911 W. Hayes St. 

When the current owner bought this old Queen Anne, house it was a triplex, and before that it, was a home for troubled boys. Presently for sale is the original one-family house restored and expanded. The house exceeds Energy Star standards for retrofit and new construction. The new walls are upgraded to 2 x 6; the old house has had insulation added. The electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are new and a home performance specialist supervised how the new ducts ran, and how they were sealed. There are two zones in the house with two 90 percent efficiency furnaces, two high performance air conditioners, and two tankless hot water heaters.

The walk up to the house is maroon-stamped concrete to match the maroon and olive green accents on the cream house. The first floor is sided, the second floor is shingled, and the foundation is made of sandstone, which has been repointed. There is a lovely front porch leading to a beautiful old front door. The Victorian entryway is spectacular, with nine-foot ceilings, an open staircase, leaded glass, a fireplace and a "Harry Potter closet" under the stairs. Off the entry is a den with three windows facing a particularly attractive view of the neighbor's white fence, yellow house and butterfly bush.

A large opening leads to the living/dining room, which is another original area of the house, with several windows including bays, two original brass lamps, the original baseboards, brass heat vents and fir floors. All the windows in the house are double-paned and energy efficient but set in the old casings where available. Also all the windows that open are double hung and tilt in/out. Original doors and hardware are also used where available.

Sliding wood doors lead to the new kitchen with hard wood floors, a big window over the double sink, and island with a downdraft gas stove, double ovens, a microwave and an Energy Star dishwasher. All the appliances are stainless steel. There is a large bar with a sink, and over both the bar and the island are colorful faux Tiffany lamps. The kitchen also has recessed and under-counter lighting. Connected to the kitchen is a large room that could be used as either a family room or an informal eating area. It has several windows, including a slider to the backyard. Next to the second door to the backyard is a closet.

Adjoining the kitchen is an original bathroom with a claw foot tub, an original bedroom, a utility room with a sink and a second set of stairs. I walked down to the basement to discover a large, bright room with two closets, two egress windows and a bathroom.

I took the front stairs up to the second floor and found myself in a large, well-lit room extending the width of the house. Opening off of this room is another bedroom, a bathroom and the master bedroom. In one of the two closets in the front bedroom is a control box for the high-speed computer cable, phone and television cable. The master bedroom is large, and the adjacent bathroom has a garden tub, double sinks, and a large shower with two shower heads and clear glass surround.

Through the double doors leading from the bedroom to the backstairs, I returned to the kitchen/family room area. The backyard is surrounded by six-foot fence and overlooked by a giant Sycamore tree. There is a new two-car garage. Both the front and back yards are watered with sprinklers and drip systems. Several beds of flowers, Bradford pears and a dogwood have been planted. Additional parking is available in the 10-foot parking strip on the tree-lined street.

PROS: This is some house. It's Victorian, yet modern and large. I love houses with two staircases.

CONS: Hayes has lots of traffic on it. I am still amazed at how much houses cost these days. This, however, is a very big house, and it will be energy efficient.

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