A couple spent $300,000 in 2018 to acquire an old church that had been abandoned. They transform the parish into the home of their dreams.
Transforming A Church Into A Home
According to Insider, the 1888-built Sacred Heart Church was placed up for sale in 2018 after being vacant for years. The proprietors of the home-decorating company Harper and Company, Lynn Perreault and Jonathon Harmer, decided to purchase the building.
Perreault and Harmer noted that "this church was begging us to save it." As mentioned, the couple spent years transforming the deserted church into a comfortable home for themselves.
As per Munchable, the new house has been constructed on a total of 3,589 square feet of living space, and it currently has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
They claimed that the most attractive feature of the structure was its front doors. The chipped paint impeded the creative team from creating a blog called "The Chippy Church Journey" to track their two-year restoration project.
The front door opens into the foyer, which features wood ceilings that are 11 feet high and nostalgic relics that were once part of the church.
Accordingly, most of the building's historic character was preserved thanks to the efforts of Perreault and Harmer. They reportedly converted it into a residence while preserving the original church features, such as the Ponderosa pine floors, the wainscotting, and wooden trusses across the ceiling.
Struggles in the Construction of the Couple's Dream Home
Mcleans.ca stated that Jean-Marc, Perreault's brother and a contractor, oversaw the group of friends and family members, which included Perreault's son, who was 15 years old, and Harmer's father, who was 83 years old. They worked from 6 a.m. until sundown, seven days a week.
As soon as the project began, it became clear that it would be more complicated than initially anticipated. Acquiring a mortgage to pay for renovations took several weeks due to the reluctance of local banks to support such an unusual and tall structure. After that, things got off to a rocky beginning with the construction.
Before beginning any improvements, the construction crew had to completely dig up the yard, create a new sewage system, replace all of the building's power lines, and link the structure to the electricity grid in Princeton. "There was a point when we wondered if we'd bitten off a bit more than we could chew. We wondered if we'd bitten off a bit more than we could chew," Perreault mentioned.
Moreover, following those setbacks, there were several months of strenuous building. The group was required to construct an outside work shed to accommodate the stowage of the project's components. Then they built a front porch for the church out of timber, and inside, they erected cedar walls to separate the rooms in their new arrangement, which featured a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a grand room with brown and black arches. Finally, they painted the arches in the grand room brown and black. During this time, the space on the second story was transformed into a loft.
Perreault had to redo the entire project by herself after the couple decided they wanted a whiter paint after the team took eight days cleaning carpets and retiling and repainting the entire ceiling while standing on scaffolding that was twenty feet tall. They did this by removing the mosaic glass windows and giving the majority of the church pews to the congregation at Princeton, which resulted in the church's more religious aspects being toned down. They maintained the church bell as a reminder of the building's history and even continued to ring it regularly during pandemic lockdowns to lift the spirits of the neighborhood.