4/11

Historic Homeowner Spotlights, Part II

Every Monday leading up to our 2016 Historic Homes Tour we’ll feature Q/A’s with two of our wonderful featured homeowners about why they love their neighborhoods and how they’ve updated their homes while keeping them authentic. Enjoy!

HARDY DRIVE: CHRISTY SEALS, HOMEOWNER

Architect Christy Seals, AIA has served as designer and general contractor for three rounds of renovations to her 1954 home, maximizing its compact footprint and preserving historic steel casement windows and hardwood floors.

When did you move into your home, and why did you choose this neighborhood? 

I bought the house in 2002, and it was the first house purchase I had ever made.  I was a few years out of graduate school and Crestview was affordable for a single person on an architect’s salary.  I also liked the idea of a 50’s house that was livable without a lot of work at the time I bought it, but that I could renovate over time.

What do you love most about your home? About your neighborhood? 

The three live oaks in the front yard and the shady view they create through our steel casement windows are probably my favorite original thing about the house.  The screened porch that we added in 2009 and the fence aqueduct are my favorite new things about the house.

What were the scope and notable features of your renovation?

2007 project was bathroom renovation which turned the second closet from the back bedroom into a linen closet for the bathroom.  The 2009 project converted the original 3-1 into a 2-1 to create a more open living/kitchen/dining area, renovated the kitchen, converted the exterior laundry room into interior space and added the rear screened porch. Our last project was the rainwater collection system, which is a fence aqueduct that takes water from the roof along our side fence line to the 2,000 gallon cistern at the rear of the backyard.

Are there any sustainable features you’d like to point out? 

The philosophy for the 2009 renovation was to re-use or layer over things, rather than tear out and have to send things to a landfill. So, the shingle roof is still underneath the metal roof, separated by wood sleepers. The linoleum in the kitchen is underneath the new cork flooring. All of the metal that we pulled out of the house (cast iron piping, sheet metal, etc) was taken to Ecology Action for recycling. We freecycled the kitchen cabinetry and countertops, as well as interior doors and wood windows that were not re-used in the project. Ceiling joists became roof rafters in the part of the house where we did vaulted ceilings. All of the original wood studs were Douglas Fir and were re-used in the new framing configuration. Original wood paneling from the kitchen now lines our outdoor closet. The roof collects rainwater that goes to a cistern in the back yard.

Why did you choose to preserve and remodel your home instead of moving away or demolishing it for a larger house? 

For my own house, necessity was the mother of invention - I could not have afforded to tear down and build new, and that wasn’t interesting for me.  It was more interesting to live in the house and see how it worked before I changed anything - thus the seven years that passed before I did a major renovation.  It has been a fun puzzle to figure out how to change the house incrementally to work for our family, learning that we can live in a smaller footprint because the house has a good connection to the outdoors. Lastly, it is usually the more sustainable approach to work with what you have and renovate/add on, rather than tear down and throw away.

STONEWAY DRIVE: AMY ROGERS, HOMEOWNER

Amy and Jed Rogers purchased this stunner, built in 1964, in 2013. A renovation by Murff-Bada reworked the kitchen and bathrooms while preserving its midcentury charm.

When did you move into your home, and why did you choose this neighborhood?

We felt incredibly lucky to find something in our budget in Allandale. We wanted to live in this neighborhood for its wider streets, big trees, and proximity to family and work. My grandparents and parents also lived in this neighborhood during my childhood so I have fine memories.

What do you love most about your home? About your neighborhood?

We really love the natural light our home receives. True to its MCM roots it has very large rear-facing windows and two 8 foot sliding doors.  We love our Northwest Park and Pool, how quiet the streets are, and how large the trees and lots are. So far, we also love that many of the homes don’t get knocked down, but get renovated and redone - like we did with ours.

What were the scope and notable features of your renovation?

Oh boy, we really gave this baby a facelift from the inside. We closed in a carport breezeway as previously described and also reorganized kitchen and bathrooms to be a bit more modern in function. New appliances, cabinets we built and installed ourselves, concrete overlay floors, fixtures, and our most notable feature is we vaulted our living room ceiling to match the roof pitch and installed period correct trapezoidal windows. It was one of our must haves!

Why did you choose to preserve and remodel your home instead of moving away or demolishing it for a larger house?

We didn’t really need or want a bigger house! We were moving from a 800 sq. ft. condo so essentially our modest home of 1600 sq. ft. was double of what we’re used to. When searching we knew we wanted an older home that we could renovate to our own needs. We feel like we hit the lottery with this house and location! As a native Austinite it was really important to maintain the character of the house.

THERE'S NOTHING LIKE LEARNING ABOUT THESE AMAZING HOMES IN PERSON, SO BUY YOUR TICKETS TO THE TOUR TODAY!