As a last-minute addition to our early morning visit to deteriorating dwellings, we stopped by another local house in Stanley that actually had some great potential. This house is tucked in a dense rural neighborhood on a quite side road. The first observation was the massing and articulation of the home, which served it well to reduce the scale and visually increase in size. The front and side entrances were connected by a sloping, but quaint porch adorned with delicate gingerbread detailing that could easily be replicated and incorporated in other areas of the home.
The kitchen was large and appropriately arranged to maximize productivity, even with a large number of cooks in the kitchen. There were a few quaint little details that gave away the homes historic intentions, such as the dish cupboard that opened into both the dinning room and the kitchen, and certain alcoves which serve no grander purpose than to provide a focal point for the room. It seems the design of each room bows to this principle, occasionally to a fault. The front room, easily interpreted as the “living room” houses an out-of-place stained glass window. At first acknowledgment this seems a grand display for organizing and arranging the room around, upon further processing it is revealed that this frosted glass obstructs the only view of the road and main approach to the house. It is feasible that the original intent was to obscure views into the home, but isn’t that what curtains are for?
There are two staircases within this small home, neither one lends itself very well to moving large pieces of furniture to the upper floors, but the openness of the primary is unique and refreshing. The second, and probably more useful, staircase leads into the center of the house on the second floor and into a large circulation area. The location and condition of this stair is puzzling as it departs from the theme of both small houses, and older houses in which the inhabitants utilize every possible inch for living, storage, or bedrooms. It is uncommon in a house this size to contain such a large area devoted to circulation, but again, there are solutions to issues such as these. This particular area sits directly above the bathroom on the main level of the home, prime real estate for the addition of a second bathroom.
A more common site in small houses desperate for storage space is the cramped attic space, in this case accessed through a narrow access hatch in the base of a bedroom wall. The only major regret during our tour of the home was ominous presence of a shallow pool of water covering a portion the basement floor. It appears there is a sump pump in the corner of the basement, but the electricity to the basement has been shut-off. Leaving visitors to the house questioning the presence, and source of such a large quantity of water and lack of treatment.
Overall this seems to be a great home for the price, and baring a few necessary repairs and issues to address will make a great home or investment property.