My Famous Remodel: 6 Months To Perfection!


When the McCabe family asked me to supervise the mini-renovation of their parents home to ready it for sale, I was honored…….The house, a rare 1922 Wallace Neff Colonial, which is featured on the website under my listings, was neglected for over 15 years– not uncommon for elderly owners.

If not for The Building Biographer, I would not have known that this home was one of the earliest designs by Wallace Neff after graduating from architecture school in the 1920s.  At the same time, it seems he was designing a home for Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford……the famous Pickfair House.  Pickfair was a combination of Craftsman and Colonial design from what I understand.  These early years it seems that Mr. Neff was still “cutting his teeth” and eventually became most well known for his Mediterranean style.  In fact, his first home, commonly known as The Honeymoon House is just around the corner from this colonial on Mendocino, across from Altadena Country Club.

Without divulging the cost of this recent face lift at 1341 Skywood Circle, it was more than two times what the family thought they would spend originally.  If it weren’t’ for some fine contractors such as Pine Tree Painting and others I will credit later, this project could have taken a year.  Being constructed 100% of wood, there was much replacement and repair to most of the exterior– with minimal termite damage, which I was extremely surprised.

So after these past 6 months, we’ve painted inside and out, put a new roof on, landscaped, re-wired the garage, re-tiled the bathrooms, updated the kitchen appliances and brightened up the entire house with new light fixtures inside and out.

Once the house was put on the market,  I had over 90 agents preview the home, and over 70 visitors for the past open houses.  I have to say the activity in Pasadena and Altadena are quite astounding!  It wasnt long, and we are in escrow– counting down the days to start contingency removal.

I think I have post-partum depression!!  It really was difficult for me….I lived right across the street for a few years, and these were my neighbors that lived in this house- and I’ll miss them- but as one of the family  members told me, just be happy because you know my mom is looking down and is so excited to see this wonderful house restored to perfection!

I’d like to give special credit for their hard work: Pine Tree Painting, Edgar Meono Roofing, Fisher Rain Gutters, Landscape Elements, Kirk Duncan, Steve Deal, Pacifica Hardwood and Charis Tile.

The consulting and design work for this home and others was not part of my real estate fees or broker commission.  It was contracted entirely thru my privately owned company VIZIO DESIGN.  For information and pricing please call 800-550-5652.


1341 Skywood Circle, Before Restoration

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