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White House renovations underway while president 's away

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While President Donald Trump spends much of August in New Jersey on a "working vacation", the White House is undergoing repairs and renovations.

Renovations will take more than two weeks and cost an estimated $3.4 million to add fresh paint, replace old carpets, switch out the air conditioners and heaters, and perform some routine maintenance in the old building.

White House officials, including outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer, gave reporters a brief tour of the West Wing as contractors worked to revamp the West Wing before Trump returns later this month. As of Friday, CNN reported there were already storage units filled with items from the West Wing out near the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The tour included a stop in the Oval Office, its wall covered in plastic and the traditional carpet removed, exposing tricolor parquet floors.

The White House, which was rebuilt after being torched by the United Kingdom during the War of 1812, has undergone numerous rounds of renovations.

A sign in the Palm Room of the White House in Washington alerted visitors as the West Wing is undergoing renovations.

Trump has been spending time at a golf course he owns in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he has held meetings with his advisers about North Korea's nuclear threat and other issues.

Signs of the renovations have dotted the White House for much of the last seven days.

"These huge maintenance projects are not atypical", said Betty Monkman, a White House curator from 1967 to 2002, according to The Times.

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