I was recently introduced to a creative guy named Jeremy Bell who took on a full-scale home renovation project with a unique approach. Faced with the “renovate or move” dilemma, Jeremy and his wife opted to stay in the hood and replace their small, outdated bungalow with an inspirational dwelling. Jeremy also took the extra step of documenting the whole build process through a blog, which he’s updated on a fairly regular basis.
The blog is quite extensive, listing all the partners and consultants working on the project. The phases of construction are well documented with commentary on how decisions were made with respect to materials, processes, equipment, etc. He invited comments from the general public soliciting both praise and criticism from viewers. The project really took on a life of its own when they decided to go as “green” as possible with the project and inevitably sparked the most debate among viewers. As a designer, I know that you can’t please everyone and I’m sure Jeremy knew that when he began blogging about the project. I must also say that when weighing in on eco-friendly decisions, there is a cost/benefit analysis approach that is inescapable and I’ll explore this issue in a future blog.
For those considering their own teardown and build project, Jeremy’s blog serves as an excellent guide and will undoubtedly save you some time and money. I particularly liked a short video of a pre-demolition walk-through of their empty house culminating with a sledgehammer going through the dining room wall of their once treasured house, Jeremy and Jennifer giggling at the destruction. I’m thinking that one evening, I’d like to polish off a bottle of red and demo a couple of partition walls in our home, you know, just to open things up. Inspiration or tom-foolery?