Michael Weiss won’t be going to Sochi. Instead, the former Olympian and three-time U.S. national champion figure skater will be building houses. This home in McLean is his latest project.
“Three years ago, as I was winding down my performing career, I started to dabble in finishing basements and stuff like that,” he said.
His entry into home construction came when he and his wife, Lisa, who has her own company building and designing wine cellars, bought the place next to theirs, demolished the house and built a new one. Their closeness to their former neighbor led them to name their design and build firm, Airleen, after her.
“We’ve always liked design, and I’ve always been kind of handy around the house,” Weiss said. “So we got a bunch of [subcontractors] and a good friend of ours who used to be a builder; he helped [supervise] the [building of] the first house. And then from there, I’ve been being the super on the job site most of the time on my own. It’s pretty cool. It started as a hobby and then it became a business for us. We’re building houses, from figure skating to building houses.”
This is the third house they’ve built, all within McLean. Although they retained parts of the 1970s-era home that once stood on this lot, much of it is new. They increased the living space to 6,500 square feet; they also added another garage and a room above it. They kept the original hardwood floors and stone fireplace in the basement, but everything on the top two levels is new. Lisa designed the frameless glass wine cellar that holds about 300 bottles.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors in the main living areas look out on the wooded landscape and burbling stream.
“For me, that was the selling point of the house,” Weiss said. “It’s relaxing. Every time I come in there and go outside to look at that view, I naturally just take a deep breath and [exhale]. . . . It’s just a place to unwind. It’s almost like a vacation home that you live in all the time.”
He has already started on his next house.
“Now I’m going through the whole process again and I’m still emotionally attached to the one at Dixie [Place],” he said. “Gosh, I’ve got to let go of that one and start moving on to the other one.”
Weiss pointed out that Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals bought a house in the neighborhood and that all the houses share use of a lake. Weiss recently skated on the frozen lake while filming a commercial. He joked, “You could see Alex Ovechkin taking slap shots and me doing backflips [on the lake]. That would be pretty fun.”
The five-bedroom, five-bathroom house is listed at $2.245 million.
Listing: 8602 Dixie Pl., McLean
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