First and second ring Twin Cities suburban communities strongly encourage the purchase and remodeling of homes built in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. The "recycling" of these typically solid homes strengthens those neighborhoods and communities. These modest homes typically were built with simple designs and good materials. Many have been well maintained and when remodeled, provide comfortable living at modest costs.
To help encourage remodeling, several of these suburbs have sponsored the production and distribution of two idea books on these homes.
The first book, "A Remodeling Planbook for Post-WWII Houses" is copyright City of Fridley HRA and includes plans to remodel a Cape Cod house and ramblers with either attached or detached garages. It includes ideas such as converting two front bedrooms into a master suite as shown below.
The second book, "Split Visions" is copyright City of Brooklyn Park EDA and includes plans for long face, short face split entry homes, and typical split level homes.
Ideas include creating an open floor plan for a short faced split entry home.
These books also include design tips, energy conservation tips, features on building code requirements, and introductions that explain the history of these very popular homes. Some of the information in these books is out of date (phone #'s etc.) but the ideas are still timely. Most of the suburban communities also have other fact sheets on building code requirements for various remodeling projects, improvements, and additions. Contact the Building Inspection Department of each city for specifics.
Our inspection experience with these houses is quite favorable. While conditions vary considerably due to maintenance, generally these houses can be successfully modernized and can be expected to serve for many more years. Common concerns on these houses are the need for energy efficiency improvements, possible presence of lead paint, and possible presence of unprofessional repairs or alterations by prior owners.