UPHA January 2015 Home of the Month

January 2015 Home of the Month

Home of Terry and Nesha Rekeweg

The original address for 724 Rosemont Ave was 2507 Van Dyke Ave. Since only 6 feet of the property line was actually on Van Dyke, the City of Raleigh changed the address to Rosemont when the city sold the vacant lot in 1999. The slender triangular lot required a home plan that would make use of every buildable square foot.

Terry designed the home to make use of his large collection of building materials from buildings in Indiana, Habitat for Humanity reuse store, auctions, brick from a school on Whitaker Mill Road, materials from old North Hills Mall and several homes in Raleigh that had to be removed after hurricanes Fran and Floyd had flooded them. The fireplace mantle came from Granny’s house in Kentucky. It is estimated that 50% of the home was built from salvaged materials. You may notice that the windows are of several styles and different shapes.

The new home was begun in 2000 and wasn’t completely finished until 2010. I count it a good experience living in this unfinished house as my wife and I took lots of time to discuss and work on how to finish it. It is a combination of Terry’s insistent use of salvaged materials and his wife’s call for new materials. For example the foyer was first laid with 100 year old wood flooring from a church. However, this flooring did not hold up well and was eventually replaced with new white marble tile.

When we first moved in it had one finished bathroom and no finished bedrooms. It now has 3 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms with 1920 square feet on 2 floors. The full basement was designed to be a 3-car garage lengthwise with one garage door. However, no cars have ever been in the garage since it has remained a workshop.

The driveway rocks came from the excavation for Triangle Town Center, and the granite porch stairs came from a building in Research Triangle Park. The round hatch underneath the chimney is a grain silo door from Terry’s childhood farm. Water is collected from the roof and is fed through the mouth of the lions head at the porch steps and eventually makes its way to 2 rain barrels. This water is used to water plants throughout the summer.

2014’s summer project was the 72 foot-long rock wall. My wife and I had taken a trip to Barcelona, which is famous for the works of architect Gaudí. I got the idea that I would try to build a rock wall similar to his work. A full dump truck delivered 20 tons of rip-rap on my lawn, which I’m sure made the neighbors wonder what was up with that. Fortunately, the wall was completed before winter and I’m grateful for all the encouragement and compliments given by neighbors in University Park. This is the best neighborhood and we are so happy to be living here.

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