Our friends thought we were crazy. Just crazy. Our plan was to restore the 2,000-square-foot house and put up a 600-square-foot addition. During the first six months of permits and working with the Sarasota Historic Preservation Board, we lived in our existing home and worked on the new one nights and weekends. Then we sold the old house, rented for another six months, and finally moved into the foursquare.
The first thing I did was gut the kitchen and baths and tear into some walls to check for water damage. At that point I realized the north end of the house was sagging and had settled about two inches, so I got some 20-ton jacks and bridge timbers and jacked it up. Then I crawled underneath and took the concrete-block foundation apart. Everything was going fine until a shoring slipped and bashed me in the ribs, but I was lucky I didn’t get more than a bad bruise. I finished relaying the foundation and left those bridge timbers in there for extra support.
Shown: The kitchen was bumped out 4 feet and given an updated 1920s look.