FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Toni Habetz found out firsthand a common issue that confounds contractors when she decided to renovate their 192-year-old 5-bedroom Fairfield Greek Revival Colonial at 536 Old Post Road.
Every project required more work and money than the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties agent originally thought. Now, her ambitious remodeling and renovation project is complete. She’s listing the house, which includes five bathrooms, 5,904 square feet and 1.02 acres for $1,799,000.
“Every time something was torn out, we found something else that needed to be done,’’ Habetz said. “We expected that to some extent. We had really good builders and a wonderful architect, Jack Franzen, whose specialty is antique homes. We figured if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. It was a top notch renovation.”
Habetz owned the home for 12 years. “It was a dream of mine to redo an old house and restore it to its former grandeur,’’ she said.
Working with Franzen and builder Keith Manca, Habetz replaced all of the bathrooms. The kitchen doubled in size. All the floors were replaced, and the electrical capacity ramped from 100 to 400 amps. Builders installed a hydro system with moisturized air, a gas furnace, air conditioning and piping. “Nothing,’’ Habetz said, “was untouched.”
Beautiful, dark hardwood flooring runs throughout the house. There are 13 rooms in all, and four fireplaces. The most ambitious renovation occurred in the kitchen, which now includes updated appliances, tin ceiling, huge center island, granite counters and twice the size of the original space.
“We knew we had to do something with the kitchen,’’ Habetz said. “Back in the day, they were just service kitchens. They just prepared the food there. Guests didn’t congregate there. In today’s world, everybody hangs out in the kitchen. We wanted to keep it large, design different seating areas and bring in the latest and greatest equipment.”
Habetz lived in Fairfield prior to purchasing the home. She passed by the house every day, and it was the first home she acquired when she earned her real estate license. The tricky part was marrying today’s amenities while keeping the qualities of yesteryear.
“It took a lot of research and checking,’’ she said. “We went through a lot of old pictures and magazines to keep the vintage look but make it modern. With so much cookie cutter new construction in the beach area, it's nice that history is being preserved while being upgraded to like new construction. The home has antique styling outside and new construction inside.”
Habetz said she saw the house had “great bones” and potential. She also liked its location, near the beach but also close to the downtown area. With the renovations complete, the house is now turn-key and located in one of Fairfield’s most desirable neighborhoods.
“It’s a very cozy house, very comfortable,’’ Habetz said. “It’s very quiet, and a great family house. My kids enjoyed walking to school and to town. Their friends were close. Everything was within walking distance.”
For more information, click here to visit the website listing. To arrange a showing, contact Habetz at 203-763-9061 or via email at email@example.com.