An Exception to the Rule

A month ago I wrote, "We are a little too quick to tear build-

ings down when they need repairs or restructuring. At the same time we are also awfully ready to throw up any old thing regardless of its form or durability." I'm happy to report that I have found an exception to that comment in the circa 2000 house built by David and Marsha Hellard at 194 N. Hanover.

For 10 years they tried to buy the run-down house next door to them on North Hanover Avenue to restore it for David's mother. When they finally were able to purchase the one-story 900 square-foot house they discovered that it simply could not be repaired. So they set out to replace the "worst house on the street" with a new bigger, well-planned house that would blend with the existing 100-year-old houses of the neighborhood.

They began by finding an exterior style similar to both the original house and surrounding houses. Then they consulted with an architect and the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation to develop a final plan. The first level of the interior flows from front to back with public space on one side and bedrooms/offices on the other, reminiscent of the floor plan of the Hellard's house next door.

Builders say the biggest problems with trying to build in the styles and methods of our old buildings are in finding quality materials and craftsmanship. Both are available, they just come at a premium. There is no shortage of either in this house. As the Hellards showed me the house they repeatedly said, "well, we just made the decision to go with the more expensive fill-in-the-blank." The evidence is in the cedar clapboard siding, maple tongue-in-groove interior floors, fir tongue-in-groove porch ceiling, hand-laid (by Marsha) ceramic tile in both bathrooms, two zone heating and air-conditioning, built-in bookshelves, 4-pane Marvin windows, Kohler toilets and sinks, masonry fireplace, 40-year dimensional shingles, Leaf Guard Gutters, solid poplar doors, wide, milled poplar casements and moldings.

Almost before I was in the door David and Marsha Hellard asked me if I ever write about new houses. In fact, I usually don't, because often the best thing I can say is, "it's not too bad." In this case, it is hard to choose the best, most interesting feature.

From the front door, one can see the built-in maple hutch David, a carpenter by trade, hand-built from solid maple and factory-made cabinets. The glass doors echo the nine-pane arts and crafts style front door. While one often finds this level of detail in custom new homes, it is quite rare to find in this price range.

The spacious master bedroom, occupying the entire front of the upstairs, looks out into a pink dogwood, which makes it feel like a room in a tree house. The light coming through the leaves creates a unique ethereal space. The bathroom, of a quality appropriate to a custom home, has hand-laid black and white ceramic tile floors, a built-in shower/whirlpool bath and a linen closet.

I asked the Hellards why they didn't

move into the new house. While it was never their intention to move from the house they painstakingly renovated, now that the house next door is finished and is so very nice they answered, "We just might. There is something so easy about taking care of a new house."


194 North Hanover Avenue

Price $214,900

Approximately 2100 square feet

3-4 bedrooms

2 baths

Contact Teresa Pieratt 422-2036

If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.