How the only Alabama house built by an architect to the stars was rescued

Judith Zeng

It took a tiny additional than two months to renovate a overlooked customized crafted house in the Birmingham spot into a vibrant mix of retro and contemporary.

And you can see how it was done this weekend on a common truth sequence.

The Birmingham space trio behind “Flipping Down South” put in more than two months refurbishing a Forestdale house that experienced lain dormant for various several years.

The making is the only regarded residence in Alabama made by the architect John Randal McDonald, who built houses through the place and houses for celebs this sort of as baseball wonderful Mickey Mantle and the actress Maureen O’Hara.

Paul Mielke, a single of the stars of “Flipping Down South,” explained the obstacle was preserving the home’s historic allure even though updating it to 21st century standards.

“It was unoccupied for a extremely prolonged time, I mean a long time upon many years,” Mielke explained. “It had transferred fingers a bunch of periods.”

‘”Flipping Down South” follows Paul Mielke, Cody J. Cummings and Matt Morgan – three Birmingham business people who came from performing class roots, and seem to rework derelict homes into economical properties.

The to start with obstacle this time was the home’s layout.

“It’s backwards,” he said. “All the windows are on the backside of the dwelling. When we pulled up from the avenue, it looked like a bunker. There ended up brick all on a single facet and it was all overgrown.”

But it only took a instant to see the inside, with a financial institution of windows and a residing place tied alongside one another by a hearth. Mielke reported he promptly “fell in like with it.”

The perform wasn’t straightforward. The permitting procedure by itself induced head aches, as perfectly as weather delays. But in late summer season of final yr, the build back again commenced.

The original property owner developed the house from McDonald’s programs, which intended that some factors were being a shock. The septic procedure, for instance, was home made. There ended up other obstacles primarily based on the primary design.

Then there was the roof.

“It experienced the flat roof,” he explained. “The major problem was getting the roof to now enable h2o in.”

Mielke said the home sold as soon as the task was done. The episode featuring it will be demonstrated Saturday at 11 a.m. CST on A&E and will be available for streaming.

“Flipping Down South” is created for A&E by Six West Media and Class 6 Media.

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