Circa Home Renovation: Would you.....

coolcat1April 18, 2014

I am in the process of buying a circa home 1786. I absolutely love the layout as it is and don't want to add on to the house or make major changes. I do want to restore as much as possible; putting back the 2 chimneys is on the list. But there is one thing. The bedrooms are smallish (to be expected) and there is only one bath upstairs. It is just 2 adults living in the house and this is our FINAL home. I will be buried under the maple tree out Anyway, would it be wrong to take one of the bedrooms to make a master bath (I DREAM of a soaking tub and space in the bathroom) and a walk in closet/dressing area. If I have a guest I don't want to share a bathroom with em! I will still love the house as it is it wrong to change the house?

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You don't mention how many bedrooms are upstairs. If you convert one to a bath, how many will remain? Also consider how close the new bath would be to the existing bathroom and what it means for the plumbing connections. If possible, determine which way the floor joists run, since running the large diameter drain pipe for a toilet is usually much harder if you have to cross floor joists.

One other option we are considering is to put a small two-story addition on the master bedroom side of our dutch colonial. The lower level would be a TV room/office off the living room, and the upper level would be a master bath and walk-in closet. The main issue we have is that the existing bath and kitchen is on the opposite side of the house, so it will probably require a 2nd soil stack and a connection in the basement to add a master bath upstairs.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:44AM
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I think converting bedrooms to bathrooms is a tradition! My grandmother had a big bathroom before they were in style because the house wasn't bulit with one, and the smallest bedroom was converted. But do be very very careful and follow Bruce's cautions. Unscrupulous or unknowledgeble plumbers have been known to make holes in or cut through important beams leading to sagging floors and possible disasters.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:19AM
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As it stands it is 4 bedrooms and one full bath upstairs with a walk up attic. Yes we would have to be very careful about any construction but thankfully in CT there are many who have experience with Circa homes. Having an addition would give me more options like an upper deck or outdoor tub! With maybe a conservatory down below. I wanted to stay away from adding on to the house though...just out of respect for the house. but it might be the better option. Thank you both for your input!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:56AM
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What is a Circa home?

If you plan for this to be your "forever home", plan on how you will live there when you can't climb stairs. You need a bedroom and bathroom on the main floor.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Circa: (from Latin, meaning "around, about"), A better way to say it is "buying a home circa 1786" and not a "circa home...". :-)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Yes, and if you actually know it was built in 1786, you don't have to say circa!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I thought that these days when someone says a "circa home" as opposed to a "home from circa 1820" it meant the house was featured on the Circa Homes website?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:59PM
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If you it!! Life is short. Enjoy your dream. The people who lived in your house before you, most likely made the home work for them with the options they had available at that time. Make it work for you. We have a 1913 home and are the third owners. My only recommendation would be to keep the changes as close to the period as you can. Good luck and soak it up.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:20AM
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Curious as to originally built the home that it lasted this long?? Can't imagine how many renovations were done over that many years?? how did it esape the constamt urban renewal of the last century??
If it's a "Historic" home be very careful because there will be an entire commission to tell you what and how to do it??
Good luck !! You'll certainly need it!!! gary

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:56AM
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Using "circa" as an adjective is like calling your new house a "build". It's contractor and realtor jargon that indicates a lack of respect due to excessive familiarity with minimal knowledge. There is no reason to use jargon when discussing your own home.

In that era there would not have been bathrooms next to bedrooms. Adding them is probably why the bedrooms are small.

To really help you we would need to see the plan.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:59AM
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