03/12/13 10:00am

Last week, owners Cheryl and David Bowman of 7919 Glenview Dr. were given a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for their renovation of this 1954 mod — one of the original 6, says Cheryl Bowman, built in Glenbrook Valley. Purchased in March 2011, the 2-bedroom, 1,834-sq.-ft. home, shown here from the backyard, wasn’t always such a pretty picture . . .


02/06/13 9:30am

LBJ wuz here: Built in 1904, this 3,161-sq.-ft. home on the corner of Hawthorne and Garrott in the Westmoreland Historic District gave the future president a place to crash in 1931 when he was teaching public speaking and coaching the debate team at Sam Houston High School.

In March 2011, the house was put on the market for the first time in 90 years; the price climbed to almost $619,000 that June. It sat for a year, going for just under $285,000. Renovations began that summer. And the house returned 9 days ago with a new MLS number, new photos, and a new historically low — for this place, anyway — price: $569,900.


01/15/13 2:03pm

A FAKE STREET FOR REAL ESTATE SHOPPERS IN SPRING Opening in February, reports CultureMap, is a 10,000-sq.-ft. real estate “park” where a dozen lavishly turned-out showcase homes, ranging in styles from “The Midtown” to “The Calais” to “The Ashby Manor,” are presented for your perusal on a private cul-de-sac near I-45. Think of the immersive, don’t-mind-if-I-do shopping at IKEA blown up to the scale of Disney World — except at MainStreet America there will be fireworks and Christmases and tailgating parties and almost everything will be for sale:Do you like the paint color, the metallic faux technique on the ceiling or the graphic wallpaper accent in the bedroom? The details are available and so are the prices. In fact, you can make the purchase on site. If that couch, occasional table or rug is what you are looking for, swap that credit card and have them delivered. Floral arrangements? Yes, those are for sale as well. Mirrors? Check. Artwork? In stock. Window treatments? You bet.” Admission for adults is only $10; children aged 5-17 can get in for half that. [CultureMap] Photo: MainStreet America

10/14/09 11:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO JACK YOUR OWN BUNGALOW “Dude, it’s easy, just get a 20 or 30 ton bottle jack, the kind you can buy at any auto part or hardware store. . . . To raise a stack, just start a new one right next to it. I like to use the solid concrete blocks that [are] half the height of the normal ones. Pile those up to close the height of the jack, and then unscrew the thingie in the middle of the jack to bring it up to the beam. It’s a good idea to put a small piece of scrap wood between the jack and the beam, or otherwise you can make a little jack-shaped hole in your beam- probably not a big deal. Anyway, jack the beam up until you are able to put a shim in there- steel shims are nice, but hard to find, I just use wood for the smaller ones. Then you can let your jack down, and reset- the new stack your jack was on will have pushed itself down into the ground more than the house will have gone up, so you’ll need another shim or two under the jack before you start lifting again. Procede like this, adding more or larger shims, or concrete-block half pieces, until you get your floor the way you want it. . . . Important thing to keep in mind as you work is that the existing locations for the concrete blocks are already sitting on 80 years worth of soil compression. If you start a new stack somewhere else, and you don’t put some concrete down 3 or 4 feet, that new spot will sink over the next couple of years. So, just keep all the existing stacks, though you can add new stacks to cure a sag. On my house, when adding new stacks, I didn’t pour any concrete, I just dug down about a foot about put a 16″ x 16″ wide piece on the bottom, using a dollar-store level to make sure it was sitting in there flat. Ok, the redneck way to do this process is to lower the house, rather than raise it. Sure, this is easier but also moves your house that much closer to termite-ville, and closer in time to the moment when the beams are sitting directly on the dirt, which is kind of the dead-man-walking state for a wood framed house. And if you never raise your house, that day is a matter of when, not if, in this city of mud. . . .” [Patrick, commenting on Brick on the Inside]

08/15/08 1:09pm

PLENTY OF ROOFING WORK IN KATY! “There are thousands of homes built by companies like Pulte in this part of town circa 1994-1997. Their margins were very thin because houses were so cheap. These companies used the lousiest of building materials they could get away with. Lots of these houses now need new roofs, and their owners may not even know it. Houses with rotted decking.” [Lou Minatti]