This Valentine’s Day, we’re thinking about the romance of home repairs by taking a close look at the movie The Notebook. The plot of the movie is primarily about a young couple. But alongside the love story is a home restoration story of how an old waterfront home can be transformed into a showcase.
As building repair experts, we took a close look at The Notebook house and what Noah was up against during the restoration process.
In a new 3D floor plan of the house from The Notebook, you can see for yourself how a rundown and neglected property was repaired. Learn more about the home repair details that contributed to the total restoration of this old southern gem.
How Much of The Notebook’s Plot Focused on the House?
The Notebook is a romantic drama. It’s not a DIY show or This Old House. And yet, repairing the old southern house was a theme that ran throughout the movie.
It started with a young couple, Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams), daydreaming about a home they might share together.
During their summer love, they visited a rundown mansion that had more things wrong with it than could be named. But as Noah said, “It’s right on the water. And there’s a big old barn out there. I could turn that into my workshop.”
Even though the couple split up, Noah’s dad helped him purchase this dream home, and the father-and-son team began working on restoring it together. After his father passed, Noah obsessively threw himself into the repairs.
After the renovations were complete, the plantation house was a showcase. It attracted several offers above the asking price, but Noah turned them all down. When a photo of the restored house made it into the local newspaper, the house was what brought Allie back to him.
How Did Noah Rebuild the House from The Notebook?
In the movie, we see the actor fixing the roof, tearing off the second-story porch, repairing the third-story porch, replacing the windows, and painting.
However, the before-and-after scenes of the house show that it needed many more repairs than was shown in the on-screen montage. After all, the house was built in the 1850s.
If the house from The Notebook was being restored in real life, Noah would have started with waterproofing, adding a sump pump, and installing a whole-house dehumidifier. The house is so close to the water that it probably flooded during its years of neglect.
By addressing any water problems first, a new owner could feel confident that their repairs wouldn’t be ruined after the next big storm or hurricane. No homeowner wants to repeat the process of refinishing the floors or repairing the stairs.
The house also needed structural renovations, including leveling the foundation, stabilizing the leaning chimney, and repairing beams to make sure that all floors and staircases are safe. It needed new electrical systems and updated plumbing. Plus, the yard needed a tremendous amount of work to clean up the brambles and fallen trees. Inside the home, it needed a complete rehab and interior finishing including cabinetry, painting, and furniture.
Where Is the House from The Notebook?
The house used in filming The Notebook is located outside of Charleston, SC, on Wadmalaw Island. It’s a private residence known as Martin’s Point Plantation. However, when Nicholas Sparks wrote the book, he set the story a little farther north in New Bern, NC.
By making the movie in the Charleston, SC, area, the crew had access to additional filming locations needed for the story, including the College of Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Cypress Gardens where the boat scene with the birds was filmed.
For Noah and Allie’s house, the filmmakers decided to use a beautiful building and modify it to look neglected for the earlier movie scenes. With 4,255 square feet, five bedrooms, and four-and-a-half bathrooms, the big old house is a Southern gem. Its location on a point of land means it’s surrounded by water, and there are views from nearly every room.
Want to Look Inside the Houses From Other Movies?
The house from The Notebook isn’t the only on-screen home you can look inside. Three-dimensional floor plans are also available for the house from Home Alone where you can find 14 different booby traps that Kevin set for the Wet Bandits.
Plus, you can walk through another holiday classic. The infographic of the house from A Christmas Story lets you spot the house differences to discover some of the best scenes from the movie.
Do You Want to Transform Your Home?
Whether you’re doing a major restoration like in The Notebook or you have more modest house plans, home repair experts can help you make smart decisions to improve the building’s integrity and comfort.
Our partners at Tar Heel Basement Systems, Mount Valley Foundation Services, and Dry Pro Systems have shown that successful home renovations in North Carolina and South Carolina homes start with effective basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and crawl space repair. Sign up for a free inspection to learn how the structural changes you make to your basement or ground floor can have a dramatic effect on your home.