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Renovating a House? Bookmark Brick + Beam

There's plenty of help out there!

Michelle & Chris Gerard

renovation-week

For those undertaking a renovation, big or small, the project can seem overwhelming. And anyone doing the work in Detroit knows that it presents itself with a wide range of challenges. But we have good resources if you know where to look. One of our favorites is Brick + Beam Detroit.

On a recent Friday night, I visited their Storytellers night, where Amy Haimerl talked about her new book Detroit Hustle, and other community members talked about their renovations in progress. Everyone enjoyed some food, shared in their common struggles, and laughed at the ridiculousness some were going through.

What else do they offer for people who can't make it to a story night? Plenty, including

  • Co-sponsoring the upcoming Detroit Home Expo, which will have many resources for anyone taking on a home project,
  • Hosting social events like Fixer Upper Supper Clubs and hands-on, skills-building classes for residents, un/under-employed contractors, or anyone who wants to learn how to take on a new trade.
  • A whole page of useful resources, from insurance to security to living in a historic neighborhood to worksheets for buying a property and a lot more,
  • A map where people can pin and talk about their houses that they're rehabbing,
  • An active Q&A forum as a place where you can both ask and answer questions. It's an opportunity for rehabbers, experts, tradespeople, and other property owners to help others by weighing in with their experience

Basically, if you have a question, or you're interested in rehabbing a house, in the middle of a rehab, or curious, this is a great place to start. We'd love to just copy and paste all their resources, but they did it first.

"Brick + Beam Detroit​ connect​s​ building rehabbers, property owners, and the rehab-curious with skills-building classes, local tradespeople, ​DIY resources, advice, and each other in order to get repair projects started and to keep them going," said Emilie Evans, who co-founded Brick + Beam Detroit along ​with Victoria Olivier and Amy Elliott Bragg. "Everything from our classes and events to our interactive site is designed to help Detroiters connect with and learn from one another."

Brick + Beam is a 2015 Knight Cities Challenge winner and the project is a collaboration among the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, Detroit Future City, and Preservation Detroit.