From Margaret Everton on November 3, 2010 in Minneapolis
Oftentimes, homes that have been remodeled or re-built from the ground up are glaringly obvious in a neighborhood that has been around for a few decades or more. But that “look at me” kind of remodeling simply didnt appeal to Karen Kurt and her partner, Joe Butzer. In fact, they wanted nothing more than to blend into the existing 1950s tract homes of their current neighborhood. A DIY couple at heart, Karen and Joe intended to do a bulk of the remodeling work themselves. First, however, they needed a plan of action, which was where architect Paul Ormseth could lend a hand. From there, they went to work on their 1,350-square-foot home, with Butzer working on the plumbing, electrical, and siding and roof installation and Kurt getting all of the building materials together. Once the remodel was complete, they were pleasantly surprised when they were given a BLEND award (Buildings and Landscapes Enhancing the Neighborhood through Design). Started by architect Phil Rader in 2007, the awards are meant to encourage thoughtful remodeling that doesnt overpower existing home styles in a neighborhood. Originally, the program was just in Fulton, but it has since expanded to 10 Minneapolis neighborhoods. While remodeling in these neighborhoods has decreased sharply since the economy went downhill, Rader hopes that having this program in place when it picks back up again will provide a healthy dose of incentive to keep building projects in check. Id say its certainly a good start.