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Rick hero1Visiting Rick LeGrand’s house is like stepping through the looking glass from Alice in Wonderland.

What was originally the front of the house is now the side. What used to be the front door is now the back door. And what was once the master bedroom is now Rick’s kitchen.

As an electrical contractor, Rick is pretty handy around the house. He not only conceptualized his home’s many “reorientations,” he also is doing most of the work himself. However, there was one thing Rick couldn’t change: the home’s address.

“I asked the city for permission to be able to change my address to the new front of the house, but they said it couldn’t happen.” So the address remains on the back corner of the house that was once the front entryway – which causes some confusion. “Whenever I call to have something delivered like a pizza, I have to spend time explaining that my front door faces a totally different street than my real address.”

The home was built in 1965 and was originally 1,265 square-feet. After Rick’s many modifications, it’s now approximately 1,800 square-feet.

In 2001, Rick purchased his first house ever and moved into the Hy-view neighborhood. But it wasn’t the house in which he lives now. He lived across the street and down a few houses from his current home, which at the time, was owned by an elderly woman who was living alone. She occasionally needed repairs to the house, and Rick was happy to help.

In 2004 following one of his visits to fix something on the fritz, his friend mentioned that she was thinking about selling her house and asked Rick if he would be interested in buying it. “I got to know the house pretty well when I was working on it. So I said, ‘sure why not.’ Besides, it was an easy move because all I had to do was carry my stuff across the street.”

After moving in, Rick started the process of envisioning what he wanted to do to the house. But he wasn’t in a rush. “A neighbor across the street let me sit in his front yard with a pad I used to draw up my ideas. It took me about six months of trying different things on paper before I knew what I wanted to do.”

Because he’s doing the work himself, Rick continues to remodel his home in phases when he has the time. He says, “It’s a work in-progress.”

Entering through the huge glass door to the front room, it’s instantly obvious this is the home of a man who lives alone. It’s little wonder why Rick calls it, “My fort.”

To the left, is a fresh water aquarium built into the wall. An adjacent wall has two big flat-screen televisions embedded one over the other. The north side of the room has a large sliding glass door that disappears into the wall to reveal a large patio with a gas fireplace and a 12-foot island that includes a grill. Rick says the patio is his favorite feature because it “not only brings the inside out and the outside in,” but it “makes things come alive.”

As an electrical contractor, Rick works in a variety of homes so he’s able to note what design elements he likes most that may work in his home. “I do a fair amount of plagiarizing,” he says with a smile.

Rick is creating a unique home that’s a grand labor of love.

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