There is no doubt that a large majority of our business entails working with carpenters and contractors, and it is very common that we do not have the opportunity to interact with the homeowners. That is why it was such a delight when I came across the Instagram account for Danny and Andi Askar, two homeowners, who had taken on the formidable task of renovating their 1925 Bungalow. Danny and Andi relocated to Portland from the Los Angeles area after deciding that they really needed a change of pace and scenery. When searching for their perfect home they really wanted to address the neighborhood first.
“We prioritized things like walkability to markets, restaurants, and entertainment while also being far enough from major streets to avoid excess traffic and noise.”
Portland is home to many great neighborhoods that are filled with charming, historic homes. For the Askars, they found their perfect match in the Rose City Park neighborhood in NE Portland.
I reached out to Danny and Andi to ask them about their remodel process and they were so gracious in sharing their journey. While neither had a professional background in remodeling or contracting, they both have a strong background in design and art. Danny had taken on several medium-sized carpentry projects with his father, while Andi had worked on several design-build tenant improvement projects. With a keen eye for detail, and the ability to visualize planning and design, they were definitely up for the task!
What attracted you most about your current home?
We really loved the age of the home (1925)! We are both attracted to older things, and though our house lacked a lot of its original charm, it was a blank slate and opportunity to restore it while making it our own. Though things in the home were very dated and not within our aesthetic, everything worked, which gave us time to live in the house and get a feel for the directions we wanted to go in first. The large size of the backyard didn’t hurt either, and our dog loves it!
What did you know about the architectural style of your home?
We knew it was a 1925 bungalow. Coming from the Pasadena area of Los Angeles we were already familiar with, and attracted to, the craftsman-bungalow style. After moving in, we cleaned out the attic and found an old newspaper clipping of what appeared to be a Sears catalog home. We have wondered if our home’s build was originally purchased and constructed this way.
Where did you find your inspiration?
Mostly from other homes in Portland that we see in the neighborhood while walking our dog, as well as general inspiration from sources on the internet. We are all about cultural preservation, so our goal is to make design decisions and renovations to the home that are era-appropriate and fitting to the neighborhood. There are many creative ways to make modern updates while maintaining original design integrity, and we try to take advantage of such options whenever possible. The internet has also provided endless B/A projects with tips and ideas.
What was your biggest challenge?
Trying to figure out what to do first while being on a tight budget. This home has endless possibilities, so deciding what is the most important and/or which has the most impact on value has been a difficult balancing act at times. Learning patience and really thinking things through at every angle before executing has been something we’ve had to learn along the way.
What is one piece of advice you can give to a homeowner considering taking on their own remodel?
Do your research and take your time! Most great ideas do not happen overnight. Slow down, draw it out, talk to people, get opinions, get multiple quotes, and use your resources. Visit your local businesses that provide the materials you need and chat with their employees. Chances are they have seen projects come through that are similar to what you are trying to do, and they may be able to give you good advice or even referrals to other professionals. Budget well, and be strict with yourself and/or your partner about financial balancing and resources. Make a spreadsheet and create your own educated estimates. Take that number and always add more onto it, just to be safe. You never want to be end up short on a project! And if the project ends up being under budget, maybe you’ll have enough extra money left to take a much-needed vacation with the remaining funds – or use it toward your next project!
To see more about Danny and Andi’s journey, including before and after photos, follow them on their Instagram. At McCoy Millwork, we are eager to help you visualize your home remodeling dreams! Since 1946, we have been providing quality millwork, expert advice, and exceptional service to the Portland Metro area. Let’s talk about your project today, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.