Monday, November 21, 2022

My house serves me well

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By Leslie Sittner

Dream Home #1

I designed my dream log home, made the drawings, supervised every detail of its construction, and lived in it with my husband for 13 years until he passed away. During that time, we added naturalized landscaping, terraced vegetable gardens, and a large barn for the boy-toys. Log homes require constant maintenance. Particularly when they’re large with three levels. Then there’s the 200 feet of beach and 2 ½ acres of sloped woods. I can no longer maintain this alone. Especially feeding the hungry mouths of the wood stoves all winter.

I need to downsize. Simplify. Purge.

Dream Home #2

“My next house is going to be one level—no basement, no attic. It will be all synthetic—vinyl outside, vinyl inside, less than 1000 square feet, two rooms with vinyl floors pitched to a drain in the center. All furniture will be resin or plastic outdoor patio items (preferably from the grocery or big box store). Then I can simply leave everything in place and hose it all down twice a year and call it spring or fall house cleaning. There will be no stairs to climb or enough storage space to hoard.”  I tell this down-sizing dream to anyone who will listen.

The search for this ideal place doesn’t take long. I find a Lustron home in a charming nearby village and buy it. Lustron homes are early pre-fab post WWII structures produced in 1949 and 1950. They’re like a car. Enameled steel panels cover the outside and the entire interior. Roof tiles are overlapping conical Italian style but in enameled steel not terra cotta. Generally, these homes were put on a slab—so no basement. Heat is a radiant system from the ceiling—so no attic. All interior doors are pocket sliding panels. The layout is practical, private, and efficient. Detailing misses nothing. It is approximately 1000 square feet. There are no floor drains. The furniture isn’t plastic, still, it’s self-assembly from big box stores.

I decide this is close enough to the dream.

Editor’s note: This was originally published by Adirondack Center for Writing as part of ANCA’s Dreaming of Home project. The prompt: Do you have ideas about programs or practices that might work to mitigate the housing crisis in the Adirondacks? Think as big or as small as you like.

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ANCA is building prosperity across northern New York. Our programs and partnerships focus in these areas: ANCA Center for Pandemic Response, Entrepreneurial Economy, Food Systems and Energy.

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