To date, most of our blog posts have been about getting our hands dirty, dodging the critters of Woodside & hanging out underneath the farmhouse. I thought we should shake things up a bit and give you all a preview of our renovation plans. I’ve mentioned before that we are working with an amazing architect, Jennifer Sims Taylor at Fendler & Associates. Having never worked with an architect before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Not only is it fun to see the different ways to use existing space, it’s also incredibly inspiring to see what the farmhouse will look like one day after all the hard work.
You may have noticed from previous pictures that the front door faces the alley instead of the street, which is the opposite direction of all the other homes on our street. Because we are at the end of the alley that is adjacent to the street, you can still see the front of the house from the street if you are driving south on Bredell. Keep in mind that Woodside was the first home built in Maplewood and everything around it at the time was farmland, which means there were no streets off which to orient the front door. When we bought the house, people asked if we planned to physically rotate the house and/or move the front door to the opposite side. In addition to being logistically challenging and costly, changing even the mere angle of how the house sits on the land (much less rotating the entire house) would alter its exterior appearance and possibly result in the property losing its status on the National Register of Historic Places. If after that lengthy explanation you still think it’s weird to come off an alley to the front door of our house, well – send us a text and we’ll meet you around back … er, front?
In addition to not changing the angle or location of the house on the property, we also must keep the exterior appearance the same due to the house’s historic status. We will remove and replace the existing siding and windows, but the colors and layout (such as number and placement of windows) will remain the same. The two-story enclosed porch and kitchen addition we tore off last summer will be rebuilt as they were. We will also add a two-car garage attached on the north side of the kitchen and a driveway off the alley on the east side of the house. Here is the future site plan:
Not pictured: the pool I keep bringing up to Brendon as part of the “10-year plan” that so far has nothing else on it, other than a pool. Here’s hoping the groundhog moves back so that we can get a head start the excavation for THAT project.