Remodeling for Reason – Bungalow Insanity

Exploring houseblogs.net for interesting (and relevant) reading. Came across Bungalow Insanity, not mentioned in the recent articles about housebloggers in the media. This blog has become a fast favorite for me.

Bungalow Insanity chronicles the adventures of Julio, Stephanie and their daughter Chloe in renovating a 1911 Craftsman bungalow, chosen because it still had enough of it’s original “stained woodwork” intact to be worth doing for these “old home” lovers.

Most of the other houses we looked at had already been “redone,” usually by a flipper (which meant a lot of cut corners) or by a homeowner (which meant lots of problems).

The blog has been live only been live a few months but posts have been backdated for the last couple of years to keep continuity and “best tell” their story, of transforming a neglected ex-rental unit into a beautiful home.

Why do I like this blog? In a word – engaging.

The writing takes one forward. Can a blog about home restoration and renovation actually be “gripping”? Probably not – yet I find the posts highly readable and entertaining, especially the longer more detailed ones. Their story and their challenges are well told. The voice is conversational and matter of fact. The accompanying photos are always good and used well to illustrate points.

The focus. No lengthy ruminations about the weather, navel gazing, or vacation snaps here (in fact Julio spent his “vacation” working on the house). No doubt about it – this is a blog about remodeling and renovating. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact they have to get going because they have a baby on the way in July … but I like that posts are about the renovations.

The gory details. What they did, how they did it, and why – with lots of insights and a bit of self-observation sprinkled in. This is more where they’ve done the work themselves. That’s the thing about reading houseblogs – you can learn from them. Julio & Stephanie seem to be early adopters, interested in “going green” and energy efficiency. You know early adopters … they’re the people that get the bad tankless water heaters so the rest of us can get better ones, later on. Lots of experience shared, lessons learned, and even happy endings.

I find myself admiring their enthusiasm in the face of what has obviously been a long slog (Bungalow Infinity?). They’re making great progress though. They also answer questions when comments are posted and are friendly, polite and tactful. Recommended reading if you enjoy houseblogs. A good place to start if you’ve never had the pleasure.

Top 10 Greenest Cities in the USA

Burlington, Vermont is the most eco-friendly city in the USA according to a new survey from Country Home magazine. The survey rates cities based on “air and watershed quality, mass transit use, power use and number of organic producers and farmers’ markets.”

The Top Ten List:

  1. Burlington, Vermont
  2. Ithaca, New York
  3. Corvallis, Oregon
  4. Springfield, Massachusetts
  5. Wenatchee, Washington
  6. Charlottesville, Virginia
  7. Boulder, Colorado
  8. Madison, Wisconsin
  9. Binghamton, New York
  10. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Read more from the Associated Press.

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