Temporary digs

Soap star Maurice Benard and his wife, Paula, have listed a Hollywood Hills-area house that they lived in while remodeling their primary residence. (Paul Barnaby)

Soap star Maurice Benard and his wife, Paula, have listed a Hollywood Hills-area house for $1.55 million.

The pair bought the place in 2007 to live in while remodeling their larger primary residence and, in the meantime, worked on customizing the smaller house too.

"We dove into fixing this one up," Paula Benard said, "to the point that we almost rebuilt the house."

The contemporary Mediterranean has a great room with pitched ceilings, a stacked stone fireplace and slate floors. There are dormer windows, a kitchen with a breakfast area and center island, four bedrooms, four bathrooms and 2,872 square feet of living space.

The Benards like to have big parties and built a covered patio entertainment area with a kitchen, a dining area and a flat screen.

Although not new to remodeling and the temptation to over-improve, the couple wanted their temporary home to work for their needs and included the types of amenities they like in a home.

"We personalized too much," Paula Benard said.

They bought the house for $1.25 million and estimate they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the work. The Benards are selling because they have relocated to Temecula.

Maurice Benard has played a mob boss on "General Hospital" since 1993.

Terry Canfield Schmidt and Rose Ware of Prudential California, Pacific Design Center, have the listing.

lauren.beale@latimes.com