When a Chicagoan sought to provide a little spit and polish to his aging cabin in Harbert, Michigan, a low-key 1970s ranch house, his sentimental attachment encouraged a renovation. According to architect Greg Howe of Searl Lamaster Howe, who helped reimagine the weekend retreat, renovating helped strip away the unnecessary and focus on simple and honest construction.
"If he hadn’t done something, it would have collapsed in a few years," he says. "It was built simply with a sagging roof. Our client pushed it in the direction of a renovation, and had some specific issues corrected. The steep metal roof, for instance, overcame the functional shortcomings of the original and really became one of the key elements."
While the process simplified, the end result was a cabin with a lot more character.