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Virginia architect helps resurrect barn from ashes to dream home in nine months


Eager homeowners are nothing new when it comes to remodeling projects. However, Loudon County, Va., resident Peter Burnett took that typical enthusiasm to a new level when his home burned down in 2009.

Amy Albert, senior editor at Builder Magazine, published a story on Tuesday about a homeowner who saw his misfortune as a great opportunity and didn’t hesitate to act:

“If you need a lesson in looking on the bright side, consider Peter Burnett. The same day his house, a rehabbed bank barn in Loudon County, Va., burned to the ground, Burnett got on the horn to architect Kevin Ruedisueli, asking him to start rebuilding — tomorrow. The way Burnett saw it, the tragedy was actually a golden opportunity: In bringing his home back from the ashes, he’d smooth out the accumulated wrinkles resulting from decades of piecemeal additions with limited resources.”

The result? A gorgeous bank barn that now includes a guest suite, a ballroom (that acts as an indoor volleyball court), an endless pool, a woodworking shop and an exercise space. Once cold and rugged, Burnett’s home is now a vibrant and welcoming with spaces perfect for entertaining guests. What’s more, the project was completed within nine months of the fire.

For his work, Ruedisueli’s project was named a winner in the 2011 Mid-Atlantic myMarvin Architect’s Challenge. With his positive attitude and astounding resilience, Burnett turned tragedy into the home of his dreams.

See more photos and read more about the home at

[Photo by Mary Parker]