HighCraft project manager D Walker, and his wife Beverly, lived in a 4,200 square-foot home in Loveland for years before they bought a small property in downtown Loveland. Their goal? To remodel and rent the 1,100-s.f. brick bungalow built in 1900, and then build a brand-spanking new alley house as their primary residence.
D and Bev worked with HighCraft to design and build their new custom home: a 980-s.f. open-concept, two-bedroom carriage house stacked over a heated garage that doubles as a gym.
The Walker’s story “Shrinking Footprints, Living Large” is featured in the 2018 summer issue of Fort Collins Magazine. “Their bottom line,” says the article, is “Less stuff means more time and money to travel, see family and participate in Colorado endurance races.”
But there’s so much more to the Walker’s story! So we’re sharing it here, including some sound advice about downsizing and additional photos you won’t find in the Fort Collins Magazine profile.
What inspired this new construction?
“We got to a point in our life where our kids were grown and we wanted to downsize. Our downsized lifestyle makes it easier for us to work, enjoy life and travel to take care of our elderly folks,” says D. “Building and living in a carriage house gives people an alternative housing solution in this expensive market,” he adds. “It’s a more affordable option.”
You’ve lived in the house for a while now. Is it still a good fit?
“The garage design was centered around having a gym where we can work out. Now Bev and I work out together four or five times a week,” says D.
He adds that the small house also makes cleaning a snap and yard work a thing of the past. “Spending less time cleaning, means we have more time to run and walk trails, hike 14ers – all the stuff we love to do together.”
D and Beverly really enjoy downtown Loveland, too, and take advantage of all it has to offer. Beverly works six blocks from the house, and the walking commute is a breeze.
“When we had a big house, we rarely had people over for dinner anyway,” says Beverly. “When we want to have dinner with friends, we walk to a restaurant.” She says she loves walking with the grandkids downtown for parades and festivals, too.
What advice would you give to folks looking to downsize?
“Figure out which possessions are essential, and what you can live without, and then be prepared to get rid of a lot of excess stuff,” says D.
Beverly adds, “The less stuff you have, the less you have to worry about.”
You get to a point in your life where that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is how you live your life.
“It seems each generation goes through the same thing,” reflects D. “You worry about what you drive, and where you live, and we think those things define who you are. You get to a point in your life where that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is how you live your life.”
Check out additional photos of the Walker’s alley house in the Custom Home section of our project gallery. Photography by CassiHise Photography.