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Restoring new life into their original 1928 Sears Roebuck & Co. kit home, located in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was necessary for the Ruppert Family. With space, time and financial considerations top-of-mind, the Rupperts turned to Excel builder partner Carbide Construction of Lorton, Virginia, for the answer.

On December 20, the Rupperts’ traditional Sears model known as “Van Jean” received a modular renovation that not only added fifty percent more living space for the homeowners, but also gave the 83-year-old façade a facelift. Originally offered at a price range of around $2,600 to $2,900, Sears described the structure in marketing materials as “…an unusually well-arranged and cleverly planned Dutch Colonial house.” (The photo below shows the home before work began.)

The Rupperts’ love for their Dutch Colonial home encouraged them to remodel, rather than sell and upgrade to a larger home – or, what has been the trend in their area: tear down the original structure and rebuild. The new addition adds approximately 1,200 square feet, and is incorporated into the existing structure.

“For us, the biggest challenge was maneuvering the crane around DC,” says Carbide Vice President David Gigliotti, who also notes that the slightly sloped terrain posed some difficulties as well. “From a design perspective, it was interesting to marry a pitched roof addition with a Mansard, but in the end, everyone was pleased with the result. From a cost standpoint, we are able to offer a mostly complete home to what traditional stick builders had bid for shell-only construction.”

Carbide serves the Northern Virginia market, which includes Alexandria, Arlington, Springfield, City of Fairfax, Manassas, and McLean, as well as Prince William County and into the borders of Washington, D.C. The company specializes in kitchen and bathroom renovations, and the unique specialty of modular additions, an endeavor begun in 2002 when they partnered exclusively with Excel Homes. Since then, Carbide has completed modular additions ranging from adding two rooms to an entire second level. (In the photo below, a modular addition is lowered into place.)

Gigliotti also explains that this and similar addition projects are part of a larger trend toward renovation.

“Even in the D.C. market, which generally didn’t feel the full effects of the housing downturn, people are increasingly opting to save money, or think ahead to one day being able to accommodate multiple generations by staying in their current home.”

As with all of Carbides sets, all boxes were maneuvered, placed and secured within one day, a sight that drew neighborhood spectators.

“We’re most excited about this project’s details,” says Gigliotti, “and will compare pretty much everything we do going forward with this build. It’s truly an amazing transformation.”

The finished product can be seen below. For more information and photos of the renovation, visit the Carbide Construction website.

Join the conversation

  • Len Moskowitz - 1 year ago

    This blog seems to have revived from the dead, as I have received two mail notices from it.

    The latest post though, seems to be from July 2012.

    Has Excel Homes been revivified?

  • admin - 1 year ago

    Hi Len, Yes, we are reviving it in conjunction with refreshing our websites, and our new social media efforts. I am looking forward to posting fresh content.