Turquoise House – A Modern Eco-Makeover of a Haver Home

Posts under this category will be about our home, the products and the choices we made in developing our home.  To that end… here is a little history.

Our home is located in the Ocotillo Hills area of SunnySlope in Phoenix, Arizona.  It is built on the west side ‘base’ of the mountain that is directly west of the I-51 and Shea area.  The home was built in 1974 but the plans were laid down many years prior to that.  The original owner purchased the lot in 1956.  Shortly after purchase, she hired the architect Ralph Haver to design a home specifically for her site.  Mr. Haver, at that time, was planning, designing and building some of the valley’s quintessential ‘mid-century’ modern homes.  These homes were typically bundled together into subdivisions and rarely isolated in individual locations.  But the original owner was good friends with Mr. Haver’s assistant and was able to get this one done.

The course of history is simple from there.  Like most people, this was an investment in the future, so while she had the site and the plans, she didn’t have the funds to built it right away.  So the site sat vacant until 1974 when the shovel hit the dirt and her dreams start to take shape.  By this time, Mr. Haver had essentially stopped designing projects but since she already had the plans, work could still get underway.  And the house was built.  I was told that she lived in the home until the early 2000’s before it was purchased by a local realtor as an investment property and ultimately purchased by us in 2006.

The previous realtor had redone the bathrooms, the flooring, the front door, upgraded the kitchen with new countertops (plastic laminate) and installed new appliances.  Outside, he had built a CMU site wall around the west, south and east portions of the lot, put in a new concrete driveway and refaced a shed with orange corrugated fiberglas siding even though the shed itself was falling apart and rotted to no end (I will get into these decisions in later discussions).  At time of purchase it was a Two Bedroom (one room was fairly large because it was originally two bedrooms that had been converted into one), Two Bath home of about 1380 square feet of livable space and about 400 square feet of west facing exterior decking and one-car carport.  Overall there were 5 rooms, a kitchen, a TV room (although we didn’t use it for that) a living room, and the two bedrooms along with the two bathrooms.

We have been renovating this home since we moved in and the next posts will get into what we have done and why we did it…


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