AAfter showcasing some pretty spectacular high-end homes around town, Hot Property this week marks the return of a beautifully renovated century-old home that won’t break your budget.
Built in 1910 and located in Crafton, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home at 40 Maplewood Ave., underwent a complete makeover under the watchful eyes of Logan Drew and Joe Perri, who own Pittsburgh Quick Close.
With the year-long renovations complete, the home has listed for $324,900 (MLS # 1564856, Joey Booker, Eternity Real Estate, eternityre.com, 412.477.1204). It is open by appointment.
The story of the house actually began several years ago when Drew moved back to Crafton with his wife and decided to invest in the neighborhood.
“I grew up here and moved to Southern California,” he says. “My wife convinced me to come home and we ended up buying a house in Crafton. We like that. We are invested in the neighborhood. There is a special feeling that comes from doing this.
He and Perri both have day jobs in tech and banking, but wanted something more practical to tackle. Drew had already pulled off several rounds of renovation during his time out west, so he knew what to expect. The couple bought this house as their first project and oversaw the renovation, including hiring contractors and subcontractors and taking care of simpler tasks such as cleaning and painting themselves.
A fresh coat of creamy white paint has since been added to the all-brick exterior of the home. It sets the backdrop for crisp black accents on the trim, shutters, and front porch, including the ceiling and new glass door storm.
Behind the glass is the original solid oak front door, topped with the original leaded glass transom. Once inside, a neutral palette of soft gray paired with white trim allows the home’s quirky character to shine through.
The entrance features the original ramps and spindles. Underfoot are new luxury vinyl tile floors in a deep walnut hue. The original paneled walls have been painted a fresh white, as has the rest of the original woodwork, including the 5 inch baseboards.
A spacious living room has an original fireplace with a black decorative insert. The stone facade has been given a nice whitewash, leaving the original woodwork to shine. The room opens onto the dining room, where an original bookcase with glass doors creates a pretty storage niche.
The whole house has been upgraded with decorative industrial lighting, creating warmth and more character. This continues into the kitchen, which has been remodeled down to the jambs and features white shaker cabinets and a quartz countertop. The new stainless steel appliance package includes a gas range, over-the-counter microwave, dishwasher and side-by-side refrigerator. A second service staircase was left in place.
“We had differing opinions, and it almost became a pantry, but we finally agreed it was too cool, so we left it,” Drew says.
Upstairs, the master bedroom hid a surprise that turned into another asset.
“There was a living room adjoining the bedroom,” Drew says. “It made sense to turn it into an en-suite bathroom. We had to run the plumbing chase, but it was worth it.
It was a good call; the new bathroom features a 72-inch double vanity, walk-in shower, and all-black bath fixtures. Underfoot, gray and white encaustic tiles sit in a lovely pattern that adds pizzazz to the installation
The other two bedrooms are of good size and include the original closets, as well as industrial style ceiling fans. They are serviced by a hallway bathroom which has a single vanity and a tub/shower combination.
A nice surprise awaits you on the third floor, where the fourth bedroom has skylights installed by a previous owner.
Another pleasant surprise is found in the walk-out basement.
“He’s got two cold cellars and it’s amazing,” says Drew. “It’s completely dry. It is ready to be finished again.
The walls and floors were painted white. There is a utility room, and where there once was a Pittsburgh potty, a new bathroom with a walk-in shower has been installed.
“We made a walk-in shower that can double as a dog wash if you need it,” says Drew. “You can bring them straight through the basement door and clean them before going upstairs.”
Mechanically the house has received everything it needs to be worry free for years including a new roof, brand new HVAC, plumbing and a new water heater. The sewer line leading to the street has even been replenished. The windows had been replaced before and still have a lot of life. In the backyard is an independent garage for two cars.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, quickly remodeling a home wasn’t really in the cards, according to Drew and Perri.
“This one took a year, but we focused on quality,” says Drew. “We wanted to deliver a beautiful house. We are invested in this community and you will see us around Crafton. We love it here.
Hot Property, an inside look at unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property provides an in-depth look at the area’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking home prices and sales and detailing where hot properties are. Rosa can be reached at [email protected].
About: Crafton, Pennsylvania (craftonborough.com)
Planes, trains and automobiles: 20 minutes drive from the airport.
Schools: Carlynton School District
Neighborhoods: Full of rich housing steeped in history, Crafton was named after James S. Craft, a lawyer who originally obtained the land. His son, Charles, sold portions of the land, which was incorporated into a borough in 1892.