When a Home Floods but No One is Home to Notice It …

Massive Water Damage Necessitates Winchester Home Remodel from Top to Bottom

When a friend went to check on our clients’ Winchester Home and found water literally everywhere…they panicked and called the homeowners who were traveling out of the country.  Fortunately, the homeowners had worked with the Custom Contracting (CCI) team on a previous renovation and after the initial panic, they knew EXACTLY who to call: Bill Farnsworth, President of CCI, who immediately came over to see what the problem was. “I do recommend calling 911 instead of a contractor for any type of fire or flood incident but I was glad I able help,” Bill recommended.

“From the minute I walked in the door I could both hear and see water actively coming through the walls, the ceiling, the vents, all over the floors – even coming through the front door and raining down from the front porch ceiling,” said Bill. Once I realized it was a water pipe  leak and not a roof leak I went to the basement  to find and shut off the water main as quickly as possible

Before: Bill first arrived at the house to find water coming through the split entry door.

Before: Just inside the front door water was raining down everywhere – through the molding, the light fixtures, and even bubbling between the paint and the horsehair plaster walls.

The culprit behind all of this damage? A pipe had frozen and burst, allowing water to come pouring through the ceiling and air vents of the second floor, through the first floor, and then on down to the basement.

“Our first thought was that we should rush right home. But we knew that Bill had the situation under control and, honestly, there wasn’t much we were going to be able to do ourselves nor could we have even stayed in the house – the damage was so pervasive,” the homeowner explained.

Bill says: “We do not typically take on insurance projects but they worked directly with an independent adjuster and  emergency  disaster relief company directly  to dry the place out before the Custom Contacting team started the rebuild.”

The historic house dates back to 1890. While “historic” sounds romantic, there are many things to consider in an antique home. First, knob and tube wiring. Once the walls were opened up, the electrical system was required to be replaced and brought up to code.

The walls were the original horsehair plaster and mold would have been pervasive if they weren’t fully dried. In fact, many of the walls and ceiling areas were so badly damaged that they were  completely removed and replaced.  Blending drywall to match the original plaster walls and ceiling is an art! 

Water covered the entire ceiling, threatening to bring it down.

After – most of the ceiling has been replaced in the grand front entry.

Before: The living room was among several that flooded on the first floor. The wood flooring buckled and warped in many places.

After: The wood floor was carefully dried and miraculously the floor looks as good as new after the team refinished it.

Downstairs the home has been restored almost exactly as it was before the water damage. Paint colors changed and the wallpaper replaced in some rooms but the historic character of the home was preserved.  

Before: Water came down the walls in the library and threatened the built-in cabinet.

After: While some of the chair rail and woodwork needed to be replaced with reproductions, the original cabinet has been preserved.

While many of the rooms in the home needed substantial work, most of it looks very similar to how it was before the pipe burst. “We value the historic aspects of the home prioritized restoration more than remodeling to make making changes,” says the homeowner.

Upstairs however, the homeowners took the opportunity to make some updates. The second floor renovation included the primary bedroom and en suite bath, another bedroom, the office, and the center hallway into the grand staircase. The largest aesthetic difference is found in the bathroom.

Before: The water damage is clearly visible on the ceiling. The ceiling tile was threatening to fall at any moment.

Today, the homeowners have a brand new bathroom with beautiful ceramic tile with glass tile accents.

Walking in the home today you’d never know that the home had been so badly damaged … which is exactly what the CCI team hoped to accomplish for their clients!

To see more images from this project, check out our Portfolio page.