The historic Schettler House in Salt Lake City's Avenues neighborhood had long been divided into apartments when Robert and Deborah Young purchased it in1994. Robert Young described the house, with its 15-20 layers of wall coverings, multiple floor coverings, three kitchens, and four separate heating systems, as "suffering from 90+ years of redecorating."
During their meticulous renovation project, the Young carefully document the layers of historic finishes as they were removed. Whenever possible, the original fabric of the house was retained or reused. All new materials required are compatible with the historic materials, like woodwork replicated with a computerized milling machine. The Young's used information from previous residents and physical evidence to understand the house's original floor plan and an old photo to restore the front porch.
The Young's also upgraded the house's mechanical and electrical systems to meet the needs of 21st century living. In addition to all new wiring and plumbing, after the renovation the house had a central heating system for the first time in its existence.
One of the Youngs' initial goals for this project was to insure that all work met the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Historic Rehabilitation. The Youngs' careful planning and coordination with their architect and contractor achieved this goal and serve as a model for sensitive renovation.