Almost at the end of a dead end road overlooking the South Fork River a beautiful historic farmhouse was deteriorating. The structure had seem many renovations over the years for what I could imagine was a growing family that enjoyed the beautiful setting. A storage room was added, a kitchen was “fit” into a space, some outdoor decks to enjoy the views – but there was never a holistic plan to preserve the beauty and make the home efficient and comfortable. As many of these historic farmhouses do over time, it lost its luster and the owners just could not maintain it anymore. Our clients however, fell in love with the beauty and purchased it with a goal of bringing it back to life and restoring the former beauty. I am pleased to say that this historic farmhouse renovation in Luray is well underway.
Our clients have worked hard to balance the costs of renovation while thinking through the building science impacts of an old house. You cannot just “add insulation” for instance without thinking through the impacts of such a decision. Sealing up a house that is used to being able to dry out can be very hazardous to the existing old and very dry structural members. You have to protect the old bones while working to make the home comfortable and durable for many years to come. You also run into those past decisions that are now a challenge to handle, like the wet crawl space caused by a new deck and poor grading or a buried cistern that is now under part of the house that was added without thoughts to how that impacts everything.
We were able to design a functional addition that will blend well with the historic structure, but also consult with the builder, home owners, and insulation contractor on how to deliver the goal of preserving the house on a budget. There is not one right answer that will solve all the issues and not all right answers are right for every home. It takes a team to get it just right and we are thrilled to be part of the team working on this historic farmhouse renovation.