Google+ House Revivals: May 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

S is for house by the Seashore

We are still house hunting.  We did find a house in a little beach community that we felt had potential.  It was destined for the wrecking ball, but we think it's worth trying to save.  Did you know it's almost impossible to get reasonable financing for a fixer-upper?  Now, if we wanted to scrape the house and start fresh with new construction, banks would fall all over themselves to give us a loan.  Maybe that explains why so many lovely old houses get scraped?

Ah, well, we are in negotiations for the beach house fixer-upper, but the negotiations are not going smoothly.   So, we are going back to the shore this weekend to look at more houses.  But, I really liked the fixer-upper.  Not the mold growing on the ceiling where the roof leaks.  Not the rotting deck.  Definitely not the rat poo in the gutted kitchen.  I like the house's bones.  And banks of windows.  And it just seems to have heart.

If we buy it, which we very likely won't (since negotiations have stalled, because the seller seems to have forgotten that the housing bubble burst), here is what we would like to do.

We would like to raise the house one level to better take advantage of this view.

Here's another view of the back of the house.  The stairs would need to be moved to meet setback requirements.

Here's a before.

Here is a before of the front of the house...
and an after.

And another before of the front, showing the entrance...

... and here is a concept of how it would look after.

Remember the nasty kitchen?

Well, it could look like this!
I've decided to represent flagstone flooring, even though it isn't my favorite, because it is already there, and would be very expensive to replace.

This plan would leave all the fixtures in the same place, because that's less expensive to do, and it was pretty efficiently designed the first time around.  We would add a small island, however, because there is plenty of room for one!

Okay, I'll only share this one last space...
I'll spare you the rant about how dangerous step up tubs are, and how most building codes don't allow them, because too many people have broken their hips and chipped their teeth trying to climb into these things.

You can see why this is my dream home!

Who wouldn't want this nasty, stained moldy shower?

 Or this ripped out wall?

Seriously, though, without moving any major plumbing, but by thoughtfully planning the existing space, this bathroom could look like this.
Notice that there is NO chandelier over the bathtub.

I'll save that rant for another day, but I will say that I get REALLY tired of wanna be designers placing chandeliers over tubs.  It violates most electrical codes to do this, and can be very dangerous.

Well, there you have it.  The beach house. Could be my dream house.  Could be just another frog I've kissed trying to find my dream house.  Now, I'm off to pack my bags for the seashore to do a little more frog kissing (just in case the negotiations completely fall apart on this one)!

This post is being linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday, and House of Grace Best of 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

R is for Review

Okay, class, it's always good to do a little Review.
Last week's post was about Quoins-- how many of you were able to identify the quoins in the montage?  If you couldn't, that's okay.  This week, I've included the answers!

Lintels.  These stretched across the openings of some buildings.  If the weight of the stone above was not redistributed by an arch, lintels often failed. 

Flying buttresses.  These literally buttress the wall.

Capital, with carved volutes.  One of three parts of the Classical order.

Crenelations, with spaces just big enough to shoot an arrow through.

Cornerstone.  The biggest, squarest, most perfect stone is set aside to be used as a cornerstone.  It must be perfect, because the rest of the building is built around it.

Quoins.  Large squared off stones used to build up the corners of a masonry wall.  Quoin and coin both come from a word meaning "wedge"-- because coins and quoins were tooled with special wedges.  When building a rubble wall, it's especially important to use large, strong quoins on the corners, alternating the long "legs".  This helps to tie the two walls together, and by alternating the legs, you prevent having long, continuous joint lines that can result in splitting and separating of the walls.

Keystone.  Stone structures are not held together by mortar.  They are held together by gravity.  The weight of the keystone pushing down against the rest of the arch, and thus redistributing the load, is what holds the arch together.  The keystone of an arch has a nice wedge shape, and is "wedged" into the top of the arch and held tightly in place by weight and friction.

Okay, that's my assignment for this week, Mrs Matlock!  Sorry for the "Re-tread", but I've been working on an extra credit assignment.  Here's a preview:

To see more "R" posts visit Jenny Matlock's blog.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Q is for What?

Q is for quoin.  I love, love, love old stone buildings!  The details in old stone architecture are just incredible.  See if you can identify a quoin in the montage below.  If you can identify all of the elements pictured, I might let you copy my homework next week!
Sources and key in follow up post.  This post is linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday meme.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

P is for Parade of Homes

Many of you know that my husband and I have spent the last several months transitioning to a new part of the country.  We recently sold our home near the Rocky Mountains and have been house hunting near the Pacific Ocean.

This weekend we went out to a little beach town and looked at some properties there.  When we got home, and I downloaded a million new house pictures onto my hard drive, I realized we have looked at A LOT of houses! 

So, I thought I would share a few of the highlights from our personal Parade of Homes, starting with the home that sheltered our family for sixteen years.  Excuse the mess-- we were moving!

And this is my personal favorite house in our new city.  This is "the one that got away"!

And this was the craziest of many bad remodels we saw during the house hunting.

This was a darling house in sweet little neighborhood near the sound.  We discovered it just before going out of town for a last Thanksgiving with our kids in the old house.  When we got back, it was already under contract. 

This house was a foreclosure, and it was damp and squishy inside -- and it had been stripped of all the fixtures!
But, it had a nice view.

This former boat club was my husband's favorite-- not because of it's great beauty...

but because it had these docks...
which have sunk, but that's okay, because they are grandfathered in, and can be repaired.

An all time favorite was this little Tudor, but alas,
 we thought it was a tad overpriced for it's condition and lack of view.  And while we were wringing our hands, it went under contract....

And now we are looking at this beach house.
Which has been gutted.
And used to have a view of this from the main floor.

But, it doesn't anymore because of this shifting sand dune...
... but, it can have a view again, at great expense, if we have the house raised several feet.

So, there they are!  The highlights of our personal parade of homes.  Which would you choose?
This post is being linked to Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlock's place.