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Dale Baldwin

Special Publication Showcases 12 Houses

March 29, 1987|Dale Baldwin

If you've got major remodeling plans in mind, don't miss a special issue of Fine Homebuilding magazine called "Houses."

It's the first of a planned annual series devoted entirely to residential architecture, according to the people at The Taunton Press, publishers of Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking and Threads magazines and Taunton Press Books.

This special issue sells for $3.95 and will be on sale through May 15. If you can't locate a copy, write The Taunton Press, 63 S. Main St., Newtown, Conn. 06470.

The magazine showcases a dozen distinctive houses in all parts of the nation, including the economical and clever remodeling of a house in the south-of-Market hills of San Francisco. This 600-square-foot shack fetched just under $30,000 in 1978.

A $45,000 renovation turned it into a showplace with a spectacular view of downtown San Francisco from the panoramic north wall. There must be hundreds of similar rundown houses in the Southland that could be similarly enlarged and renovated.

I also liked the Texas Hill Country ranch house, with its detached garage and a separate building for a caretaker. This latter structure would be called a guest house in Southern California. Sited on a river just west of San Antonio, the house would fit in virtually anywhere in California, providing the owner had a fairly large lot.

Look upon this book as a source of ideas to show your architect or contractor if you're contemplating extensive remodeling.

Speaking of extensive remodeling, the picture accompanying this column is an interim shot of the Pacific Palisades "Nouveau Victorian" featured in the Dec. 28, 1986 column. In that column, I promised to keep readers posted on the progress of this small house being transformed into a large one. Keep watching this space--the next mention of the house will show how it looks when it's finished and will compare budget projections with actual costs.

If you are planning to add habitable square footage to your house (virtually everything except a garage or similar structure), be prepared to pony up $1.50 per square foot in addition to the cost of the permit.

This zinger was passed last year to benefit school districts (and you thought the lottery took care of that problem!) and has been in effect since Jan. 1 in the city of Los Angeles and many other jurisdictions. If you're adding 1,000 square feet, the cost is a hefty $1,500--plus the cost of the permit.

Finally, Jo Davis and Ann Otto of Kitchen Decisions, P.O. Box 5973, Pasadena 91107, have scheduled seminars on planning kitchen remodeling for two Saturdays in May. The first is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 9 at Los Angeles Harbor College and the second is May 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pasadena City College. Contact the colleges involved for registration and fee information.

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