My friend Canadian artist David Lacey and his wife Heather Stephens like to tackle house projects in their spare time. They are probably laughing boisterously as they read this because they have so many “project” houses, that they have no spare time. David and Heather are also responsible for the X-permit Cabin, The Remodeled School House, and their own home, A Seaside Retreat.
Their latest adventure is 43 Maple Avenue in beautiful Wolfville, Nova Scotia. They bought it as an investment to rent but it needed some work.
Acquiring this fixer was a rather serendipitous occurrence, as David explains:
Heather was running and saw the for sale sign, emailed me and then the wheels started turning. This was Thurs PM. Friday we viewed it, Sat we put in an offer but….the agent said “wait” , because the price had been reduced to $65K that moment so we offered $60K and it was accepted in 15 minutes. The lot alone ( 4 unit!) is worth 85K at minimum.
The challenge was to turn the place around in a short amount of time and to use mostly recycled and re-purposed materials. Of course, they did it all themselves with the exception of plumbing & electrical.
They pulled this place together over the Christmas holidays and David wrote a poem to mark the occasion:
The Day After Christmas At Maple 43
T’was the day after Christmas and all through 43,
saws were sawing, and and having a spree!
Fires blazed in the yard with no fear,
Because no inspector would ever come near!
Back-splashes were hung by the sinks with great care.
Doors were hung in the bedrooms, just fair!
Curtains went up and tool benches came down.
Colourful touches begin to abound!
Dryers were vented and walls got some paint.
By late afternoon, about ready to faint!
Beds land tomorrow, dressers and such
Just about ready for a finishing touch!
Almost through with this “scratch and dent”.
A couple more days then ready to rent!
Look how the interior turned out:
The kitchen is darling!
The one bedroom, one bathroom house is a mere 600 square feet so it qualifies as one of those “tiny houses” that are part of a larger movement.
The concept is to live more simply in less space with less stuff.
Less stuff means more money in your pocket and less junk in the landfills.
Remember that David and Heather finished and furnished this cozy cottage with recycled and re-purposed items.
Of course it didn’t hurt that they have great taste to begin with.
But this house did require a lot of vision and elbow grease.
The setting is beautiful too – a large sloping lot with southwestern exposure and great views:
(That’s David and Heather’s dog “Dr. Phil” who watches over all of their reno projects.)
43 Maple is now complete and ready for new tenants.
Can’t wait to see what these restless house-lovers do next!