14 April 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Almost two years ago, when we hatched our crazy scheme to buy the old house, tear it down, and rebuild, there were very few new houses or major remodels going on in the neighborhood. (In fact, I can't think of any.) Allandale was just outside the radius of expensive neighborhoods where fancy folks would come in and pay "retail" for a house and then spend more to tear it apart and rebuild. (We were able to get the old house for a little less than the value of the land, which made it doable for us.) But over the last two years, we're seeing more and more construction in the neighborhood. A friend of a friend is at the tail end of a new build just south of us, there's another new house going up a few blocks away (although, sadly, that one is due to arson by the former tenant, who was about to be evicted), and this major remodel just got started:

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the before. Or maybe fortunately -- it wasn't pretty. The house has a difficult footprint, with the front door in the corner next to the garage door and a sea of concrete at the entry. It was dark grey with a weird brick and wrought iron wall in front, and it generally reminded me of a funeral home. So, even though the orientation isn't changing, I was happy to see that the contractor took demolition pretty seriously.

I wonder what his plans are for this happy little chalet going on at the left. (Did I say "happy"? I may have meant "awkward.")

I'm tempted to get in touch with the builder and pump him for information about green features he may be incorporating. ('Cause, yeah, I'm nerdy like that.) I'm not very familiar with this builder, but I do know that he has experience building very green new homes. I'd love to get some insight into some of the challenges and opportunities that go along with green remodeling. Maybe if I happen to catch him at the house one of these days....

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