Meeting the neighbors

We had our first neighborly conversation yesterday. There was a little dog in our driveway so we went out to make sure she wasn't lost and it turned out to be our neighbor's pooch. The neighbor was in his backyard so we went over and said hello.

He invited us in. He has a gorgeous mid-century ranch with a stone fireplace in the living room.

We learned a little bit more about our house and neighborhood. We are only the 3rd owners of our house. The previous owner bought it from Mrs. Greis (the original owner) after she became a widow.

Most of the people on our street are only the second or third owners. And most of the houses were built around the same time by the same people, which explains why they're similar in style for the most part (single story ranches) but with very distinct and different accents and touches.

In the blue

I got ambitious and took the promised photos of the blueprints, which had some additional info about the house. It was originally built for Mr. and Mrs. Geo Greis. The project started July 1939 (the house was finalized in 1943 according to tax records). The architects were David C. Baer and Lewis M. Hamby, whose office was located at 903 W. 24th, Austin, TX at the time.

The main difference is that our house used to have a garage in the front (the thing on the right that says Gravel Floor). The pencil drawing over the original blueprint is the current layout of the front of the house - with some of the garage becoming the front of the house, some of it becoming our front porch and some of it becoming our driveway. This is pretty surprising because we have a carport in the back and if I had to guess I would have said it was original to the house. Whoever built it, built it in the style of the original construction. The back of the house and kitchen have sense been added onto as well.

The best thing about this photo is that we now know what the original door looked like. I have a mild obsession with front doors and I hate our current one (because it's ugly). I was originally thinking The Westhaven would be perfect (Rachel liked The Highgrove) but now I'm thinking The Romeria or The Montrose might be more appropriate. (Our door would be in black, probably, to go with the white brick.) You can also really see the garage here. Maybe most surprising of all, our house used to be more siding than brick. Our house is almost entirely brick in front now; when they knocked down the garage they must have replaced all the siding.

East Side
The porch seen here (from the front of the house to the downspout) is now our dining room. Windows, doors and stairs are gone and our kitchen table is there now.

The back of the house looks nothing like this anymore. From the left side of the house to the downspout has been added on to and is now a study/master bath. They mimicked the look of the original house by putting in corner windows and added a back door. Both of which are really nice to have.

West Side
The garage and wood siding is now gone and that small window got turned into a full-size window. The house originally had wood shingles with a metal ridge running up the middle. I bet it looked really sweet with the wood siding. We now have normal shingles (whatever they're made out of). I haven't been on the roof yet, but I think the metal ridge is gone too.

Addition "blue" print
I found this in with the original blueprints. It's a big porch addition on the back of the house, also adding the back door. It looks like this took place at the same time they took out the garage; those "new walls" at the bottom of the page are the current footprint of the house. This addition has since became the study and master bath.

Keeping you posted

Sorry there haven’t been any updates here lately, but it’s mainly because we haven’t made an updates to the house lately. Honestly, we purchased a house that needed some cosmetic fixes, but not a lot of structural fixes. We made the structural fixes (plumbing and electric) and now we’re giving our pocketbook a little bit of time to recover.

The old owner was nice enough to leave us the original blueprints to the place though. I’m hoping to scan or photograph them soon and do a compare and contrast to what the place looks like currently. This will be based on my very limited understanding of blueprints (learned when I was a theater nerd building sets), so they’re bound to be filled with misreads and mistakes. But hopefully the posts will be fun to read nonetheless.