Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"The Perestroika/Glastnost Approach"

The properties I've bought to renovate have always come with existing additions or modifications and I haven't necessarily been wild about what the previous owners did.  However, for mainly structural reasons, my predecessors decisions have always factored into my changes.  Sometimes their remodels have been a dominant influence on how I re-worked the layout and on other projects what they did to the house has played a more subtle role in my final design.

Each of my Pig's Ear renovations have been different.  However, they've all been similar in that my visitors routinely comment that my finished homes feel bigger than their respective square footage sizes.  Someone probed me once about this openness.  They were curious and seemed to really want an explanation for why I tore out walls and redesigned the floor plan with multiple columns and headers.  I didn't have a well thought out answer and I ended up saying something like, "It's sort of the perestroika/glasnost approach, I guess... I tear it all down and then I try to open things back up when I rebuild it."

The expression on my interviewer's face seemed to say, "Sorry I asked."  My answer was just what popped into my head and it came out of my mouth as I thought it.  It was what is was.  All I can add to that today is that I've never given that answer a second time.  I have an associate degree in construction engineering, but also have a B.A. in international affairs and although my two degrees are not alike, maybe they come together in my mind in moments like this when I mutter an off-the-wall answer like, "It's sort of the perestroika/glasnost approach."  

Finally, I'll admit that I've heard the late President Reagan's voice during the demolition phase.  It's echoed in the back of my thoughts in a grandfatherly way, very supportive and full of encouragement as I've swung my sledge hammer.   "Mr. Renovator... tear down this wall."

See Step 6 - Sketch Out Your Floor Plan

See Step 8 - Redraw Your Floor Plan

1 comment:

  1. hahahahaha! I was gonna say -- you're talking over most people's heads with that. Not that people can't understand history, they just won't automatically get those kinds of connections ;)