Very often Justin Thyme Homes is asked to renovate an entire house. For clients who own older houses this often means creating open concepts. We work with so many people who say they have no need for a formal dining room. Furthermore, they want the kitchen open to the main living area.
This was the case for a lovely young family who recently moved back to Richardson. They loved the area, the schools, their old friends still here, so they bought an older home to move back. However, they had gotten used to their previous newer home with the open concept, more light and good flow in and out of the kitchen.
Our Process with New Clients
The first thing we do when someone enquires about our services is come to your home and visit regarding your needs, desires, likes and dislikes. We then provide an estimate within about 5 working days. If you agree to the price, we sign a contract and can usually start work within a month. Our whole home projects usually take about 5 months.
At Justin Thyme Homes, we pride ourselves on being dependable, on budget and easy to work with.
We are so familiar with the potential pit falls of these older homes; we can tell you what a comfortable “Miscellaneous” budget needs to be for your specific project. For instance, we might encounter rotting subfloor under tile in an old bathroom, or we might find that your old cast iron plumbing has holes and needs replacing. We would rather you be comfortable with a slightly larger budget and be pleasantly surprised when we come in under budget than the opposite (you be surprised by overages). Additionally, we don’t nickel and dime you with change orders. If you make a change that costs materials and labor, we charge for that, but if it’s a change that has no added cost, we don’t just charge a change order fee like so many general contractors. Our goal is to be easy to work with, while providing quality renovation and remodeling.
We provide a detailed calendar showing you each stage with your deadlines highlighted (if there are any – like tile selection, etc.). We provide budget and timeline updates as needed (typically if it’s a large remodel, we provide an updateabout every tthree weeks showing money spent to date for which items, and how this compares to the original budget). These updates are very appreciated by our clients.
The below example is a full home remodel on Winchester Dr in Richardson
This Richardson home was a complete remodel. The house had extensive water damage due to a leaking water heater in the attic. As such, all walls, cabinets, wood flooring and electrical were ruined and had to be replaced. The homeowner was a single mom who was temporarily living in an apartment across town until the remodel was complete.
When we inherited the project (due to the previous contractor letting it sit for 4 months with no activity), the home was gutted and sheetrock torn out from 3 feet down. Here's what it looked like when Justin Thyme Homes took over the renovation.
The state of the home when Justin Thyme took over the renovation
The original layout of the home was very choppy with two formal living rooms, very old small showers/ baths, a closed off and dark kitchen. The windows were original single-pane, aluminum and the plumbing was cast iron, 50+ years old.
Our client said her taste leaned toward clean lines or soft contemporary. With this guidance and to stay within a certain budget, we began to plan the needed changes. Her job entailed long hours so she had little free time. As such, she asked that we handled everything… from design, construction and even all materials selection. Not only did we redesign her house for a much better and updated layout, we selected all practical but good materials from tile, to flooring, colors, countertops, lighting, and more.
First, we looked at the layout and flow of her floor plan. As mentioned earlier, it was very chopped up (in keeping with the style back in the late 1950’s). It had two living rooms, back-to-back, then a closed kitchen with a single door into it. Furthermore, the house was dark with no visibility to the lovely back yard and park beyond.
We proposed moving the front door about 15 feet to the left so that when entering the home, you had a nice entryway and view through the living room to the back yard. Here's a photo showing we had just cut the hole for the new door placement.
In this photo, we were about to cut the hole for the new door placement (in place of the far left window).
To create an open concept, we knocked out two interior walls (and per the engineering plan) installed large LVL beams in attic, plus cement piers under house (at specific load bearing points). We then moved the AC unit (previously in a hallway closet) up into the attic, gaining much space to create an extra bedroom.
Since the flooring had been demo'd due to water damage and much of the subfloor needed replacing, it was easy to get to the plumbing in this pier and beam home. We removed all old cast iron plumbing, installing all new PVC throughout, plus we installed a tankless water heater in the laundry room. (We also installed a shut-off valve inside the home so that should there ever be another leak, this single mom could immediately shut off the water this time).
Next, we rewired 100% of the home with all new electric and installed a new panel. Justin Thyme Homes worked with the insurance company to gain funds to put toward the electric. It is code in the city of Richardson that after water exposure all electric must be replaced. We were able to provide proof of these codes to the insurance company and capture an additional $18,000 for the electric. As such, every single plug, outlet, light wire was brand new when we were done.
From here we installed sheetrock on walls and ceilings, textured and painted, adding trim, many new doors, and baseboards. Brand new double pane, low E2 windows were also installed throughout, replacing the original single pane, aluminum windows.
Beautiful cabinetry, lights and new flooring were installed in the bathrooms and kitchen. The homeowner was able to move back in within four and a half months from our start date.
When we were almost done with the home, but still working, several groups stopped by (unannounced) and wanted to know if the owner would sell the home. Our client wouldn't! On the contrary, she said that originally, she was so distraught when the water leak occurred, but that in hind sight it was a blessing; she got a brand new house with a far superior layout and so much more.
Here are the before and after photos of the home.
Before knocking out walls, the rooms were small and chopped up
After: Entry way showing open concept and kitchen
After Bathroom Renovation