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From Loft Living to a 'Home Town' Home

May 16, 2017

Ben and Erin Napier help long-time friends, Dawn and Michael, transition from downtown living to a family-friendly neighborhood home with a pro-style kitchen and a great outdoor space.

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Suburban Dreams

Ben and Erin pose for a pic at the front entrance to the newly renovated home of their good friends Dawn and Michael Trest. The Trests had been living the downtown loft lifestyle for several years but, with two young kids, were ready to settle into a more family-friendly setting in a traditional neighborhood. As Michael said, "It's time for a house and a yard." The Trests' wish list includes a nice yard and an open combination kitchen-living area where whole the family can be together. Their all-in budget, including any renovations, is $200,000.

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The Stringer House, built in 1968, had belonged to a local chef and restaurateur. It has a lot of the features the Trests were looking for including a classic neighborhood setting, four bedrooms, two baths and a nice enclosed backyard. It's essentially a split-level ranch but it has a visually awkward carport and, inside, has a somewhat problematic layout. The list price: $108,000 leaving around $92,000 for renovations. 

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Ben and Erin removed the visually obtrusive carport and replaced it with a new patio area with an arbor and seating area. Focus at the front is shifted back to the main entrance which gets a new front door and decorative column in natural wood finish. Coordinating window boxes, custom made by Ben, and a gray-green exterior and new shutters help give the house a more unified look and enhance curb appeal.

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Dream Team

Erin and Ben meet with construction foreman Jonathan Walters (center) and residential designer Luke Sippel (right) before demolition begins. According to Luke, the biggest challenge in the renovation will be the removal of a wall to open the kitchen onto the living room, since the wall needing to be removed was once an exterior brick wall.

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