Featured Renovation: La Grange Bungalow
We are excited to share one of the current renovations we’re working on in La Grange! It’s a project that showcases everything the Dan Spain Group masters; from knowing the real estate market and finding the house at a fair price, to designing and renovating the property, then finally re-selling the transformed home to new buyers. This two-story bungalow was built in 1917, so it had a lot of original character for us to work with, but also some design challenges that came with an older property for us to solve.
Photo: House renovation exterior – roof installation in progress.
Photo: House renovation – paint and new windows finished.
Here is the rundown of some features we loved about the property and wanted to keep or highlight:
- Location: This home is two blocks away from downtown La Grange and great schools. It sits on a comfortable lot and offers a nice sized yard. 123 N. Stone, La Grange is the perfect location, only two blocks to the Metra, Ogden Avenue Elementary, Park Jr. High and five minute walk to downtown La Grange and L.T. North Campus.
- General House Layout: We thought this property had a solid interior layout from the start. The main floor is open and flows smoothly from room to room. There is a front entryway that leads to the family/living room, then towards the back is the dining room and kitchen with access to the backyard. The second level contains the main bathroom and all three of the bedrooms, including the master, which makes it a conducive upstairs floor plan.
- Original Woodwork: This house has a lot of original interior details that we wanted to preserve and make the focal point of our design. There are original hardwood floors throughout, which we chose to sand and re-stain. Finding real hardwood floors is ideal because most home buyers enjoy this feature and it cuts costs in a renovation. The house also has thick crown molding, built-in shelving in the living room, and wooden beams forming a coffered ceiling in the dining room, all of which we decided to leave the original dark stain to capitalize on the historic charm.
Now we’ll walk through a few of the house features we decided to change, improve or remove:
- Kitchen Gut Job: The kitchen was one of the areas needing the largest transformation, since it was extremely outdated yet the heart of the home. Originally, it lacked storage and felt small, partly because the main floor bathroom was awkwardly in the back of our kitchen. We completely re-designed the kitchen layout by tearing out the bathroom and moving it to the front of the home, then installing new cabinets and countertops with a large center island. We also built a pantry for additional storage and will have bench seating for a breakfast nook.
- Master Suite Expansion: While this home had a master bedroom, it wasn’t really the suite that most home buyers envision. We decided to build a new master bathroom over an area of the first floor that had nothing above it, to create a true master suite. This added important square footage to the home which many buyers expect. Since we were already doing construction in this part of the home, we were easily able to add space to the master bedroom closet and vault the ceilings to give it a more expansive feel and a true walk in closet.
- Exterior Upgrades: Finally, the exterior features were a little worn and in need of enhancement. Since the roof was older and already opened from the master addition, we decided to make the investment and install a new roof. This, combined with all new windows, were two large financial costs, but items many buyers find valuable. We also wanted to add back curb appeal to this classic bungalow with some fresh exterior paint in an updated color scheme.
To recap, we received permits in the middle of September from the village and we expect to have renovations completed by late December. From the start, we knew that with a few structural changes and design upgrades, this house would be a perfect blend of old-school charisma and modern aesthetics for any buyer. We are thrilled with the progress so far and can’t wait to share an update on the finished property soon!