Project Description

Tom Cloherty and his wife Victoria initially had a small remodeling project in mind: Take down a kitchen wall. But the more they thought about all the things they wanted to get done, the more they realized expanding the project scope made a lot of sense.
Tom and Victoria had had a number of items on their wish list since moving into their 1940s-era colonial in 2008. Last year, with the youngest of their three children 7 years old, they decided it was finally time to get the work done. After interviewing five contractors, the Arlington couple chose Custom.

“Custom did some work for neighbors of ours as well as someone in town who Victoria knows through work,” Tom says. “Both of our contacts gave Custom really positive reviews. And [president] Bill Farnsworth spent a lot of time with Victoria to understand what we wanted, which gave us a lot of confidence.”


The Kitchen and Beyond
The first order of business — opening up the kitchen — was achieved by removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room and extending the existing bump-out. We also expanded the half bathroom to accommodate a new shower.

Meanwhile, a three-season sunporch off one side of the house had long seemed like wasted space to Tom and Victoria. With the cold New England climate and old, drafty windows, it didn’t get used for much of the year (“a glorified beer fridge,” jokes Tom).

The new sunroom gives the family space to enjoy 12 months a year. It features a vaulted ceiling, large windows and a bench with a great story behind it.

“I’d wanted to do a built-in bench with storage underneath and seating on top,” says Victoria. “On Bill’s recommendation, we found a 14’ piece of cherry wood at Berkshire Products, a specialty lumber company [in Sheffield, Mass.]. We drove it home on top of our roof, and [lead carpenter] Dave Surrette cut it precisely and angled it to fit perfectly.”


A Sense of Seamlessness
Upstairs, our work included a master bath addition along with a new bedroom over the garage. Tom and Victoria’s twin girls are thrilled because they get to share a large bedroom with two closets. “They were very excited about that,” notes Victoria.

Tom and Victoria point out how seamlessly the remodeled features of our work blend in. For instance, the house has a number of arched passageways, a style we strived to maintain throughout the home.

“The arch between the kitchen and dining room is one example. It looks really modern, but still has that older feel,” says Victoria.

The same sense of seamlessness carries over to the exterior. “Looking at our house from the outside, you wouldn’t know there had been a renovation,” says Tom. “Custom did a really nice job with the roof line, the pitch and the dentil moldings. Most of it looks like it was part of the original home.”

A final touch was the result of some creative thinking by Victoria. A neighbor was getting rid of some shutters from the 1960s, and Victoria thought they’d be perfect for the house. After some handiwork by our team (including welding some shutters together), we were able to incorporate them to round out the exterior.

“We’re very happy with the renovation,” exclaims Tom. “And when you factor in rising home values in Arlington, we’re confident we’ll see a good return on the investment”

Project Details

Client The Cloherty Home
Location Arlington, MA