Project Location

Martinsburg, WV

Project Summary

A broken bathroom pipe caused extensive damage to this at-the-time occasionally-occupied retirement home. When the homeowners learned what the insurance would cover to bring everything back to its original condition, they decided to do an upgrade instead. The whole house remodel was done in three distinct phases over two years and included a new kitchen, bathroom upgrades, an addition, a new master bedroom deck, and new detached garage.

Project Challenges

Despite the large scope of this remodel, there were very few challenges to overcome. The addition required a relocation of the external heat pump units and closing in a basement foundation window. Even the fact that the homeowners were living in another state during the length of the project was not a problem. We were able to easily communicate by phone and email, and the entire job ran smoothly.

The Vision

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The remodel was done in three stages: an upgrade after the water damage; the two-story detached garage; and the two-story addition, which encompassed a library and workout room.

At the time the work was being done, the clients still resided in New Jersey in a house with a very similar floorplan, but would be shortly retiring to West Virginia. Their daughter and grandchildren live nearby and there was extended family both north and south of the area. The idea was to “transfer” their New Jersey home to West Virginia. They planned all along to do the addition, but until the water accident, had not intended to redo the interior.

Main House Upgrade  

Water from a burst upstairs master bathroom pipe damaged approximately 70% of this 4-year old home’s interior. The kitchen and two bathrooms were badly damaged, as was the basement ceiling and carpeting. There was also substantial flooring damage throughout.


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The kitchen linoleum was replaced with oak flooring and the Formica countertops were removed. We then:

  • Reconfigured the existing and added additional ceiling lighting.
  • Pendant lights were installed over the bar area, which added a nice touch of character to the room.
  • The old cherry-finished cabinets were replaced with new cream-colored ones, except for those on the island, which were black.
  • A heavy-grained granite was used on the island, while solid black was used for all other counters.

We also built a beautiful custom pot and pan rack.  


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Two bathrooms sustained water damage, but we made improvements to all four.

  • Bath #1: In the powder room near the kitchen, we removed the pedestal sink and installed a vanity with a granite countertop, replaced all the fixtures, put in all new moldings, and installed Carrara marble mosaic flooring.
  • Bath #2: The damaged master bathroom was completely redone. We repaired the broken pipe and then removed and replaced the tile around the Jacuzzi tub, adding a dark brown glass tile accent strip in the wall sections. The vinyl floor was replaced with 6×24” dark brown porcelain tiles that, when done right, looks like textured woodgrain flooring.
  • Bath #3: The hall bath was redone much like the master, except we used the existing tub. New tile, without the accent strip, was installed and the original vanities put back in place. The flooring was the same as that in the master bath.
  • Bath #4: This bathroom was not damaged, but the clients wanted all the bathrooms to have the same look and style. We installed the same wood-look porcelain tile flooring, a new vanity, a complementing shower door and new fixtures.

Whenever we install new tile floors in a bathroom we first apply a waterproof membrane sealer which functions as a sealant, stand-alone crack suppressant, and moisture barrier for hard surface, resilient, and wood flooring.

Master Bedroom Deck

The new upstairs master bedroom deck was actually the first job we did for this client. The 12×16 foot deck was built from scratch and the clients wanted it to be maintenance free:

  • Double windows were removed and double french doors were installed.
  • The deck was framed with pressure treated lumber.
  • A cedar-color composite decking material was used.
  • White PVC trim was added around the outside and wrapped around the posts.
  • A while vinyl handrail was installed.

Other, smaller jobs in the main house included replacing the laundry room’s vinyl flooring with porcelain tile, adding a laundry room sink, and repurposing some of the kitchen cabinets for storage in this space. In the basement, we repaired the ceiling damage, installed lighting for a pool table, replaced the carpeting, and applied fresh paint.

Finally, the home has a 2-story foyer which originally had a very small chandelier light. We installed a 3-foot diameter, 4-foot tall antique brass chandelier with 24 light bulbs in its place. We also installed a chandelier lowering device in the attic which is operated by a switch on the second floor. Now, changing lightbulbs is an easy task!

The Garage

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The new detached garage was originally scheduled to be the first phase of the project, but the burst pipe delayed it until after the main house remodel was completed. The main house already had a two-car attached garage. This second car-and-a-half garage was designed and built for storage and for housing the homeowner’s antique car.

Our goal here was to make the garage look like it had been there all along. We matched the main house’s roof shingles, siding, and windows, and installed double doors on the back for easy storage of the riding lawn mower. The garage has a 10-foot ceiling and we installed steps to a second floor storage area.

The Two-Story Addition

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The homeowners wanted to add a two-story addition off the dining room side of the house that would include a library downstairs and an exercise space upstairs. The focal point of the library is the centered fireplace with antique mantle, slightly raised hearth, and gas insert.

The library has the same oak flooring as the rest of the house; oak-colored laminate was used in the exercise area to avoid damage from the workout equipment. The 12 x 24-foot exercise room was contained within the pitch of the roof and we installed two completely finished closets.

Other features included:

  • Floor to ceiling custom bookshelves with a wide base and crown molding, all of which were constructed of white pine, which was stained.
  • Double-wide glass pocket doors off the dining room, and another set of pocket doors leading to the upstairs exercise room.
  • A box bay window with window seat on the front side of the house. The seat was hinged so blankets could be stored inside.
  • Opposite the fireplace the owners installed a beautiful hinged, backlit shadow box with stained glass panel.
  • Dormers were built at the front of the exercise area, and high, long and skinny windows at the back of the house were used for letting in the ambient light while providing usable wall space and privacy.
  • Recessed lighting was installed throughout.

We also added a separate heating system for the addition.

Du Paul Construction Comments

One of our favorite features were the dark brown porcelain tiles used in the bathrooms. There’s an art to installing these tiles, as the grout must be the exact right size to make them look like textured woodgrain flooring. We were also happy to be able to get our clients reimbursement from their insurance company for black mold infested sub-flooring we discovered and needed to replace in the master bath.

This was a very smooth project, which we attribute to the great long-distance communication we had with the clients and the high-quality craftsmanship involved.

Client Testimonial

“Vince and his crew did a fantastic job with the renovation of our home. Vince saved us a lot of stress by taking on the responsibility of communication with the insurance company and getting us the best dollar value to replace what was destroyed. Every member of Vince’s crew was very professional and pleasant to work with. The quality of their work is tremendous. I cannot say enough good things about DuPaul Construction. In this day and age, with as expensive as things are, I can depend on getting the work done with quality workmanship, professional and thoughtful help, and at an affordable price.”