There is no doubt about it… the old house known as “Western View” was… one… ugly… house.
She was sitting in the middle of corn field and had been abandoned and neglected for decades. Her doors, floors, and mantle pieces had long ago been stolen. The last tenant had left all their trash and unwanted furniture in the house and scattered around the yard. And, someone had had the great idea of wrapping the entire house in green roll roofing… a nice finishing touch.
When I had first met with my new clients, after I had given them a tour of some of my previous completed projects, they decided that they wanted their home to have an exposed vintage timber frame as the heart of their new home.
And as fate would have it, I had Western View to show them. (it’s an interesting thing that matching materials and clients have always appeared in my life at the same time).
After viewing the mess that was Western View, my new clients quickly rejected the home, and on top of that, I believe they pondered whether I was the right person to build their home. The house was that bad.
So, I went ahead and took the home down and stored it inside of a tractor trailer… for some future unknown client. The house was ugly to everyone in the world, but me. I was always impressed with the home.
Western View had an early 1800’s oak timber frame at it’s core… oak frames are very rare in Virginia. And it was the only frame that I have ever seen in which the different parts were numbered in Aramaic numerals, not Roman numerals as every other frame has been. The stone chimneys and foundation were also very nice with an abundance of good stones. This house had great potential.., “potential” being the most dangerous word a person can use when building a home… it can get you into a lot of trouble.
So, a month or two passed by, and no other timber frames were found. I brought back up the possibility of Western View to my clients and how wonderful it was… and the clients asked… “Are you SURE???”… “Yes, I’m SURE…” (no pressure there)
And the rest, is history.
Originally posted 2015-02-23 14:19:52.