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Howdy! I am a newbie here so I appologize if this has been covered. My wife and I just bought a house in Madison, Wi and due to price, location, etc we bought a 1970's style ranch house.
Two blocks over, 1950's homes were selling for $400k in a "name" neighborhood, where our neighborhood is all 1960's and 1970's single floor ranch homes.
We would like to keep our house in matching with the neighborhood, however we both like I guess what you would call Frank Lloyd Wrong (I mean Wright), Craftsman or Prarie style homes. Additionally, in Madison it seems that Prarie homes are all the range along with alleys, and narrow streets, and green homes.
It seems that many people on here are quite accomplished DIYers or professional builders so I seek your advice. To convert our boring 1 story white ranch into a more styled craftsman styled home, what do you think are the key points on the exterior and interior.
Additionally, we are hoping to make the home a green certified home, not a big deal but it makes us feel better, the guidelines don't seem to bad, it makes sense and a local new home builder only makes green homes, Veridian, and supposedly gets a 10-20% premium in Madison just because its green. We are all a bunch of vegan commies I guess! Just kidding, I love steak.
Green guidelines are here.
We are closing in four weeks so our brain is going wild. This winter we hope to work on the interior and plan to do most of the basic carpentry ourselves. Plumbing seems and electrical seem to be in good shape and we don't have any desire to move anything. Here is our tenative plans:
Finish basement, currently cement floor. Approximately 800 square ft. Plan was one large room for me, has fireplace in basement and I want to put down a wood floor but I know they are not recommended in a basement so I need to figure what I want to put down. I really don't want carpet. This area will be about 1/2 of the basement, the other half will have 4 small rooms. 1 electrical, heating, etc, with a 1/2 bath. One room will be laundry, and the other two rooms will be an office and probably a workshop/crafts.
To give it a craftsman feel, we plan to use wainscoting throughout and some small details in the door and window frames. Ultimately, we have a good idea of what we want to do to the house but we have some time to do it over a long stage (few years)
However, the outside is where we are strugling, right now is a basic 1970's yellow ranch, with a little bit of exposed cement on one side of the house as yard slopes away. Additionally, we plan to add a deck on the back in the future (we're not made of money) but we want to do something to the cement porch (one step) in front. Any ideas?
We may keep a website so people can learn what not to do. :)