Roof job grew into changing it all Bungalow in Joppa expanded, restyled

Dream Home

November 16, 1997|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Perry and Janice Grose started the latest renovation project on their one-story bungalow last spring, all they had planned to do was build a new roof.

But by summer's end, the aging Harford County structure had been transformed into a stylish Victorian Cape Cod.

Set on a quiet, tree-lined street in Joppa, the house has a new slate roof and more: dormers, bay window with rosettes, ivory-tone siding, country blue shutters and doors, a completely renovated first floor and a second-floor bedroom suite.

But what makes it unique, the couple say, is the covered front porch with stained white cedar boards, white Colonial posts, straight spindle rails and white gingerbread trim that stretches past the front door with its inlaid glass brass oval.

"I can't believe it turned out like it did," Janice said. "I love it."

Inside and out, this looks like a new home. The interior decor has a country feeling with new oak furniture, blue and ivory carpet and curtains that hang from window shelves topped with collectibles.

"We wanted more room and a newer, refreshed look," she said.

Crafts they found in Pennsylvania's Lancaster-area shops -- including a rustic window frame decorated with dried flowers that hangs on a wall in the dining room -- are throughout the house. In the front yard is a miniature horse wagon that they decorate according to the season.

"I used to buy things I loved but I had no place to put them," she said. Now she does.

The house is twice as large and there's plenty of space for the apples she loves to collect. There are apples everywhere -- apple knickknacks, apple wallpaper and borders, an apple-shaped table and a rocker love seat from Tennessee with apple cut-outs. There's even an apple-shaped birdhouse made by her father, Paul Searfino, a wood craftsman.

The couple, who own Grose Construction Inc., have been married 27 years. They bought the house and its 1.5-acre lot 15 years ago for $50,000.

Built around 1929 as a 24-by-24-foot tenant house for a farm, it had been enlarged over the years to about 860 square feet. When the Groses moved in with their two young daughters, it had two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, screened porch and attic.

It was a tiny place and it seemed as though there were always repairs to make. But the couple was reluctant to leave the neighborhood where Perry had lived since he was a child.

"We like the country setting," said Perry, who is 48 and the pastor of Cecil Upper Room Gospel Tabernacle, a small country church of 65 members.

"We talked about moving and buying a bigger place," said Janice, 45, who assists her husband with church work and handles accounting for the construction firm. "But we raised our children here. We just didn't want to leave."

Instead, they made improvements. In July 1996, they built a country kitchen to replace the screened porch, added a stained red cedar deck in the rear and turned the old kitchen into a laundry room.

"I had never imagined the kitchen would turn out so nice," she said. "Everything was starting to look so good."

The following May, they started to put on a new roof and, from there, the project "snowballed." They had always wanted to make changes to the house, they said, so they decided that now was the time to finish the job.

By the end of summer, the house had doubled in size to about 1,760 square feet. They steepened the pitch of the roof, added shed dormers and extended the roofline to include the wraparound Victorian porch that replaced a small front deck.

They put in new heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems, reinsulated, installed new lighting fixtures and doors, built new interior walls on the first floor and added oak-stained molding.

They enlarged and modernized the first floor bathroom and decorated the spare bedroom/sewing and crafts room in a Stars and Stripes motif.

A new oak staircase leads to a large second-floor bedroom and full bathroom with Jacuzzi for their daughter, Amy, 23, who is studying to be a nurse. Their older daughter, Kimberley Brockmeyer, 25, lives in Perryman.

Instead of using lattice for the area under the porch, Perry designed his own decorative woodwork using stained white TTC cedar boards. Horizontal "pickets" spaced several inches apart allow the white foundation to show through.

Vertical boards 4 feet apart feature cut-outs of apples made by a friend with a pattern designed by Perry Grose.

"I knew I wanted something unique and different," he said. "And she loves apples. She's the apple lady."

The renovation cost about $80,000 and more than doubled the value of the property to its now-appraised value of $190,000.

"This house is above what I ever imagined," Janice Grose said. "And it feels cozy and comfortable because we've been here so long."

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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