Renovating A Cozy, Storm-Ravaged Home In New Orleans

By Atlantic Premium Shutters by Tapco | May 4, 2016

Rashida Ferdinand's renovation of her historic home was put on hold after her neighborhood was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina 

New Orleans resident Rashida Ferdinand had been renovating her historic shotgun-style home for about a year when Hurricane Katrina ravaged her Holy Cross neighborhood.

An artist, lifelong New Orleanian, and hands-on home improvement enthusiast, Ferdinand had removed an interior wall to open up the house by transforming two smaller rooms into one large one. She had also added a fireplace, removed linoleum flooring and stripped the ceiling to reveal tongue-and-groove construction.

After the storm flooded her home with several feet of water, Ferdinand secured grant money to expand on her renovation and repair work. Following mold remediation, she added significant first-floor space at the rear of the home along with a camelback second-story expansion. First-floor additions included a living room and bedroom, while the camelback added a master suite. The expansion also added breezy side and back porches, along with an upstairs balcony.

Her outdoor living ambience was enhanced by new shutters that grace each of the home’s window and door openings, including several doorways and smaller, custom-sized windows. “They provide an extra decorative accent,” Ferdinand says. “I love the shutters and the color they bring.”

She selected the terra cotta-like Canyon color for her Atlantic Premium Louvered Colonial Shutters. “The style of the shutters works with the historic fabric of the neighborhood,” she says. Her yard also received new landscaping and a fence with a gateway arch. 



Larry Schneider, owner of Schneider Construction, served as general contractor for Ferdinand’s renovation project and suggested the Atlantic shutters to deliver functional beauty for the home’s exterior. He had previously installed the shutters on another home in the same neighborhood. “The shutters look beautiful and they install very easily. They also come with a hefty warranty on the paint finish,” he says.

He also noted the competitive pricing and efficient production of the customized shutters. “With something like Spanish cedar shutters, the turnaround could be several times as long. And in our climate where you get a lot of moisture, especially in summer, that’s not good for real wood that needs to breathe.”

In Ferdinand’s case, the shutters are also extremely practical. “I open and close the front-door shutters and first-floor window shutters every day,” she says. “I use them instead of the old metal security bars that used to be on the windows. They’re easy to close and open.”  

“After the damage from the storm, my renovation not only enabled me to have a space to live where I could be comfortable – it also gave me a feeling of hope and possibility for the restoration of my neighborhood,” she says. “I see my neighborhood as an extension of my home. Returning to my neighborhood and living in my newly-renovated house has been a motivation for me to work with my community and support the efforts to rebuild it and make it a better place for others to return home.”

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