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Back to Life

Danielle and Alan Weintraub found the perfect older home and brought it back to life.

written by Joe O’Donnell      Photography by Edward Badham

When Danielle and Alan Weintraub were searching for a new home, they had a good sense of what they were looking for.

They loved the convenience of Mountain Brook’s villages, as well as the neighborhood experience of strolling on village sidewalks and enjoying the compact beauty of a classic neighborhood. They focused their home search on the neighborhoods between Crestline and Mountain Brook Villages.

They found the perfect place, knowing all along that their ultimate goal would be to renovate the house in order to make it their own.

But they were in no hurry. In fact, they made a calculated move to live in the house as it was, for a year or so. They used that live-in time to determine what worked and what needed to be re-thought. They sought answers to the kind of questions that only come up when you really live in a place.

How did the layout flow when the house was full of people?  What rooms got too hot in the afternoon sun?  Did they like the size of closets, the location of walls, the vantage points viewed from different rooms?

“So we lived in it first and that really helped us make decisions that we otherwise might not have known would be important to us,” Danielle, an architect as well as the homeowner, says.

The decision was made to update the house entirely. That meant new plumbing and electrical, along with roof underlayment, HVAC, insulation, doors, and windows. They enlarged the kitchen, laundry and powder room downstairs.

On the exterior, they took the patio off the house and replaced it with a larger, covered, screened-in porch. That has become the Weintraub’s favorite space.

“Mostly we worked within the original house structure internally, updating the pieces and parts of that. It is a great house on a great property that had been only modestly updated over the years. It was a matter of updating and rejuvenating,” says Stephen Dorsky of Daystar Construction. “The owners and designer brought a more modern, personalized look into an older house and that really brought a lot of life back into it.


Architect: James Laughlin

Interior Design: Betsy Brown, Inc.

Landscaping: Blackjack Gardens

General Contractor: Daystar Construction

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