Deborah and Frank D’Elia knew they wanted their two children to attend the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, but Frank’s incredibly long hours working as a urological cancer surgeon certainly didn’t leave him time for house-hunting.

So Deborah took on that role, with awesome results.

Driving through the Harvey Run Community in Chadds Ford, she spotted a large home almost surrounded by woods and decided that’s where the family would live. “It was head and shoulders above everything else,” Frank said.

The large rooms feature high ceilings and plenty of light.
David Werner
The large rooms feature high ceilings and plenty of light.

The fact that it wasn’t for sale was only a minor obstacle.

“She knocked on the door and made them an offer,” Frank recalls. “They chatted back and forth for about a week until we came to a price they’d move out for.”

This was in 1997.

Now, 23 years later, the kids are grown and out on their own, the D’Elias are no longer together. Frank is semi-retired and wants to spend most of his time at a second home he bought in South Carolina.

So Frank, who grew up in a four-room apartment over a grocery store in Bayonne, N.J., is selling the home he and Deborah renovated with a passion over the decades. He estimates that he spent more money on the makeover than he is asking for the four-bedroom, 4½-bath house.

“We attacked it with a vengeance,” he said, adding such touches as a wine cellar, a home theater, and stone waterfalls to the pool. “Anything that went wrong, we changed it.”

The kitchen has granite countertops, a double drawer dishwasher, and a built-in microwave.
David Werner
The kitchen has granite countertops, a double drawer dishwasher, and a built-in microwave.

The living room has a marble-surround fireplace, hardwood floors, and French doors leading to a study large enough for two people to work simultaneously.

The family room has high ceilings and an entertainment center. The main bedroom has a bathroom with steam shower and soaking tub, and huge closets.

The kitchen has top-level granite countertops, a double drawer dishwasher, and a built-in microwave and double oven.

The owners' bedroom has an adjoining bathroom with a steam shower and soaking tub.
David Werner
The owners' bedroom has an adjoining bathroom with a steam shower and soaking tub.

The finished walk-out basement leads to the pool complex, where the two-story pool house has a five-burner Wolf stove, refrigerator, and full bath.

The patio has a 24-foot firebrick wall with a 16-foot California firewall. And there is a three-car garage with hard-wired driveway lights.

The house is listed by Gary Scheivert of BHHS Fox & Roach-Media for $950,000.

The house wasn't on the market when the current owner purchased it, but a deal was made.
David Werner
The house wasn't on the market when the current owner purchased it, but a deal was made.