The Meadowlark Blog
Meadowlark Design+Build

Exterior Transformations We Love Part Four – Uncovering a Treasure

By Susan Christian

I also love to call this our “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” project – because if there ever was a contest for Meadowlark remodeling projects that embody that expression – this would be the winner by a long shot!

Meadowlark Whole-Home Renovation on Run down rental Before Photo

Little or No Curb Appeal

This home, from all reports, should have been torn down. From an outsiders perspective it had few redeeming qualities to begin with. Add to that many, many years of wear and tear as a two-apartment student rental and you have something that was anything but compelling for a prospective homeowner.

Enter into the picture clients who are passionate about walking lighter on the earth. Clients who had an eye on this home because of its close proximity to downtown Ann Arbor and also the large double lot with amazing views of the Ann Arbor skyline. They show up on our doorstep because of our history of Green Building and we start talking about possibilities.

Meadowlark Whole Home Renovation Project Existing Conditions

Uncovering Hidden Treasure

And there were so many possibilities from the start, and more that evolved as the project progressed. The many surprises that are encountered on a historic home renovation can be both good and bad, but in the end they can create wonderful opportunities. For the exterior transformation of this home we had a good surprise. A surprise that transformed the exterior of this home, yet preserved its Victorian roots.

Unique original siding details are discovered underneath removed siding

Original sunburst detail on exterior eve is uncovered in this whole home remodel

This home had asbestos siding that was not only unattractive, but also in disrepair. Thus it needed to be carefully removed and properly disposed of. During the process we discovered the original Gingerbread siding with a stunning sunburst detail in the upper gable areas. The lower wood siding was in rough shape and rotting so it had to be removed, but we were able to carefully restore the unique sunburst detail with the help of some artisan lead carpenters. Our designers worked with the clients to come up with a wonderful color palette to bring the detail to life…and the rest is history…or at least the new history of this home. James Hardie cement fiber siding was used below the gables

Bringing Victorian Gingerbread Details to Life!

Testing colors on the sunburst detail on the victorian home

Our clients passion for sustainability drove this project and the end result is a renovation on a historic home that is LEED Platinum Certified.

Oh…and by the way…the interior transformation is just as good as the exterior! This home was carefully deconstructed and many of the elements of the original home were re-used or re-purposed in the renovation. You can learn more about this project and others in our client stories.

After photo of victorian home that was a gut-rehab by Meadowlark

Do you have a sow’s ear you’d like to transform into a silk purse? We’d love to start a conversation.