Monday, August 17, 2009

Successful Renovation of Local Schoolhouse

My friend and colleague has just completed his renovation of a local historic schoolhouse into his residence. He and his wife worked very hard for over a year to finish the renovation and they definitely have something to be proud of.

The fully renovated schoolhouse sitting proud on a hillock

The schoolhouse halfway through renovation, geo-exchange loop being installed

The structure as initially purchased in early 2008

This structure was built in 1891 for an independent community outside of Indianapolis. It was originally a one room school but later split into a two room schoolhouse with a double sided fireplace in the middle.

The original building plaque sharing information about the structure

The small school system was later merged with a larger community, so the schoolhouse was repurposed into a fire station. Two garages were built to store the trucks. Eventually the schoolhouse was transferred to a private owner and used for different community events or as a residence, depending on the needs of the neighborhood.

Fire engines get larger as time passes, thus more garage space was needed

The eastern facade showing masonry construction, new windows, and a bathouse

My friend acquired it and acted as contractor, architect, and much of the manual labor. Key upgrades include new aluminum high-insulation windows and a state-of-the-art HVAC system. Exterior work involved new roofing for the main schoolhouse building and a lot of masonry patching. The attached garages are being used for storage at this point, but they will be converted to a game room and a car garage in time.

Vintage furniture, doors with transom windows, and high ceilings

A unique mudroom with space for washer/dryer and a pantry

The separate front doors once led to two individual schoolrooms

The interior renovations included furring out the masonry walls, installing insulation and drywall, and repairing any masonry issues. The original oak floors were sanded and refinished. A new kitchen made from all recycled materials was put in (and the granite for the island came from a prominent building downtown that was recently reclad). The 14'-0" ceiling height gives a definite loftiness and grandness that you don't find in many homes.

An apron farmhouse sink, cherry butcher block counters, and reclaimed cabinets were a cost-effective way to make the kitchen fit the context

A handmade island with recycled granite, vintage oven range, and plenty of storage options

The refinished floors of old-growth oak are priceless

New interior walls were installed to section off bedrooms, bathrooms, and a utility room. The bedrooms and bathrooms were furnished with vintage finds from antique shops or family pieces. The overall effect is very pleasant, everything seems to fit and there is a definite authenticity even though the building has been charged with a new life.

A typical interior door with 5 panel construction and a transom overhead

The master bedroom continues the themes presents in the remainder of the house, including tall windows, a high ceiling, hardwood floors, and vintage furniture

But as I mentioned earlier, the key upgrade in this renovation is the new HVAC system. A geo-exchange heat pump works during winter or summer, providing an efficient and inexpensive way to heat this old masonry building. The heating is distributed by a thermal radiant floor system using PEX tubing installed between the original wooden floor joists.

The basement showing wooden post and beam construction supporting the floors

Radiant floor PEX tubing was installed between joists and a reflective backing was installed to focus heat upwards

Supply and return lines feeding the tubing system

The water-to-air heat exchanger provides cooling during the summer and back-up heat during the winter

A full set of ducts were also installed for the cooling system and a back-up electric resistance heater is available for any nights that are especially cold. The heat pump is also connected to a water-to-air exchanger which can use the chilled water to blow cool air through the ducts.

The water-to-water heat exchanger provides heat for the radiant system

The final bonus is that waste heat generated during cooling months is deposited back into the hot water heater. There is very little energy wasted during the generating and distributing process, and the extra insulation in the walls and ceiling keeps most of it inside.

The potable water system uses flexible PEX tubing for distribution, and is sourced from a well next to the house

Future plans, in addition to renovating the garage spaces, include adding a full height library shelving system with rolling ladder, a circular staircase that would extend from basement (once finished) to the reclaimed attic/loft space. This will also open up room to install another bathroom in the main floor where the basement stair currently sits. But that work can wait for another day, as I am sure they are deserving of a little break from renovation work to enjoy the work they have already completed.

UDATE: The owner's Flickr photostream is here, if you want to see even more

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Michael said...

Congrats on your successful renovation

August 26, 2009 11:28 AM  

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