26 March 2012

Construction in the 'Hood

When we started our design/building process (nearly three years ago now!), ours was one of the only construction sites in the neighborhood. But now they're popping up all over, and of course I love watching their progress. I've been taking pictures for a really long time, and I could keep waiting to write about this until more of them are complete, but then there would be more houses under construction, and it would be never-ending. So I'm calling the construction in the 'hood photo project done. (At least for now.)

Jumping right in, here's a "before" that was calling out for an "after":

It was taken down to the studs and de-Addams-Family-ified...

...and now looks 1,000 percent better:

In pretty big news for our quiet little neighborhood, an already rough-looking house a few blocks away was (allegedly) burned down by its tenant the day before he was scheduled to be evicted. A builder snapped up the corner lot, tore down what was left of the old structure, and got to work:

The resulting home -- one of the biggest in the neighborhood -- sold in record time. (Like ours, construction wrapped up during the summer, and it went the whole first year without landscaping.)

Although the neighborhood is from the 1950s and early 1960s, there are some fun new modern houses going in, too.

I didn't find this one until the tail end of construction, but it was fun to watch because they used Marvin Integrity windows like we did, and the "mortarless" stone work was really well done (and I know from experience how labor-intensive it is -- which is why only our fireplace is mortarless).

Here's another remodel, which took a traditional ranch (unfortunately, I don't have any befores)...

worked with (and emphasized) the linear aspects of it...

...added this funky angular entry area...

...and turned it into a modern home with, as my friend Bubba over at Austin Cubed would say, a case of the horizontals:

This one is also technically a remodel...

...with precious little left of the old bungalow (just the brick part on the left?):

Remodeling green is technically greener than building green (because you're not tearing everything out and sending it to the landfill; you're keeping what's good about the structure and updating it with energy-efficient materials, etc.). I haven't been inside, but judging by the geothermal lines we've seen going in in the front yard, I'd say it's going to be a pretty efficient house.

This one has been going on for a while. It started by taking the old house down to the studs...

...and rebuilding in every direction:

Then there's this.

It's similar to the other traditional-ranch-to-modern-single-story above (but with a more serious case of the horizontals), but I swear it's been at the house wrap stage for over a year. I don't know what's going on -- foreclosure? Bankruptcy? Contractor dispute? Lack of will to go on? -- but I'm ever hopeful that this house will someday fulfill its modern destiny.

Wow, I didn't realize how many of the projects in the neighborhood are quite modern. So far, though, they're still few enough and far enough between that the 'hood hasn't lost any of its charm. What's clear, though, is that the wave of remodels/teardowns is moving north into Allandale, and ten or fifteen years from now, it's going to be a pretty different place.

1 comment:

  1. That "rebuilding in every direction" building is very horizontal and neoplastic. Me likes.