Time Thief

Monday, October 09, 2006

Guest Improving

Most of the work I did this weekend was not on my house...... A friend recently gave birth to twin boys. She and her family moved in to a new house two days(!!) before she went into the hospital. They used to live near me in the Village, but when they found they would be growing from 3 to 5 overnight, they knew they had to find a bigger place. She was crushed at the realization that, due to budget, they would have to buy a new-construction house.

She is learning to like it, but knew from day one that some painting would be in order. Every single wall and much of the trim is cream-colored. She lovingly refers to it as 'Johnson County Beige'. Johnson county is the McMansion capitol of the KC area.

I'm always looking for the opportunity for people to "ooooh" and "aaaaaahhh" over my ability to cut-in with zero blue tape. I like the ego boost. So, we knocked out one room this weekend and also selected a color for the nursery.

Blogger won't let me upload the photos. :( It was beige, now it's blue.

Speaking of blue....The Bluetones have returned(!!!!) and there is a new album out today in the UK! Pay big bucks for the import, or get it on iTunes. (Goddess bless Apple.) I randomly picked up an album of theirs in Galway during a driving trip of Ireland. If you ever go to Ireland, you MUST go to Galway. When I returned home, the disc played constantly for 6 months. I finally let other CDs in the changer play occasionally, but their disc did not leave my car for at least 2 years. TWO YEARS!! They craft fabulous brit-pop songs with lyrics that long to dance on your tongue.

An appropriate snippet from the new album:

In the shadow of these black suburban hills
Dreamt by architects who've given up their will
There's an emptiness that never can be filled

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The House Is Theirs!....by just a hair

Expand your horizons and cruise on over to WaiterRant. Most of you housebloggers will likely enjoy reading about this dead man's final good deed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Aging of the housing stock

NPR ran this story last week about tear-downs in Chicago and it reminded me of a post I've been meaning to write.

Here in Perfect Village, we've seen the same thing as told in the NPR story. People building gigantic bohemoths that do nothing for the neighborhood. Sometimes they are teardowns replaced with well-designed (by McMansion standards) palaces. Sometimes they look like an apartment building was dropped on top of a poor, unassuming Cape. In either case, they tend to be BIG.

It has gotten so out of hand that the Village recently modified the permit process. Residents now must submit a full site plan and construction documents for any project that includes creating new structures or adding on to existing. They've also added new lot coverage and height guidelines. Somehow, the city managed to halt the construction of one out-of-control home until after they could enact the new rules. Good idea I suppose, but it complicates my plans to build a garden shed. Site plan? Drawn to scale? From me? I don't think so.

Anyway......with an eye towards helping the post-war housing stock grow old gracefully, the Mid-America Regional Council has published an Idea Book to help owners in "First Suburbs" update their homes to modern standards.

Now, I can't say whether they present good ideas or not. MARC charges for their book. This is something I don't understand at all. If their mission is education and beautification, shouldn't they make it easy to access? From what I can see, similar organizations across the country provide their plan books free-of-charge via web download. (See the 'Plan Books from Other Communities' section here you lucky Minnesotans.)

I can only hope that their suggestions allow for updating the homes while remaining true to some of the neighborhood roots. Unfortunately, that probably comes down to the execution and you can't publish a plan book for that. Whilst my internal debate about what to do with The Kitchen rages on, I'll keep my $10 (on principle) and stick to trolling the open houses for more remodeling ideas.