Historic Salt Lake City Triplex - Fine Homebuilding

previous
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • A New Approach to Classic Cabinets
    A New Approach to Classic Cabinets
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
next


Historic Salt Lake City Triplex

comments (12) March 10th, 2009 in Project Gallery
InspiredInside InspiredInside, member

After:  The kitchen and whole building was remodeled in colorful, classic contempary style with modern flourishes.  We opened the kitchen/living room plan by removing a dividing wall and a two foot dropped-ceiling.  We also exposed the adobe brick exterior wall.  Trying to stretch our budget, we used plenty of Ikea stuff, but there was no Ikea in Utah at the time.  We drove to California three times to haul back our cabinets because it was cheaper than shipping.  About a year after we finished the interiors, they opened an Ikea in Draper, about twenty minutes away.
The whole 2600 sq. ft. house, built in 1895, (converted to a triplex in the 1930s) was basically in similar or worse condition as this original Kitchen photo.  We bought the place as a home and investment; to fix up and live in one unit and rent the other two apartments, which in the end has worked out well.  Its hard to imagine from this photo how at home I feel here now.
This original derelict addition on the back of the house was basically a disaster waiting to happen.  It was a porch addition from probably the 1930s with no foundation that had been walled in.  Very poorly built, sinking, with no insulation, and ugly as sin.  We completely demolished it and rebuilt a new addition with a proper footing/foundation
The new back addition added a third story and a 400 square foot vaulted, double gable dormer master bedroom, all while keeping the original building footprint.  Amy being from Vermont, and me having lived in Maine for a few years, our design was inspired by New England colonial homes.  The house sits on a hill and has fabulous sunset views of the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island.  You can see the entry to the basement apartment in this photo.
This is the bedroom we restored first and lived in while using our garage as a kitchen, hauling buckets of water from our yard hose tap to do dishes,  and a bucket as a toilet, for four months until we got temporary plumbing.  We cultivated a garden in our front yard.  We joked that wed always wanted to homestead, we just never thought wed do it in downtown Salt Lake City!
After:  The kitchen and whole building was remodeled in colorful, classic contempary style with modern flourishes.  We opened the kitchen/living room plan by removing a dividing wall and a two foot dropped-ceiling.  We also exposed the adobe brick exterior wall.  Trying to stretch our budget, we used plenty of Ikea stuff, but there was no Ikea in Utah at the time.  We drove to California three times to haul back our cabinets because it was cheaper than shipping.  About a year after we finished the interiors, they opened an Ikea in Draper, about twenty minutes away.Click To Enlarge

After:  The kitchen and whole building was remodeled in colorful, classic contempary style with modern flourishes.  We opened the kitchen/living room plan by removing a dividing wall and a two foot dropped-ceiling.  We also exposed the adobe brick exterior wall.  Trying to stretch our budget, we used plenty of Ikea stuff, but there was no Ikea in Utah at the time.  We drove to California three times to haul back our cabinets because it was cheaper than shipping.  About a year after we finished the interiors, they opened an Ikea in Draper, about twenty minutes away.

Photo: Weston Noyes

My wife Amy and I purchased a historic brick triplex home in the Autumn of 2004 near downtown Salt Lake City. What we thought would be a six month spruce-up, turned into a full gut, partial tear-down, complete remodel, and redesign. With little experience, but great resolve, and with valuable support from knowledgable family & friends, we accomplished most of the major work ourselves over the next three years. We did all the demolition, excavation, foundation, radiant in-floor heating system, framing, sheeting, shingling, trim, cabinets, flooring, painting, custom shelving, and finish plumbing & finish electrical ourselves... We did contract out some important items including rough electrical, insulation, rough-in plumbing, slab flatwork, roofing, and drywall. In the end, we completed THREE brand new apartments, all building systems, garage restoration, 3 new slab parking spaces, the entire exterior, decks, 2 fences and landscaping. We still live in one of the units, and as of early 2009, we have some exterior painting and a little bit of landscaping still to do. 

It has been an ultra-marathon of a project, but our commitment was always to the integrity of the building. We worked as house-painters to earn money to live on while doing it. We pinched every penny and fell asleep every night dirty, exhausted, wondering how we were going to get up and do it again the next day. We were constantly stressed about our budget, our timeline, and making ends meet to make it all happen at the level we envisioned, but we trusted if we put our whole hearts into it, everything would work out, which fortunately, it has.

As gruelling, exhausting, and never-ending as the project seemed, we forged enduring friendships with lots of great folks who helped us out in countless ways, and we learned infinitely more than we ever thought we'd need to know. (I sometimes think of it as graduate school in homebuilding.) In fact, we enjoyed the process so much that through it all we decided to to it for a living. We now have a home improvement, design, and remodeling business called Inspired Interiors. We have one employee and are doing well, mostly working on small residential remodels around Salt Lake City.

Also, a note of special thanks to our architect, beurocratic red-tape cutter, tireless construction consultant, and friend David Richardson at Capitol Hill Construction.

Weston & Amy Noyes

Additional photos can be viewed here:

http://gallery.me.com/inspiredinside#100136&view=carouseljs&sel=0


Design or Plan used: My own design - Almond Street Triplex Remodel near downtown Salt Lake City.
posted in: Project Gallery, remodeling, kitchen, restoration, Historic Remodel Triplex Salt Lake City, Utah, addition

Comments (12)

Claudette96 Claudette96 writes: WOW! That is so beautiful, really!
Posted: 9:05 pm on December 4th

sjdehner sjdehner writes: Hello Weston & Amy -

Let us be the first to say...congratulations!

Truth be told, we had a hunch you'd be selected - your work together stands out.

Will you be posting some more photographs soon?

Talk with you soon,

Shawn & Jamie










Posted: 6:51 pm on April 13th

InspiredInside InspiredInside writes: Mfournier,

thanks for the clarification and illumination of the term "saltbox" for myself & others, about which you're right: I had mistakenly presumed to represent a style, not a form. I'll update my commentary!
Posted: 10:20 am on March 19th

MFournier MFournier writes: Nice project and I can see the New England colonial and farm house details. but You said " our design was inspired by New England Salt Box homes."

I am not trying to contradict you since the house/houses that inspired the New England colonial details in your remodel may very well have been saltbox houses but these details are not actually exclusive to a saltbox. Nor is the term saltbox descriptive of a architectural style but a architectural form. And I think it is a misnomer to associate New England colonial style with the term "saltbox" So to clarify for others I would like to add.

A Salt box is distinguished by a single story lean-to addition across the long side of the house (usually on the back)
Saltbox homes got their name because they looked like the large asymmetrical wooden saltboxes everyone used in colonial times. (of course I have yet to see an old salt box with this shape that was actually used to hold salt but that is supposed to be the origin.) the shape is also known as a "catslide" Later saltboxes were built to include the lean-to as part of the original frame.

more info with illustrations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltbox

Yes it is a design most often associated with colonial homes since it was a aberration of the way early american colonial houses were built and then added on to. And the design originated in american architecture during the american colonial era.
So many associate all the details found on these colonial era saltbox homes with the american colonial style.

But saltbox houses were built during a very wide historic range and in many styles from the early Plymouth settlers in 1630s (usually no orientally as a saltbox but later became one) to modern contemporaries, they can be a very simple farm house with barn like trim and finish or have a high Georgian style or even mid 20th century minimalist style as long as they have that distinctive "Saltbox" shape they can be termed a saltbox.

So that said it would be more accurate to say "your project was inspired by early New England architecture" as opposed to saltbox since it does not share any layout or form of a saltbox house.
Posted: 11:24 am on March 18th

sjdehner sjdehner writes: Weston,

I really can't get over that funky lime green fridge...it's the same color as my now-retired 1971 Dodge Dart!

Anyway, I replied to your comment on our post but I wanted to let you know - and thought I'd check up on your progress, too, to see if you've had time to do any updates.

You're certainly getting plenty of thumbs up! There are impressive makeovers posting but I think yours really stands out.

Hope you and Amy are having a great time and keep up the great work!

Shawn


Posted: 8:03 pm on March 17th

InspiredInside InspiredInside writes: Thanks Jim, for your kind feedback. It's been fun connecting here with other crazy people like ourselves! Your project looks amazing. Your design is elegant, contemporary, and truly honors the spirit of the home... I love the before & afters. Keep up the good work, and thanks again for the nod!
Weston
Posted: 3:19 pm on March 14th

jarchitect jarchitect writes: This is truly commendable work. The transformation is quite remarkable and, I am sure, the experience was 'a long, strange trip' indeed! My wife and I had a very similar experience. (and we're still married!!!)

See:

http://finehomebuilding.taunton.com/item/4278/total-seattle-gut-second-story-addition

and:

http://finehomebuilding.taunton.com/item/5275/the-house-next-door

-Jim
Posted: 12:59 pm on March 13th

InspiredInside InspiredInside writes: Glad you took a look at the extra photos Shawn... 5 certainly was't enough to adequately describe what we did on this project.

Thanks again for your kind words... They mean a lot to us knowing they come from someone who truly understands the process...
Posted: 12:41 am on March 12th

sjdehner sjdehner writes: Hi Weston,

The contest rules say that "Your before picture should scare us and your after picture should delight us"

The photo-link you have attached to your profile says it all...

Along with presenting stellar finishing work, the collection of before photos are frighteningly good (some gave me the willies)! What a great series.

I also chuckled when I saw you wearing that respirator because there's a picture on the fridge of me in my own respirator after one of our "rat harvests" from the old house we worked on in Washington state.

Truly great work and continued success and enjoyment. You've certainly earned our admiration!

Jamie and I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Shawn (and Jamie)


Posted: 8:16 pm on March 11th

InspiredInside InspiredInside writes: Thanks Shawn & Jamie for your words of encouragement & support. It would be fun to see you and your project in person if we get the chance. I'm glad we've made each others acquaintence here...

-Weston
Posted: 12:45 am on March 11th

sjdehner sjdehner writes: By the way, we think you have a good chance of winning the contest. Your project stands out.

Best of luck!

Shawn & Jamie
Posted: 6:57 pm on March 10th

sjdehner sjdehner writes: You two have done an outstanding makeover! That triplex has been utterly transformed; and it looks as if it was quite an undertaking.

Our first house was a remodel - and what an absolute mess it was; but we kept at it, just like you, and it gave us quite an education in building. It was a labor of love from the get-go.

We were (it seems) the same age as you are now when we took on the challenge, which is to say, late-twenties (Jamie) and early-thirties (me).

We sold that house (and our beloved garden) and now we're here in Maine in our mid- and late- thirties considering doing it all over again, this time back home in Washington state. Maine is a wonderful place but we miss our family and friends in the Northwest.

You never know where the adventure will lead you. The important thing is to do good work.

Seeing the good work you've done in Salt Lake City we think you'll enjoy the building process in Vermont.

We will keep up with you in the Gallery. And please send us an email if you find yourselves in Belfast. With a little luck it may be harvest time!

Keep up the good work.

Shawn & Jamie


Posted: 6:52 pm on March 10th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.