Franklin Residence: Final Reveal!

Show me a house built in 1889 and I’ll show you a confident contractor. Show me a house built in 2006 and I’ll show you anxiety.

The Franklin Residence is located in the historical city of River Forest. The original foundations are likely from the 19th or 20th century; however, the remainder of the house was razed and re-built between 2005-2007. This contemporary-style single family home features 5,000 square feet of living space including 6 bedrooms, 3-1/2 baths, and a finished basement.

Recently relocated to the Chicagoland area, this busy, young couple sought to make this house a home for their family. While the existing space had an intentional design, the overall aesthetic of the spaces were not inspirational or cohesive. Each room seemed to be designed independently of the others. Surprisingly, despite its relatively recent construction, the existing aesthetics also tended to be reminiscent of the 20th century and not the 21st. In collaboration with Kuklinski+Rappe Architects, Integro’s scope involved the gut rehab of the existing Kitchen including custom fabrication of interior steel doors, marble countertops custom fabricated with a waterfall edge and “pop-up” outlets, and high profile tile patterns; the gut rehab of the Master Suite; ancillary HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing scope; and the replacement of existing hardwood flooring with wide-plank hardwood flooring throughout the residence.

We started in January:


We do what we always do, start with demo!

Kitchen: Before Demo

Kitchen: After Demo

And what do we find? Well….I think the question was what didn’t we find? Conduit embedded in the concrete floors, range hood vented into the basement laundry room, mis-labeled electrical panel, live wiring buried in the walls, and a LOT of obtuse curves in the plumbing pipes (note: the plumbing pipes should not be obtuse, it’s not acute installation)! Did I mention that the floors are all embedded with radiant flooring (of course they are!) Oh, and did I mention that the bathroom window was leaking? That certainly explained the draft in the Master Suite! Check out the video of the exterior sheathing (that’s the plywood separating the inside from the outside, folks. The white stuff on the back of it is the stucco on the outside of the house.):

That’s okay! That’s okay! We fixed it. Our clients were great sports about all of our “surprises” despite not being as amused as we were at the time.

Speaking of our clients, we had a hard deadline to finish this spring because their apartment lease was ending. The only thing more stressful than resolving safety issues on a construction project is resolving safety issues on an owner-occupied construction project…so, the race to finish was full throttle!

Now you ask: if we finished in the spring, why are we posting the final reveal now? Well, my friends, two words: freestanding tub. That’s right, we’ve been waiting for 6 months to install the freestanding tub in the Master Bathroom. Not just one! There were six of them. You read that right, six. Sometimes on projects, there is a weird karma with certain finishes – sometimes it’s windows, sometimes it’s lighting, and sometimes it’s a tub.

As one client famously said years ago, “Hey, the window won.” For that project, we just ended up installing the fifth window we received eventhough it was wrong because our nerves were worth more than that closet window. For this project, we were worried that our clients were dangerously close to making the same decision. After the fifth tub came with an incorrect design detail, our client finally said “just do it”. Thankfully, that tub ended up having a scratch so we gave it one last final shot and returned the tub again: SUCCESS. We have a sixth tub installed, and it’s the right one!

Now, we don’t want to give the impression that this project was all challenge and no glory! We did have the opportunity to fabricate absolutely STUNNING custom steel interior pantry doors:

Custom Steel Doors: Sketch

Custom Steel Doors: In Progress

…and finally: 6 bathtubs, 3 months of construction, 1 great client. Here is the final reveal:

Exterior

Kitchen: Before

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: Before

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: Before

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: Before

Kitchen: After

Kitchen: After

Master Bedroom: Before

Master Bedroom: After

Master Bathroom: Before

Master Bathroom: After

Master Bathroom: After

Master Bathroom: After

Master Bathroom: Before

Master Bathroom: After

Master Bathroom: After

Special thanks to Kuklinski + Rappe Architects: between your collaboration and design expertise, you really make us look good!

Thank you to The 606 Studio for beautifully depicting our transformation.

Most of all, thank you to our clients. This project wouldn’t be possible without you and, despite all of the challenges, you remained consummate professionals and team players. Thank you. We hope you and your family love your new home for years to come.

Want to see more final reveals? Check out our other projects!

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