Ben Farrow and Amy Trulson house hunted for just a month before buying their 1,800-square-foot 1960 home. “Anything midcentury would have sufficed; I grew up in that type of house,” Trulson says. “This home had everything in terms of the bones: the flat roof, the big windows overlooking a slope—that bumped it up a notch for us. Ben was shocked I liked this house so much because you could tell it was going to take a lot of time, love and energy to fix it up. It was the best house for us but not in the best of condition.” And that’s when the pair’s retro remodel began.
When Ben and Amy moved from their condo onto a ranch in West Seattle in 2009, they knew they were looking at a boatload of work. With the help of friends, Trulson—who works for Microsoft—and Farrow, an engineer, spent eight weeks removing unattractive fixtures, dated carpets and an inconvenient wall. After a thorough cleaning and applying new paint, the couple moved in, knowing there would be a great deal of labor ahead.
Phase One of the retro remodel focused on the exterior and problematic foundation. The cantilevered deck off the kitchen was rotting and, combined with the weight of a lower patio, was exacerbating settling issues in the northwest corner of the house. The solution was to embed 2-inch tripod pin piles into the foundation, patio and the footings of new posts that would support a larger, rectilinear deck. The updates prevent the house from settling further in addition to expanding the deck space. The ipe handrails and stainless steal cabling don’t obstruct the beautiful porch views.
One thing always leads to another. Now that the deck renovation is complete, check back for part 2 to see the next phase create perfect picture windows!