Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Seth and Nicole Holden love their 1918 North Fargo home, but it didn’t always look the way that it does now. Not only have they completely renovated the second floor, which was featured in our March 2018 issue, the Holdens have also added onto their first floor and built a new garage. This month, we’ll find out how they made the new exterior seamlessly blend into the old and see a three-season porch where you’ll want to spend the afternoon.
Meet The Homeowners
As the owner of Holden Restoration and Remodel, Seth Holden is no stranger to the construction industry. When he isn’t on a project site, Seth Holden plays in a local band, The Human Element. Meanwhile, Nicole Holden is Director of Events and Facilities at NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association. The couple currently lives with their two rescue huskies, Beta and Ramsey.
From Beige To Blue
When the Holdens first purchased their home, the exterior was light gray. Then, in 2016, they decided to paint it beige. “We painted the entire house and hated the color,” Nicole Holden said. “Painting your house is difficult because you have to play into the character of your home, but you also have to play into the character of your neighborhood,” she explained.
The second time around, the couple cautiously selected Blue by Sherwin Williams and repainted their exterior of their home later that same summer. “It’s almost like a mix of colonial blue and gray,” Seth Holden said. Thankfully, everyone liked this shade, including the Holdens’ friends, family and neighbors.
Sticking With Stucco
Not only did the Holdens give their 1918 home new life with a fresh coat of paint, they also built a new garage and an addition that now houses their kitchen. To make the new construction blend in with the original structure, the Holdens needed stucco siding. They soon found out that there’s a reason why you don’t see many stucco houses anymore.
“Seth did a lot of research and figured out how to do the stucco work and how to match it to the house,” Nicole Holden said. Although stucco is inexpensive and energy-efficient in the long run, the application is labor intensive. Despite this, Seth Holden decided to take on the project himself.
“First, you have to use tar paper to seal the exterior. Then, you put expanded metal over the tar paper. Then, you mix the stucco and put one coat on with a hand trowel. Before that coat dries, you have to scrape horizontal grooves into it with a rake. The expanded metal holds the first coat, and the grooves hold on a second, smooth coat. Finally, you have to use a different formula, take a dash brush, which is just a really huge paint brush, and put the texture on by hand,” Seth Holden explained.
Even though it took a lot of backbreaking work on Seth Holden’s part, you would never be able to tell just by looking at them that the garage and new addition weren’t built in 1918. To anyone wanting to add on to their historic home, the Holdens would recommend staying true to period, even if it means hiring someone to replicate stucco work.
The Three-Season Porch
At the front of the Holden’s house is a three-season porch, which has also received a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling and walls using A100 Exterior paint by Sherwin Williams. Seth Holden chose this paint because the three-season porch is often subject to moisture and extreme temperatures.
The Holdens also installed new screens for the original windows and a new screen door. However, they had to come up with a solution to even out the slanted floors. “These old porches are all slanted for water flow, and we couldn’t get furniture in here without sitting down and leaning forward, so I framed out a platform that was level, then laid vinyl plank on it and put wainscoting on the front,” he said.
Now, the three-season porch has become an extension of their main living area and is the first thing that guests see when they walk through the front door. “It’s a nice place to hang out with friends, have a drink or just read a magazine,” Nicole Holden said of the space.
Although the Holdens have accomplished much in the relatively short amount of time that they have owned this home, they have a few more projects underway (including turning their former kitchen into a den). To see their main-level remodel, you can pick up future issues of Design & Living Magazine.