Living Room Inspiration.
Being on this side of the design and construction process has been very good for me as an architect. I’ve been able to step into the client’s shoes and see the process from the clients perspective. I’ve been able to feel the stress as well as the excitement that comes with remodeling. It truly has opened up my eyes to see where I can improve the design process, how I can be a better architect, and it’s made me appreciate a lot of things……
Laying Out the Plan.
As we were moving into the wind chime house, the previous owners asked us if we would be interested in keeping the original house plans. Um…. YES! PLEASE! As an architect, I couldn’t say no. As we started to create new plans for this place, it has been very helpful to look over the original plans and know what walls are bearing or not. It has also been really fun to look at the landscape plans from 50+ years ago and see what they originally planted in the yard and compare it to what is there now. Back in the day, it was a pretty spectacular ….
Be gone demon shrubs! Hello online shopping.
What do you get when you neglect your yard for 20 plus years? An overgrown mess! After many years of neglect the trees and bushes started getting a mind of their own and began taking over everything they could get their leafy paws on. As you will see from the pictures below, this house definitely needed some cleaning up!
Two years prior to buying this fixer-upper, we sold our house along with pretty much everything else we owned and moved into a small townhouse. The plan was to live in the townhouse for three to five years and then buy or build our dream home. However, plans quickly changed when we found this house…….
A homeowners worst nightmares.
“SORRY KIDS WE’RE BUYING THE STINKY HOUSE”
When we first walked through this house we were taken aback by a few things. One: It had some cool spaces and unique design elements. It was unlike any house we had seen. Two: It Stunk! with a capital “S”. It smelled soo bad that we were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to fix the problem. It was hard to even be in the house for long periods of time. When we were debating making an offer it always came back to the smell as one of the main deterrents. Three: There were things growing in the house. Yes the cool tree atrium which is the heart of the home but also there were little plants growing in the basement carpet.
When we told the kids we were buying this house they were visibly upset. “NO!! Not the stinky house!”
“Sorry Kids we’re buying the stinky house.”
So… even before we closed on the house we had two main goals. Goal numero uno: Get rid of the smell ASAP. Goal 2. Get rid of the mold……..
The Beginning - Wind Chime House
When we were searching for our forever home, we had a wish list a mile long of everything we wanted in a dream home. We searched and searched for houses. We put in several offers on houses we thought would be a good fit, but in the end, none of them worked out. As we searched the MLS listings every day for months, we found this one house that was out of our budget, but we liked the character it had. Because it was not in our price range, we saved it with the hopes that it would come down in price. The trend of the housing market in 2018 looked something like this: If a house was listed on the MLS, the house would go under contract within a week, if not days after it was listed. It was an act fast or lose out kind of market. You also had to make sure your offer was higher than anybody else’s offer, which usually meant you were offering anywhere from $15K to $30K above asking price. Every time we would look on the MLS for new houses, this house was still available. After being on the market for two months, we figured we could at least go look at it and see why nobody was buying it. We figured it either needed a ton of work or the price was ridiculously high for the neighborhood, or both. ……….