“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.
“Behind the Curtin” Episode 6 – A Historic Home on Roswell’s Wood Place
Charlie and Sharon McCall live in historic downtown Roswell, Georgia. They have updated and renovated a nearly 100 year old home in historic downtown Roswell, Georgia.
Joanne: Where did you live before purchasing your house on Wood Place?
Charlie: We lived in Chicago. Before that, we were in Atlanta since 1982, coming from Salt Lake City due to a company transfer. Then in 1992, we were transferred to Chicago. After about two and a half years, we decided to move back and bought this house 31 years ago.
Joanne: How have you increased your property’s value over time? What renovations have you done?
Charlie: We remodeled the bathrooms, added a master bedroom suite, created a bonus room in the attic, and continuously landscaped the yard. We also added a pool and patio in the back.
Joanne: Did you use a designer for the renovations?
Charlie: We hired a contractor for the inside work like the bathrooms and kitchen. We also had a friend who is a builder help us with the design for the master bedroom area. He incorporated our preferences, like a walk-in shower, into the blueprint.
Joanne: Since the house is 100 years old, were there any restrictions or requirements for adding on?
Charlie: Our street opted out of being part of the historic district, so we don’t have building restrictions specific to that. However, we still need to adhere to the city of Roswell’s permit requirements.
Joanne: What does your home have that you really needed?
Charlie: The main thing we needed was more space, so adding a master bedroom was crucial. We also updated the bathrooms and kitchen for modernization rather than increasing square footage.
Joanne: Which room in the house is your favorite and why?
Charlie: I love the middle of the house where we spend most of our time. We added a sunroom to bring in more natural light since the older part of the house didn’t have many windows. The charm of the house really struck me in that central area.
Joanne: Are there three fireplaces now that come off that central area?
Charlie: Yes, there are three fireplaces in a triangle formation—one in the bedroom, one in the living room, and one in the den. They all work, and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy that part of the house. These three separate fireplaces share the same chimney. We had the chimney rebuilt with new brickwork and mortar, and added gas logs for easy use.
Joanne: Charlie, what’s your favorite part about the property?
Charlie: The den and sunroom are where we spend most of our time. We also love the spacious bedroom and the yard, especially when the weather is nice.
Joanne: It’s interesting how COVID made us appreciate what we value in a property, such as landscape and outdoor spaces.
Charlie: Absolutely, we have added decks and outdoor areas to make the most of our property.
Joanne: Did you have any favorite sources or places where you bought things for your house?
Charlie: We focus mainly on finding items that fit well in the smaller rooms of our house.
Joanne: After living here for 31 years, where do you like to shop for furniture and decor?
Charlie: We do a lot of online shopping and also visit Home Depot and Lowe’s. We also enjoy salvage stores and flea markets for unique finds.
Joanne: Are there any specific salvage stores or flea markets nearby that you frequent?
Charlie: There’s a place called Board of Trade [goboardoftrade.com] where we found our living room sofa and other items that fit well in our small rooms.
Joanne: Was there anything during your home renovations that you splurged on and couldn’t live without?
Charlie: The pool and the kitchen were definitely splurges. We didn’t necessarily need them, but we’re glad we have them now.
Joanne: What did you learn from the process of building the pool and outdoor kitchen?
Charlie: We love being able to enjoy the pool and cookouts outdoors.
Yeah, that’s a nice extra-large patio. And then there’s the outdoor fireplace out there. Gas Grill built in and gas cooktops and sink with hot and cold water.
Joanne: It’s all about being outside and enjoying the space, right?
Charlie: One thing we would do differently is to prioritize privacy in our outdoor area, especially around the kitchen. The neighboring house was torn down, and the new one overlooks our property, making it feel exposed. We added a fireplace to block the view of the pool, but we still plan to find a way to enhance privacy. Overall, we are happy with everything.
Joanne: Let’s discuss your impressive pool. What type of lining does it have? Is it lined with pebble tech? Is it a mineral or a saltwater pool?
Charlie: It’s actually a saltwater pool. The company that constructed it used to be located on Highway nine. The pool is made of concrete with steel walls and steel posts surrounding the edges. Concrete was poured on the floors and slides, and then they applied a hybrid membrane, which I believe is a combination of different materials.
Joanne: And could you please spell the name of the pool company for me?
Charlie: Is it spelled as DESJOYAUX. [www.desjoyaux.com]
Joanne: So now that you’ve completed your pool and everything, if money was not a concern, what would be your next project or improvement?
Charlie: We would focus on the floors. Currently, the floors are a bit challenging because the house is old and uneven. We actually laid tiles in the dining room and sunroom as one of our initial projects. However, due to the unevenness of the house, it’s difficult to lay flooring throughout consistently. We want to match the existing hardwood floors but aren’t sure if they can be laid or if we need to replace them entirely.
Joanne: I agree with you. It might be better to cover the existing tile with something rather than removing it completely. That seems to be the trend nowadays. After completing the pool and the outdoor kitchen area, is there anything you believe should not be compromised when making additions or improvements?
Charlie: Yes, I think getting a reliable contractor who will do more than just come in and install a product, but can also help with issues that older homes have.