It was a conundrum. The Omaha couple likes both modern architectural designs – open floor plans, large kitchens, pitched ceilings – and classic-traditional features such as double-hung windows, wide baseboards, crown molding and corner blocks.
The possible solutions: Build a new home; or renovate an existing house and incorporate those period touches.
The latter is just what they did to the 1970s Cape Cod they purchased in the Regency neighborhood in the summer of 2011. The result is a home suitable for a 21st-century family and lifestyle, with the kinds of construction details that have stood the test of time and will easily meet any family's changing needs.
The home was among those featured in the 2012 Remodel Omaha Tour sponsored by the local chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
The renovation almost didn't happen.
The couple had purchased another house in the Westside Community Schools District after deciding that they wanted to move from Gretna to Omaha with their young daughters. Before returning to Nebraska, the couple previously owned a new condo in historic Old Town Alexandria, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C.
"We didn't have any ties to Gretna, and my husband works in downtown Omaha. We picked an area and a school and then found a house," the homeowner says.
The house was on a “great lot in a great area,” but it didn't fit the family's needs. So they planned to demolish it and build a ranch-style home. The family was reviewing architectural plans when the Regency house became available. It was on a “great lot in an even better area,” the homeowner says.
She knew it was "the one." So they bought it, and they put the other one on the market again. "It was a little stressful making two house payments at the same time,” she recalls.
Despite a sluggish housing market, the property sold quickly. And since the family was already living in a rented house, they avoided the mess and inconvenience of living in what would have been a months-long renovation.
They moved into their Regency home last February. The two-story, four-bedroom home has 2,400 square feet on the main level and about 1,000 square feet upstairs. The master suite is on the main level, along with an office, formal dining room, hearth room, kitchen, great room, breakfast room, powder room, mud room and computer center. The home also has an elevator, disguised as a closet, off the entry.
Advanced Design & Construction of Omaha, which built the couple's Gretna house, was the architect and contractor. The couple also worked with Julie's Kitchen Design and Creative Interiors by Libby (Pantzlaff).
"We love this house. We hope we never have to move," says the homeowner.
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