It's not every day that you use the words Machiavellian and kitchen remodel in the same sentence, but in the case of Sandie Egley it is appropriate. When she and her husband, Bill, bought the 100-year-old house at 400 16th St. in New Brighton, a kitchen renovation was near the top of her to-do list.
One weekend, while he was on a fishing trip, Mrs. Egley bought a reciprocating saw. Over the next two days, she used it to remove the existing kitchen, taking it down to the bare walls. He returned to find the remains of the kitchen in the backyard.
"He just stood there, dropped his luggage, and I said 'Now we've got to do something,' " Mrs. Egley said. "I really was [in the dog house]. I tell you, he didn't go fishing anymore."
Now that the couple has put the Beaver County house on the market for $144,500 (MLS No. 967256), Mr. Egley may finally get to go fishing without worrying. An open house is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Dec. 14 at the four-bedroom, two-bath house (724-624-1005 or www.forsalebyowner.com).
The house was an upstairs/downstairs duplex until the Egleys converted it to a single-family home, but the new owner could convert it back.
"There's still two furnaces and the electric can be changed [back]," Mrs. Egley said. "We took out the cabinets [in the kitchen] on the second floor but they can be put back in and there is a separate entrance."
There is a full bathroom on each floor. One is Mrs. Egley's absolute favorite room in the house, designed with a vacation in mind.
"My husband and I went to Jamaica on the vacation of a lifetime and that was the bathroom we had at Sandals," Mrs. Egley said.
She took some photos, brought them home to her contractor and asked him to build one just like it. Over the next four months, the "resort" bathroom took shape. A truly unique space, it features stone in a variety of shades, a large soaker tub and a separate shower. The hardware is rubbed bronze and an accent band of stone wraps around the tub and runs up the wall of the shower.
During the bathroom project, the couple decided to replace the upper deck off the master bedroom. "We wanted to make sure the roof was sound before we put that much money into it," she said.
Stairs lead to a new pressure-treated deck.
On the first floor, French doors lead to the 12-by-14-foot kitchen, which boasts bright white KraftMaid cabinets, a built-in wine rack, dark laminate counter tops and poppy red walls. A walk-in pantry provides extra storage and the black appliances include a dishwasher, gas stove, refrigerator and over-the-range microwave.
"Downstairs, we're using one of the rooms as a den/library, but that can be like a mother-in-law suite," Mrs. Egley said.
Wide doorways provide wheelchair access, and there is a full bathroom on the first floor. The 16-by-10-foot den was recently remodeled and its electrical wiring updated, just as it was in both bathrooms, the kitchen and living room. There is a newer breaker box and a 3-year-old water heater in the unfinished basement. The house has public water and sewer, gas-fueled, forced-air heating and central air conditioning.
During each remodeling project during the Egleys' 12 years here, they tried to preserve the old-house character.
A beautiful hardwood floor extends from the front hall into the 15-by-14-foot dining room, which features a brick fireplace and a bay window seat.
Though the hardwood floors remain throughout the house, those in 16- by-13-foot living room, den and four bedrooms are now covered by new neutral-colored pile carpeting. The bedrooms measure 16 by 13 feet, 16 by 14 feet and two at 12 by 10 feet.
The property has an assessed value of $18,000 and a market value of $36,000 (http://assessment.beavercountypa.gov/LookDetailsB.aspx). Over the past three years, five houses have sold on 16th Street for prices ranging from $25,000 in May 2011 to $62,000 in March 2013 (www.realstats.net).
The house stands on a corner lot with many mature trees and shrubs including lilac, Japanese and white maples and numerous rhododendrons that add splashes of color in spring. There is a detached garage with a carport on the side. The property is close to Route 65 and within walking distance of the town's center, which has ample shopping and is home of the famous Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe.
A five-minute walk takes you to Big Rock Park, which boasts 7 acres of shoreline along the Beaver River with fishing, a half-mile walking trail, picnic area, new park shelter and a great view.
With their children grown, the Egleys are looking to pass this old house on to another family.
"The house is so big ... just too big for us," Mrs. Egley said with a sigh, "That's why we're moving. This home needs a family."
Lizabeth Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org.