. Love At First Sight Beach Rental, 3310 West Beach Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465
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Love At First Sight Beach House Sign


The Interior Renovation:
1969 Charm Brought Up To 2017 (and 2024) Specs

Love At First Sight
Oak Island, North Carolina, USA

Welcome to the information portal for Love At First Sight, a well-maintained 2nd row beach rental located on the beautiful west end of Oak Island, NC.

We knew, from the get-go, that this wonderful 1969 beach cottage would need a few updates.  We had a thorough house inspection during the purchase process and there was nothing on the inspection report that surprised or alarmed us.  We went into the purchase with eyes wide open, and we were only going to do "this much" to the house, anyway.

We knew we needed a new roof immediately, and knew we wanted to change the flooring and paint the paneling.  Not bad for a first pass at the renovation plan.

January 2017 photo of side B prior to any renovation.

The interior was original 1969 paneling throughout.  The ceiling was gorgeous tongue and groove 1" pine with real wood beams.  We wanted to preserve those ceilings but paint the paneling throughout the rest of the house.  Over 90 percent of the floor was carpeted and we planned on replacing it all with tile, wood, or plank vinyl. 

July 2017 photo of side B after renovation.

Our First Project Expansion:  The Ceiling
During the earliest part of the 2017 renovation, we started by purchasing a new metal roof.  Right after the old asphalt shingles were stripped, during the felt paper underlayment installation, our metal roofing crew (not part of our general contractor's scope or crews) accidentally shot through nearly the entire length of the house's roof with nails that were 1/4" too long for the tongue and groove ceiling below.  The beautiful interior ceilings were ruined.

There was no way to repair the damage.  We decided to professionally insulate and finish with drywall, remediating the damage and bringing some needed efficiency to the house.

The drywall ceiling line was changed to hide the exposed HVAC run on both sides of the interior space.  We didn't plan it this way, but it worked out well.

An original listing photo, side A kitchen, 2016 or earlier.

Growing The Scope:  "Come See A House I'm Working On Down The Street..."
As we shopped for flooring, we decided to hire a contractor to help coordinate and manage the project.  He took us to a house nearby with a nearly-complete package of luxury vinyl plank flooring, kitchen cabinets, and countertops. 
With one look, the scope of our project immediately widened.  It looked great!  With the ceiling project now in the plan, we might as well do some other things, too.

2023 photo, side A kitchen.

The original washer and dryer units on each side of the house were stacked and located in the middle bedroom.  If we moved them out to the kitchens, under a new raised peninsula & bar, we'd free up a lot of space in the bedrooms.

An original listing photo, 2016 or earlier.  Each side's middle bedroom had a stacked washer and dryer.

The design below is mirrored on each side, complete with modern Samsung front-load washer and dryers.

2023 photo, looking into the kitchen of Unit A.

The front loads are pretty tall, but it makes for a great work surface and eating area on the back side.

An original listing photo, 2016 or earlier.

The HVAC runs were added well after 1969 and exposed on both sides of the house.  Our unfortunate 2017 roofing episode forced a change of plans on the ceiling area that worked well in the end.  Optimism!

Initial framing to conceal the HVAC run and prep for insulation.

We enclosed the entire HVAC run and made a beautiful, smooth drywall ceiling.

Insulation complete, early 2017.

Now well insulated for years of interior comfort and easier demand on the HVAC.

A different look without the planks, but necessary in many ways (early 2017).

The finished product is a beautiful, smooth ceiling throughout the house.

2023 photo, side A.

Demo and Decisions:  "Since the house is open, let's upgrade and replace...everything."

Early demo on the kitchen for side B, Spring of 2017.

The demo went well, and the opportunity to fix/upgrade/replace everything inside at once was presented.  We chose to do it now, rather than have this level of disruptive construction in the house again someday.  We ordered a practical whole house replacement of the original plumbing with modern PEX lines.

While upgrading the plumbing, we decided to replace the original, 15-gallon electric water heater (that served the entire house) with two new electric tankless hot water systems, serving each side of the house independently.  This required a significant upgrade to the entire house's electrical system, including a new 400-amp service line from the local power company (upgraded from 200-amp).  New outlets and switches throughout.  The results are a completely modern, efficient house with a giant "reset" on every major surface and system.

This tiny water heater had to go.

The bathrooms were stripped down to the studs in the showers and fiber cement backer board, ceiling-high tiles, and new fixtures were installed.

2016, or earlier, photo of an original bathroom.

The cottage has taken on a completely new life with the interior updates throughout.

Lots of work, but well worth it.

2023 photo of the bathroom in Unit A.  Unit B's bathroom is a mirror image of this photo.

The house was a duplex in 2016.  During the 2017 renovation, we had a metal, exterior style door installed in the middle of the shared hallway wall which separated the A and B sides.

2023 photo or earlier.

The result was a way to share the entire space for whole-house rentals, and to offer some overnight privacy for the family members sharing the house.  In the photo below, the photographer stood in the threshold area of that door, visually capturing the A side and B side of the forward interior.

2023 photo

The entire interior was professionally painted in 2017 as part of the renovation.  Below are the bedrooms as photographed in 2023.

Primary bedroom for side A, 2023 photo.

Second bedroom for side A, 2023 photo.

Primary bedroom for side B, 2023 photo.

Second bedroom for side A, 2023 photo.

Ready to see the exterior renovations?  Click here.


Love At First Sight Beach Rental
Oak Island, North Carolina, USA

2017-2024 Love At First Sight Beach Rental, Oak Island, NC

Contact Information

Love At First Sight Beach Rental
Oak Island, NC

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Beach Access

The 2017 Interior Renovation

The 2024 Exterior Renovation

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