Insider Information

An insider’s look at updates of currently in-progress projects.

Bye Bye Jabba

One of the joys of what Springs Home Improvement does is we get to work with so many unique homes and homeowners. No project is ever the same which is great!

Sandstone got our whole crew’s attention when we announced we had been hired to give an earth berm home a facelift.

By definition, an earth berm home is a house built into the ground and often into the side of a hill. It can be above or below grade with earth covering one or more walls. They have earth-covered roofs, usually with vegetation to combat erosion. They are naturally insulated and offer a unique solution to heating and cooling. 

Sandstone was built in 1981 and has weathered well but was in need of updating. The owner had a list of requests. 

  • Kitchen: stone countertops, tile backsplash
  • Living Room: open up cinder block wall, replace fireplace, remove “Jabba”, and design new stone surround
  • Front room: reseal slate flooring, open up wall to allow light to kitchen
  • Bedroom: ceiling fan removal, remove arches, baseboards
  •  2 Bathrooms: Update tile, new shower/ tub combo, updated fixtures and sink, flooring
  • Paint yoga studio
  • Paint second bedroom/storage room
  • Touch up paint throughout
  • Pet door
  • Front room ledge

Wait, Remove what? Yes, you read that right. “Remove Jabba”

The homeowner asked us to remove a huge built-in fireplace storage unit she fondly referred to as “Jabba the Hutt”.  Jabba’s reign was about to end when he would be replaced with a modern stone fireplace surround. 

Jabba was lovingly built by the homeowner’s husband as a surprise while she was out of town. Little did he know… she hated it but lived with Jabba for twenty years instead of hurting her husbands feelings.

Now, twenty years later, her husband is unfortunately gone and Jabba’s days are numbered.

As part of our updates, SHI was tasked to cut through a wall separating the atrium styled front living area from the kitchen and living room. Our homeowner was looking for more light! Currently, her home was in two sections; light and dark. Other contractors had looked at the project and passed on the opportunity. Springs Home Improvement decided we could help her and immediately began our research.

SHI has worked on thousands of homes but this one was truly unique. It was important to our Project Manager to not only complete the updates but keep to the original integrity of the home. 

 Earth berms are known for their eco-friendly characteristics such as temperature-controlled environments saving on gas and electric with solar and the last thing SHI wanted was to tilt the balance of the home. Creating a window in the wall did more than just adding light. It added a natural pattern of heating and cooling that didn’t exist previously. Now, the home features more natural light than ever reaching the furthest corners of the kitchen.

The home has been updated to our owners’ standards. “Jabba the Hutt” has been replaced with a beautiful stone wall and wood fireplace. The look is clean and earthy.

Modern updates have been made in the bathrooms and kitchens. High gloss meets functionality and design. Pictures don’t do the stonework justice, but there are tiny flecks of silver and blue in the counters and island. It’s subtle coloring adding just a hint of color but enough to make it pop.

So many earth berms are labeled as “new age” or weird but this dwelling is more work of art than anything. It’s full of character, warmth and was a joy to modernize.

Ask a remodeling expert.

Let's talk about your project.

We’re here to guide you through, from conception to completion.
Recent posts
Social Media