this 1927 Tudor had smaller rooms and unnecessary hallways in the main living areas downstairs. The kitchen had a hallway leading to the dining room; they’ve now made the space completely open and built a new ceiling to recreate the arch.

Between 6&7

Master Bath Redux

Another place where they’ve had to reconfigure is the Master Bath. They originally wanted to wait to tackle this project, but plumbing problems forced a quick decision. With plenty of bedrooms already in the house, they decided to turn the bedroom adjoining the Jack and Jill bathroom into a large master suite. They documented both the demo and framing of these rooms.

Family time

The couple was able to talk to two of the grandchildren of the original owners who built the home in 1927. The family told them stories about growing up in the home, including stories about their live-in maid Rosie, their grandfather’s love of smoking a pipe, and the canary that used to live in the breakfast nook of the house. They discovered more information about the original koi pond, and found over 20 feet of stone pathways hidden in the yard. The grandchildren told them that there was a stream running through the yard which included a large Japanese bridge... they're hoping they can find a photo of that soon.

Plaster and drywall is underway presently at the house. A/C, electrical, and plumbing are finished and the new kitchen window was recently installed. They’re aiming for a July move-in day.

Questions? They’ve answered some on their blog, but are happy to respond here, too. We’ll have another update before the final reveal.