View slideshow of remodeling.
By Christine Davis
Candy and Mason Heydt have put the finishing touches on their super-cute cottage at 705 SE Atlantic Drive, Hypoluxo Island, the one that they’ve been renovating for the last six months. And they are very happy to put their toolkits away.
That totally redone kitchen was a real bear, they say.
“We wanted to keep the kitchen,” Candy said. “It had great personality. Some brick. Real Mexican tile floors and hand-painted tile in the countertops.”
“And because we wanted to save it, it was the biggest challenge we faced in this cottage,” said her husband, Mason, with screwdriver and an unhinged cabinet door in hand.
“I have 80 hours into this,” Mason added, gesturing. “I took the cabinets all apart, stripped and sanded them, added new hardwood where needed, then reinstalled and repainted them.”
If you’ve ever done any stripping and sanding, you’ll know exactly what he’s talking about. Renovating a kitchen can surely unhinge a homeowner/handyperson who has taken on the project.
“One day, I came in and asked Mason, ‘What can I do to help you?’ He handed me a mask, safety glasses and sander, and said, ‘Here. Do the inside of the cabinets,’” Candy said. “That wasn’t the kind of help I was talking about.”
The tile floors were acid- washed and resealed and the refrigerator, which used to be freestanding, has a new home, recessed nicely into a space taken from an adjoining closet.
Also, the Heydts knocked out a portion of the kitchen wall going to the living area to change the traffic pattern and they added doors to the outside and the new laundry, a space they stole from the garage.
“The laundry room is now directly accessible to the kitchen and a complete room unto itself,” Mason said. “It’s a very nice space and even has backyard views.”
Concerning the rest of the house, the old jalousies have been replaced with hurricane-rated windows, which brought in much more light, Candy said.
“It’s made a world of difference, changing the whole look and feel of the house.”
Now, hardwood floors go all through the house, are on the same level and have been refinished. In the living room, the fake fireplace is gone.
Plumbing has been redone. Old wallpaper has been stripped off — that was quite a job, since some was double thick. And two new central air-conditioning units have been put in place.
In the bathrooms, tubs have been repainted, ugly hanging ceilings have been taken out, but not the interesting tile and fixtures.
“We tried to keep some of the old features because we wanted it to feel like a cottage. We’d like people to say, ‘Wow this is like Old Florida, but it’s all clean and new looking,’” Candy said.
Maintaining the character of the house is what it’s all about, Mason added. “So much of it was already in place, like the corner windows in the master bedroom.”
Outside, new awnings are in place, new garage doors have been installed, and the pool is sparkling, set in a 950-square-foot, tumbled-marble deck and pretty landscaping.
Speaking of landscaping, removing all the old junk took two dump trucks four days and $5,000.
“That was a big effort,” Mason said. “Then the land had to be filled, leveled, graded and sodded, with new sprinklers.”
Cleaning out the backyard made it huge, Candy said. “And we deliberately landscaped around the border for a big lawn.”
“To take a total disastrous backyard — one of the worse I’ve ever seen — and turn it into a lovely spot with a pool, patio and lawn for the kids to play sports, that was gratifying,” Mason said.
The Heydts, who live in a cute cottage they’ve redone on North Atlantic, have listed the house with Diana Reed of Illustrated Properties for $749,000.
The Heydts have really captured the look and feel of classic Old Florida cottages, Reed said. “It’s got lots of charm: the pretty backyard, new pool, the original hardwood floors, the new roof. It’s really cute.”
Cottage Source Guide
General Contractor: Mason Heydt
Appliances: General Electric
Windows: Florida’s Best through Alpha Windows
A/C: Carrier through FahrenheitAC
Awnings: Fabricated by X-pert Awnings
Garage Doors: Kobalt
Pool: Pugh’s Pools.
Pool Decking by Deck & Drive
Landscaping: Gonzalez Landscaping and Lawn Service
Roof: Tropical Roofing