Blast from the Past

Featured on New Times' Best Urban Blog, "Blooming Rock" 
"The Ranch Mine Transforms Old Houses into Custom Homes for Generation Y"
Project Details

Name: Blast from the Past
Type: Home Renovation
Location: Tempe, AZ
Completion: 2010
Details: 1680 SF
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2

Design Features
Open Floor Plan
2-way Kitchen Island Bar
Double Vanity Main and Master Bath
Master Suite Patio
French Doors between Indoor and Outdoor Living
Pool Bar and Shade Structure
Raised Planting Bed
Sustainable Features

Energy Star
* 30 Year Cool Shingles
* Dual Pane Low-E Windows
* Dual Pane Low-E Doors
* Ceiling Fans
* Appliances
* Water Heater
* 14.2 SEER HVAC

R-49 Ceiling Insulation
WaterSense Fixtures
WaterSense Dual-Flush Toilets
CFL Lighting
Enviro Stain Concrete Floors
Dunn Edwards Low-VOC Paints
Caeserstone Quartz Countertops

The Blast from the Past house is a concrete block structured house built in 1961 as part of the master planned Papago Gardens in North Tempe. The pros of the existing house were the elegant form and material usage, the 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom layout, the patio size, the pool, and the large backyard. The biggest negatives of the house were the layout and the neglect and upkeep up the house. The house featured a nice sized pool and huge backyard. However, the house did nothing to address these gifts. The living room was the farthest room in the house from the pool and the patio had an accessory structure built off of the existing roof that created a dark and menacing space. The house featured a maze-like 3'-0" wide by 7'-0" tall hallway running through the house. The kitchen island blocked made socializing very difficult. The indoor air quality and light quality in the house were terrible. The carpet was stained, dirty, and ripped throughout. Popcorn ceilings ran through the house. The electric and plumbing needed a lot of work. There were no lights in the ceilings and only one outlet was grounded.  The shower faucets were only 6' off the ground. The bathroom doors were a thin 2'-0" wide. The roof had multiple layers of worn shingles, a run down AC unit, and broken whirly birds.
The goals on the exterior of the house were to highlight the existing architecture, weatherize it, and enliven the patio. The existing form and material usage of the house was quite nice, but the color scheme did very little to express it. Using a grayscale palette, we defined the different materials and used an accent yellow for a pop of color on the doors. The weatherization of the house included removing the existing layers of shingles and installing a reflective 30 year shingle, installing a continuous drip edge along the roof line, replacing all the rotted siding and trim, patching the foundation and replacing the old HVAC unit with a high efficiency 14.2 SEER unit. Enlivening the patio included removing the incorrectly built and added roof structure, replacing the chain link fence with a corrugated metal privacy fence, adding a pool bar, and replacing the sliding patio door with French doors. Moving the water heater location and replacing it with a new water heater allowed for side by side laundry and storage in the shed. A new, taller entry gate creates more privacy for the laundry area. 

The goals for the interior of the house were to eliminate the hallways, update the kitchen and bathrooms, correct plumbing and electrical problems, and refinish the surfaces. To remove the hallways we removed the wall from the kitchen/living area and reconfigured the main bathroom arrangement. This improved the flow of the house and allowed for natural light to penetrate deep into the core of the house. In the kitchen we removed the island and carport door and replaced it with another "L" shaped counter that doubles as a bar and table. We refinished the existing cabinets, added new quartz countertops and all new appliances, and installed new plumbing fixtures. The bathrooms were replumbed for double vanities. New 2'-8" doors replaced the existing 2'-0" bathroom doors and the main bath was reconfigured for a separate shower/toilet room. New tile was installed in both showers with a recessed soap and shampoo box. Recessed ceiling lights, under-cabinet lighting, bathroom fans and ceiling fans were added. All outlets were grounded. The greatest visual change was the refinishing of the interior surfaces. We removed the popcorn ceilings, the carpeting, composite flooring, and curtains. The concrete floors were grinded, stained, sealed, and waxed. The house repainted with cool colors, including an accent blue that wraps the social spaces. The built-ins were trimmed and painted.
The Ranch Mine, LLC
36th St. and Indian School, Phoenix AZ 85018 | p: 602.571.3016 | email: