Remodeling Planbooks

While first-ring suburbs like Golden Valley have a variety of housing styles, the predominant styles include the Cape Cods, ramblers, and split levels built during the boom development years. The challenges homeowners face when remodeling these houses are addressed in two remodeling planbooks published as a joint project of 15 Twin Cities suburbs—Golden Valley, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Crystal, Fridley, Hopkins, Mounds View, New Brighton, New Hope, Robbinsdale, Richfield, Roseville, St Louis Park.

Residents of these communities can buy the book for $10 ($15 for nonresidents). Golden Valley residents can buy the planbooks at City Hall.

Split Visions book coverSplit Visions: A Planbook of Remodeling Ideas For Split-Level and Split- Entry Houses

No one knows for sure who invented the split-level house, but it appeared in Chicago in the 1930s, peaked in popularity during the 1950s, and has continued since to be a common house-type throughout the United States.

Split Visions: A Planbook of Remodeling Ideas for Split-Level and Split-Entry Houses features ideas for both split-level and split-entry home styles prevalent in Golden Valley and other first ring suburbs. The book includes 34 pages with suggestions for split-levels, split-entry long-faced, and split-entry short-faced variations, with existing floor plans and three-dimensional sketches of the remodeled space.

For example,  it provides ideas for:

  • expanding and rethinking the entry
  • facade treatments
  • opening up the plan
  • storage, basements, and landscaping
  • window replacement
  • adding a fireplace
  • storage, basements, and landscaping

There is also a section dealing with common split-level house issues, such as heating and cooling, smoke alarms, stairs, and accessibility, and another with suggestions for starting a remodeling project.

Cape Cods book coverCape Cods and Ramblers: A Remodeling Planbook for Post WWII Houses

Much has been made of how the post World War II Baby Boom changed the face of the country. Among other things, it fueled a housing boom that built first-ring suburbs like Golden Valley. A unique new book uses the housing boom as a backdrop for ideas to update and remodel houses built in the Twin Cities in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s.

Cape Cods and Ramblers: A Remodeling Planbook for Post WWII Houses features ideas for three home styles prevalent in Golden Valley and other first ring suburbs: Cape Cod, rambler with attached single car garage, and rambler with detached garage. The book includes 25 pages of existing floor plans and three-dimensional sketches of the remodeled space. It also offers tips to ensure the finished product fits with the original architecture.

For example, for ramblers with detached garages it provides ideas for:

  • kitchen remodel within current walls
  • kitchen expansion by adding eating area
  • bedroom, bath, and office addition in basement
  • front entry porch addition

For ramblers with attached single car garage, it shows:

  • master suite and full bath addition on main level
  • kitchen remodel; bump out to add family room
  • garage addition with a menu of choices
  • front patio/semi-covered porch addition

For Cape Cod story-and-a-half homes, it shows plans for:

  • creating a master bedroom
  • new master bedroom by adding square footage
  • adding side entry/mud room
  • remodeling kitchen within existing walls, or expanding and adding family room