RENOVATION OF 450 BETZ PLACE – EXISTING EXTERIOR VIEWS

 

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This residence is located in Metairie just outside of New Orleans, LA.  It is an older part of Metairie where many of the older houses have been torn down and replaced with much larger houses.  This house, built around the late 1930s or early 1940s, is one of the oldest in the neighborhood. My client bought the house from a previous owner who’s plans to demolish the house to make way for his own house had fallen through.  I am proposing to renovate the house and expand it so that it is comparable to other newer houses in the neighborhood.

The exterior of the house features old soft red and hard tan New Orleans brick, wood cornices with copper gutters and downspouts.  The roofing is a synthetic slate material that was installed within the last 20 years and is due for replacement.  The windows are all wood with true divided light muntins, but the shutters are secured to the wall.

The two story wing of the house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second floor.  Below the second floor is a den and storage area that used to be a garage.  The ceiling height is approximately 6′-10″ in these spaces, and are too low to comply with the building code for living spaces.  Also, the floor elevation in these areas is about 14 inches below the main first floor areas and sits below the FEMA base flood elevation (BFE).  The main living space is located on the right side of the front door and features a vaulted ceiling.  A dining room is located behind a small foyer with the kitchen located under the rear corner of the second floor.  A study or office type space is located above the kitchen, but is elevated about two steps above the regular second floor height to give the ceiling in the kitchen a more reasonable height.

The house flooded after Hurricane Katrina with about 18 inches of water in the lower first floor and four to six inches of water in the upper first floor areas.  All the wood flooring, wood base boards and door casings have been pulled up in these areas and the interior plaster on wood lath walls show slight water stains just above the base board from the moisture wicking up.  

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