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Transforming an Old House into a New Home: A Family Effort

David and Oreila

Are you thinking about home remodeling? This young couple became first time home buyers, and started the discussion for home remodeling ideas tailored to their specific style, needs and budget.


Congratulations, to the owner of ERNA Properties’ oldest son, David for his recent engagement to Oreila Sovjani. Since last year, David and Oreila have been looking at homes to purchase in the Bayshore area. In November they found a house in Hazlet Township, NJ that they both felt had a lot of potential. It is conveniently located to public transportation, Garden State Parkway, many shopping centers, and situated on a nice block with well-maintained and updated homes. David and Orelia began to envision the home improvements they wanted to make and how the finished home would be complimented by the neighboring homes.


The couple submitted a written offer to purchase the home. After a series of negotiations, the Seller accepted the offer and the attorney contract review period concluded within a few weeks. A home inspection was scheduled for December 5. While David and Orelia were very excited about the project, both realized this was just the first step in the transformation process of their dream home. The house was sold “as is” and needed a lot of work inside and outside. The results of the home inspection confirmed what David’s father had previously noted regarding issues and repairs. Although, they were prepared by David’s father the young couple felt a bit overwhelmed at what it may cost for the repairs, improvements and some customized changes. The transformation from “as is” into a place they can comfortably call home would take the team effort always implemented by ERNA Properties. The closing took place at the end of January. In the interim, David and Oreila plan visited showrooms to decide on cabinetry, plumbing fixtures and ceramic tile, in addition to selecting the roof and siding colors.


ERNA PROPERTIES specializes in designing and constructing remodeling improvements that minimize the home improvement costs while increasing the home’s value. After analyzing the house, Dave Sr. provided helpful insight and cost efficient ideas to facilitate the finished look wanted by the young couple on a tight budget. David and Orelia reviewed all of the project details with the company’s staff to ensure a thorough understanding of the project and its costs. Upon approval ERNA PROPERTIES coordinated the construction plans and permits for submission to the Hazlet Township Building Department. Their home remodeling commenced on February 9 with the following Scope of Work:


  • New roof
  • All new windows and doors
  • New vinyl siding
  • Remodel existing bathroom with new ceramic floor and wall tile, new vanity, plumbing fixtures and lighting
  • Finish the attic space with a large bedroom, including two walk-in closets, sitting area and full bathroom and wall-to-wall carpet
  • Remodel kitchen including removing walls to create an “open design” with new cabinetry, countertop, sink, faucet, hardwood flooring, recessed lighting and appliances
  • Sand, stain, and polyurethane existing hardwood floors
  • Replace the original furnace with a new 95% efficient gas, forced hot air system and central air conditioning The system will be extended to add HVAC to the 2nd floor level that is currently unfinished
  • Install all new interior doors and trim
  • Paint entire house using Sherwin-Williams “Master Hide” latex paint
  • A basic finish to the basement including ceramic floor tile, lighting and painting walls and ceiling

Less than two months into the project the roofing, windows, doors, siding, interior demolition, framing out the attic, new insulation, all new plumbing lines, electrical wiring, furnace and central AC installation were completed. Sheetrock was scheduled for delivery on April 7 and expected to be completed by April 10. The goal set at the start of the project was construction completion in time for the couple to have a Memorial Day barbecue with friends and family held at their new home.


Want to find out more about David and Orelia’s story? We will post continuous updates, tips, and photos of their story on facebook, twitter, and our website for each phase of the process until completion.


Tip: When remodeling your home on a tight budget there are effective ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of the work being done.


First time home buyers can focus on resale homes needing work to negotiate a good deal. The amount of work should be based on the couple’s abilities, time and funds. Cosmetic work will require the least amount of skill/experience and offer the greatest return on their efforts. Cleaning, Painting, and basic landscaping are simple yet effective tasks that can go a long way in transforming an initially undesirable home to one with immediate curb appeal.