If you’ve been clinging to a house plan clipped from the Observer, file it somewhere safe. It might be impossible to replace that drawing of your dream home if it disappears from the catch-all drawer in your kitchen.
Lots of readers have old house plan clippings tucked away. The plans ran in the Home section weekly until 2008, and it still isn’t unusual to get a call from someone trying to track down a plan that ran a decade or more ago.
I recently heard from Sheila Cooper, who was trying to locate a plan that – she thinks – was published in 2005.
It’s practically impossible to retrieve a plan from the Observer’s archives. The system just didn’t save them in a complete format.
We used Phifer Plan Service, down in South Carolina. It specialized in compact designs, popular among both retirees and young families. Most of the calls today are about Phifer plans. The service no longer provides plans to newspapers, and no longer has rights to many of the plans it featured.
Another company that provided plans was Living Concepts, and they’re still in business. You can browse their plans online at www.lchouseplans.com.
Get it straight
Is that picture on the wall level? Are you sure? Whip out your iPhone to check it. Stanley recently announced that its popular Level app is available for retina display and for iPad. After you calibrate it, just use your phone like any other level.
You can get the Level app free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at Apple’s online Mac App Store. (There’s even a bubble – so you’ll know that picture is a half bubble off plumb. Sorry, just couldn’t resist.)
More on housing
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University says remodeling spending is expected to grow by double digits the first half of 2013, thanks to low interest rates and other conditions. The center’s Remodeling Futures Program released its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity on Wednesday.
Regina “Ginger” Dowdle earned one of five national Good Neighbor Awards from Realtor Magazine. Dowdle, who’s with Sunrise Realty & Development in Statesville, was recognized for founding The Shepherd’s Watch Ministries, which hosts a summer camp as well as a year-round residential program for at-risk children. She earned the 2011 Humanitarian Award from the local Realtors’ Housing Opportunity Foundation.
The foundation, by the way, won a $5,000 grant from the National Association of Realtors to support affordable housing initiatives. The foundation used the money to host a neighborhood showcase and housing fair on Thursday at Brightwalk, off Statesville Avenue north of uptown.
We wrote about Brightwalk – a joint effort of the foundation, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and Standard Pacific Homes – back in June. Neat place. Swing by or visit http://brightwalkcharlotte.com.