My girlfriend and I recently bought and moved into a new house. Well, not new per say, as it was built in 1926, but new to us and newer than our former 1903 apartment. In this post, I will take you on a tour of the ‘new’ house while pointing out some tall relevant features, both good and bad.
We both wanted an older home in the core of our city. The only question was whether to get a fixer upper or something already renovated. The advantage of a fixer upper is that it could be renovated for taller people. The first problem with that though is affecting resell value. The second problem is that my girlfriend, while taller than average at 5’8, is much shorter than 6’7 me so that makes it difficult to decide on such things as counter top heights. Whereas in a standard house, I can just use a variety of adaptations. In the end, it was more location that made the decision for us and we ended up with an already renovated house.
The enclosed porch has some nice high windows I can actually see out of, and some light fixtures that are going to need raising. The lobby, same deal…
Heading into the kitchen is a high traffic doorway I am please to not have to duck for. The kitchen has a 36″ island that is way too short for me. I will definitely be raising it. For the other counter tops, I will be using a raised cutting board. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to push my foot against to do the sink splits, so I will probably find another way to do the dishes.
In addition to the bathroom on the second floor, there is one on the main floor in a small extension off the back of the house which has a washer and drier. This is very helpful given I have trouble fitting in some parts of the basement. The upstairs bathroom has matching sinks, one of which will likely be going up, because at knee height it is more like a urinal. The pedestal sink in the main floor bathroom should be easier to raise. And mirrors and the shower head are going to have to be raised too.
When the house was renovated, the attic was opened up to increase the ceiling height upstairs and at the same time a couple skylights were installed. This is great because it feels more open and, unlike with the short upstairs windows, I can actually see the sky. Too bad they didn’t raise the doorways though; I just might have to take a shot at that myself someday.
A lot of older homes have poor overhead clearance in staircases. This house is no exception. However, it is a closet that is taking up that space, so if it really bothers me, I could always remove the closet.
Most basements in older homes are too short for tall people. In fact, this is the only house in the dozens of houses we looked at where I could actually stand up in the basement. This was my consolation for not having a garage for work space. Sadly, the finished part of the basement has raised floors so I can’t stand up in there.
Another nice feature added during renovations was french doors on the back of the house. Sadly though, they aren’t tall enough for me to get a good view out of and there is no space above them to add a crescent window like our old place had.
Outside the house, the 6′ tall fence becomes 5′ due to a deck, and so it is a good thing we have nice neighbors. We might add some lattice some day. Around the side of the house is an old fashioned awning that could very well slice my head once the snow raises the ground level.
That’s it for the tour. If you have any suggestions on how this old house can be made more tall friendly, please tell in the comments below.