part 1 – the problem and the solution
Our house turned 60 this year! Hard to believe ‘futuristic’ Midcentury Modern homes are 50 – 70 years old, and like the rest of the baby boomer generation, they are showing their age and are often requiring more than just routine maintenance. Some items in midcentury homes (like ceramic tile and Formica counters) hold up remarkably well. Other items, like roofs and exterior retaining walls, not so much. Original appliances are few and far between these days, and seeing an original furnace or boiler is an even rarer sight. And don’t even get me started on midcentury electrical issues (no GFCI outlets, Federal Pacific electric panels, fuse boxes), which are all easily remedied and certainly worthwhile improvements. At least we know exactly what to expect and can counsel our buyers and sellers accordingly. But time marches on….and sometimes bigger issues need attention, which can present the opportunity to kick it up a few notches.
Our current home of 19 years is our 3rd midcentury home. In our 30 years of MCM home ownership, we feel like we have personally experienced it all. But we are embarking on our biggest project to date – removing our 60 year old loose laid paver block patio, cement block retaining wall, and some old cruddy brick steps and giving our house the back yard entertaining space that it needs (and deserves). We are following our own advice, and doing an improvement that we can actually enjoy while we live in our house, instead of improving to sell.
But like any good project, one thing has lead to another (if you give a mouse a cookie…..). First thing we did when we decided to move forward was to hire an architect to mastermind the plan. We have worked with Chris Magee in the past (fireplace renovation, front steps/entry and carport addition) and knew he was the one to tie all of these projects and the new project together with a comprehensive plan. The huge rainstorms of a few weeks ago tipped us off that we had issues with 3 of our buried downspout lines, luckily in time to remedy within the scope of our project. And then there is the matter of our garage and driveway. Do we take this opportunity to improve these as well? It’s all in the master plan!
Today was day #1 of construction. Or should I say demolition. Here are before pics and Chris’ masterplan. I will post project updates here and on Facebook and instagram if you want to follow the progress. Ultimate goal: a great space to entertain and serve tiki drinks! These baby boomers need a place to chill 🙂