As Andy and Elizabeth Cloud saw drywall removed in what had been a bedroom closet in their Memorial Glen home, pain from the trauma of Hurricane Harvey damage started to peel away.
The couple have lived in their 1960s-era home in Memorial Glen for 15 years and in the fall of 2017 thought they might have actually been one of a few homes in their neighborhood that didn’t flood.
Rain had been coming down for days, and floodwaters rose, inch by inch, into their yard. They’d evacuated to a neighbor’s house in a higher area and visited their own home several times a day by boat.
It remained dry until the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were released; 18 inches of water flooded inside the back, a foot in the front. Their hardwood floors popped up 3 feet high, tossing furniture all around.
They’d done renovations in stages. An addition that included a new primary bedroom suite and revamped laundry room finished less than two years before the hurricane. The work added about 1,000 square feet to their 2,600-square-foot home.
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The Clouds, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, spent weeks mucking and cleaning up their home before Andy, now 57, returned to work at his job as an investment banker. Elizabeth, 49, took an extended time away from her job at a major insurance company.
She sprayed her home daily with Concrobium Mold Control spray and met with Cade Wiley of Wiley Homes, the contractor who’d worked on their previous projects, and interior designer Joani Scaff of Paisley House, who has helped the family for many years.
“I looked back at old pictures and where we’d been (with the house) and said, ‘Let’s let go of what’s expected and do what feels good for this family, at this moment in time,’” Scaff said.
Their goal was a house that felt bold, fresh and new.
After an extended cleanup and seven months of construction, the family moved back in, living upstairs only. Four months after that, they were able to move back into the primary bedroom suite and use their new kitchen. The dining room finished last.
In addition to vast damage to a house they’d invested a lot in, the floodwaters damaged furniture made by Elizabeth’s grandfather, a beautiful sleigh bed, armoire, bench and other wood pieces that were a hobby for him but looked like they were made by skilled artisans.
The cost of refinishing all of it was prohibitive, so they chose a handful of things to restore and had to let go of other things. The loss contributed to Elizabeth’s anxiety, but now she looks through her finished house and knows she has moved …….