Design/Build, By Paula Doyle

From its modest beginnings as a tobacco barn, the Bost Residence in Wendell, North Carolina has come a long way, baby. The 3,200 sq.ft. custom home is the final metamorphosis of the original building: a 780 sq.ft. semi-domesticated barn.

When owner/builder Rex Bost took up residence in the two-story building some years ago, he enclosed the carport to create a den and gained 320 sq.ft.

Eventually needing more space, he embarked on a grand remodeling and expansion plan that resulted in several creative solutions to some unusual constraints.

The final ranch style was picked from a dozen alternatives. It allowed Bost to stretch the house away from a too-close road, and cleverly dealt with the problem of disparate ceiling heights in the original structure. (6’ 7” first floor; 7’ 2” second floor)

The front of the home was re-directed from south to east and a new circle drive was added to the front of the covered front porch. The porch was framed 4’ wider than the actual foyer which created a Grand Entry effect without wasting foyer space.

Bost designed a custom 4’ x 8’ arched entry door and surrounded it with direct-set beveled glass panels in solid 2×6 construction framework. Inside the foyer/living area, a large, bowed, glass-block window creates a spectacular effect that can be seen through the clear and beveled glass of the entry wall when the sun is setting at day’s end.

A decision was made not to tie the new second level to the old so that 9’ ceilings or higher could be utilized in the new section. Also, the ceiling was raised in the kitchen by wrapping the ceiling joists with “wormy-cypress” and connecting the cypress directly to the bottom of the sub floor above. Other kitchen renovations include new cabinets, layout and floor.

Since the existing den had been on a slab, Bost framed a floor system above the slab for elevation purposes and to create an electrical chase. He also built a cypress Heat/A/C chase to supply the den and the new sunroom with air. The chase cleverly doubles as a bottled water cooler niche with a custom cabinet located above.

To make room in the low crawl space for new mechanicals, Bost and his team hand-excavated about 2’ of water and re-waterproofed.

The master bedroom features a 10’ trey ceiling and a custom mantel surround that was built using the left-over trim. The cast limestone-looking profile was manufactured at the site by cutting light-weight cement stepping stones into shapes and finishing them with a sanded grout/paint combo.

The master bathroom features a cathedral ceiling with skylight, a continuous perimeter plant ledge, glass block walls on three sides and a curved glass block and tile shower wall. The shower is doorless with a “drip-dry” area.

A teen-age retreat was created by dropping the ceiling over the garage for more floor space above. The suite features and elevated bed platform, a living space, and office space and a full bath. To accommodate music-lovers, the room is wired for cable and surround sound.

The patio was constructed of solid masonry with curved stucco walls. The concrete floor areas were scored and colored to create the look of large Mexican tile. The two-level patio is prewired for a hot-tub and connects the sunroom and the living room.

The Bost Residence was a 1998 Chrysalis Special Award Winner for Best Whole House Renovation between $100,000 and $250,000.


Basically, we ended up with a home that many of our guests describe as a resort. It is our first dream house. The home offers us great flow, indoor and outdoor appeal and efficiency. It feels much larger than 3,200 sq.ft.

Bost Residence
Wendell, NC

Type of Project:
Whole House Renovation

Size of Project:
3,200 sq.ft.

Project Cost:

Bost Construction Co. Inc.

Interior Designer:
Capitol Carpets & Interiors

Landscape Architect:
Red Oak Farms Inc.

Roofing: Certainteed Horizon

Glulam Beams: TrussJoist

Siding: Western Red Cedar

Insulation: Certainteed

HVAC: Carrier

Paint/Stain: Duron

Exterior Doors:

Thermatru & Classic Doors

Windows: Pella

Skylights: Velux

Locksets: Baldwin & Schlage

Countertops: Cultured Marble

Sinks/Tubs: Kohler

Toilets: American Standard

Faucets: Moen

Spa/Sauna: Jacuzzi

Kitchen Faucets: Delta

Range: Kenmore

Dishwasher: KitchenAid
Microwave Oven:
Trash Compactor:

Glass Block: Weck

Garage Doors: Wayne Dalton

Fireplaces: Thulman Eastern

Intercoms: M&S

Security: DSC

Lighting: Murray Feiss & Halo