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Builders create brand-new homes with old-time feel


June 11, 2011 at 1:11 a.m.
Updated June 17, 2011 at 1:17 a.m.

A historically inspired home built by History Builders is for sale at 2506 N. De Leon St. The home, built and designed by Casey and Lindsay Sulak, has many Victorian features, such as a first- and second-story porch, to make it fit into the neighborhood instead of looking like brand new construction. The almost 3,000 square foot, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom house is sold.

The house at 2506 N. De Leon St. has all the attributes of an old-time structure. From the tall outdoor columns to the large white fireplace and sparkling chandelier, the building appears to have always called its corner location home.

But there's a catch.

The home is, in fact, brand-new.

Casey and Lindsay Sulak put the finishing touches on the historically-inspired home just last week.

The Ganado natives got their start with historic and historically-inspired homes about six years ago, when they moved into an old house on Warren Street in Victoria. Although they had lived in California for several years, they returned to the Crossroads to be closer to family and because business opportunities seemed more promising.

As they worked to get their new home just so, they drew upon each other's skills, Casey Sulak's cabinetry abilities and Lindsay Sulak's knack for interior design.

"We didn't really look at it as a project when we started," Lindsay Sulak explained. "We were just fixing up our home. But, after we finished, everyone raved about it. We thought, 'Why not do this together?'"

They formed a new company, History Builders, and renovated another old Victoria home before setting their sights on the De Leon project. All three homes are located in the College Park subdivision.

It's the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes along with old homes that inspires the husband-wife team to do what they do, Lindsay Sulak said.

"They're truly a work of art in themselves," she said, explaining that no two homes are alike and the solid construction allows them to stand the test of time.

Many Crossroads residents maintain high appreciation for historic architecture, said Chip Dence, a life director with the National Association of Home Builders and the Texas Association of Home Builders.

"People are generally nostalgic," he said. "I think Victoria may be a bit unique in that there's a lot of the founding families that are still here. They have a lot of appreciation for their family homes and historic things."

Dence himself, a partner with East End Builders, has renovated some older homes. His projects include a 19-month overhaul on the Mitchell house, which was built in 1892.

"There's value in our history and in our historic homes," he said. "It kind of enriches our lives all the way around to preserve our historic structures."

As for the Sulaks, while the husband and wife work well together, they also have help.

Plumbers, electricians, inspectors and more come into the process, they said, while Lindsay Sulak's parents, Bill and Carol Hunt, also assist with dirt work, running errands and even looking after the Sulaks' children, 2-year-old William Henry and 10-month-old Nina.

"They're also passionate about old homes," Lindsay Sulak explained. "They've always made us feel really good about what we do. That's always great when you can share that with them."

The family has now returned to the Sunshine State, and the De Leon Street home has already sold. They already have other projects up their sleeves, however.

Plans are under way to construct another historically-inspired home in Santa Barbara, Calif., as well as another in Victoria, right next to the one on De Leon Street.

"We have a true passion for it," Lindsay Sulak said. "We live it and breathe it. We love it. We plan to keep doing projects."



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