Nigel Maynard, Editor-in-Chief

Nigel Maynard is editor-in-chief of Custom Builder and PRODUCTS magazines. Maynard grew up in St. Croix, where he learned construction helping his step-dad build the family home from the ground up. Since that early introduction, he has bought and remodeled four homes, and has taken up cabinet and furniture making. His current home was featured in The Washington Post and his previous home was covered in Home Magazine, The Washington Post, and HGTV’s I Want That! Prior to joining SGC Horizon, Maynard was the Editor-in-Chief of Lebhar-Friedman’s all-digital products magazine, Residential Building Products & Technology. Previously, he spent 14 years at Hanley Wood as senior editor of Builder magazine and its sister publication Residential Architect, where he amassed eight prestigious honors for editorial excellence, including AZBEE and NAREE awards.

Adapt and Reuse

I used to have a real estate dream that went something like this:

After a long search, I acquired a former industrial building in a vibrant urban neighborhood. The building likely would have been built with brick and old-growth wood and would possess desirable features, such as large windows, high wood-beam ceilings, a courtyard, and possibly a rooftop deck. The renovation would create light-filled open public rooms and intimate private spaces organized around the courtyard. It would include some of my favorite design features—linear drains, casement windows, pocket doors, folding or lift/slide patio doors —and would use extensive high-performance building strategies.

I imagined that my daily life would be idyllic, with restaurants, shopping, and nightlife within a stone’s throw of my home. A coffee run would take minutes. Crispy croissants would be a quick trot to the corner patisserie. At least that’s how I pictured it in my mind.

I’ve visited a number of projects like this, and I’ve always been envious. Some people are drawn to rural locations where the air is fresh, the sky is big, and the stars are bright, while others are drawn to urban living where the world is at their fingertips. I’m the latter.

But finding such a project is increasingly difficult, since the word is out and pickings are slim. A larger number of buyers are out hunting, and there’s a smaller pool of potential projects. As a result, the few properties that exist are pricey. Moreover, developers are snatching up these buildings and turning them into stunning residences, such as The Sanctuary—a Washington, D.C., church converted into 30 condos by Bonstra | Haresign Architects—or the old firehouse at The Power Plant at National Park Seminary, in Silver Spring, Md., which has been converted into a three-bedroom condo.

Perhaps my all-time favorite adaptive-reuse project is the Mid-North Residence in 
Chicago by Vinci | Hamp Architects. Originally a barn and a dairy distribution center, the project is now an incredible single-family home, with a light-filled courtyard and expansive sliding doors. Private, yet open and bright, this home is absolutely stunning (look it up).

This month, we found two projects that demonstrate the potential for nonresidential structures to be converted into comfortable, efficient homes: one is a church built in 1909; the other had a former life as a wine bar. While the two projects had very different beginnings, both have been reimagined as equally stunning homes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 13:15

Comments on: "Adapt and Reuse"


This Month in Custom Builder


Provides added protection against moisture and mold and allows for 
increased ventilation and drainage


The philosophy of the German Bauhaus school of art and design drives this Dallas-based custom builder

Overlay Init