Renovation Reality, Part 2….We Survived to Tell the Tale

 

MAXANDEMERSON.WORDPRESS.COM has MOVED….Please click HERE to be rerouted to this same POST on my new site, SalvagedWhimsy.blogger.com.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  Thank you!!

 

There were many days that I thought the end of this renovation would never come.  We had to repaint every.single.surface. inside and out – the trim, walls, stairs, ceilings, doors.  I often told people the house was held together with caulking and plaster.

Nevertheless, we made it and were luckily able to sell it very quickly when we put it on the market. Here’s a little reminder of the exterior we started with:ahhhh, so pretty…as was the overgrown/jungle-esque backyard.  You can’t see it in the picture, but the previous owner had dug a 4′ trench around the red door and window.  Nice. 

Here are the remainder of the lovely BEFORE pictures. (Enter at your own risk) 

 And now, finally, here are some pictures of the “after.”  Please know that we were decorating on NO budget while trying to attract a higher-end buyer… and had to sell ASAP because we had another baby on the way.  I’ll try to point out places where we scrimped/saved money.Back of the house- notice we took the “bump” off the basement level.  Also, on the left (where the round window is located), we added stairs to the basement.  Prior to adding these stairs, you had to go through the old SCARY cellar to get to the newly finished basement.

Front exterior -we removed MOUNTAINS of english ivy and planted grass/added landscaping.  We redid the porch ceiling with beadboard. We eventually repainted the front door red before we listed it to sell.

 This is looking into the foyer from the living room.  This is a scanned picture, so I’m sorry for the poor quality (you’ll see several throughout this post)  The door is a closet, and to the right is the dining room, kitchen, sun room, office/playroom, and stairs to the new basement.

 Please excuse the stroller…this is the sun room.  It use to be an exterior porch, so it was built on a tilt for water drainage.  We built the cornice to try to camouflage the slant in the room.  I made the “curtains” out of some really discounted fabric at JoAnn’s.  I painted the quote, “Dwell in possibility – Emily Dickenson,” by hand.  Although out realtor told us to repaint the room in a more neutral color, I left it as is because I thought it was so fun. 

Kitchen, completely gutted and redone

Standing in the sun room, dining area is to the right. 

 

You can kind of see the sun room on the right, dining room is to the left. On the other side of the double oven is a room that could be used as a bedroom, office, den, or playroom.

This is the dining room, complete with my childhood dining table (free!) that I painted dark blue. (Sorry for another icky picture)  The light fixture isn’t one I’d pick for myself, but it was simple, and more importantly, it was very inexpensive!

 

Only one more icky picture after this.  This is the den-bedroom-playroom.  The laundry room that use to me in the dirt-floor cellar (was a closet) in the back left corner.  There’s a half bath that we added (it was another closet).  We had planned on putting french doors where the large window is located and we wanted to build a deck – but we ran out of time, energy and money.

 

Please excuse the horrible picture and the grumpy bulldog.  This is the only picture I have of the top of the stair case…it use to be a wall and was one of the bigger challenges we faced in trying to complete so that it matched the lower portion (existing) of the stairs.  The end result turned out beautifully – I wish I had a better picture to share!

This is the master bedroom closet.  We added the wall to make it a closet. 

Master bedroom – with my $15 headboard I painted black.  Master bath is on the right. 

Master Bedroom – on the right you can see the hall we added, the door to the nursery, and the top of the stairs (that was originally closed off)

Master Bathroom

This is the finished portion of the basement.  The stairs originate in the kitchen, behind the stove.  The dresser and bed and linens are from Ikea. The lamp is from a thrift store. New laminate floors.  The closet door is one of the original wood doors from the house that we didn’t need, and we cut it down to fit the space.

 The picture on the back of the bed is one of the old wood windows from the house.  I printed some graphics out onto cardstock and colored them in.  I painted the border, and taped the pages onto the back of the window.  Free art (if you can call it “art”). 

 The other half of the basement – you can see the foot of the bed to the left. (And a nice pic of our AC unit out the window!)

 I think that’s all the pictures I have…and I’ve only shown you maybe half the house.  I’m impressed if you’ve made it this far with me though!  I loved this house – it made me so happy when another young family bought it and loved it maybe more than we did (no nightmarish reno experiences!)

Just to bring it full-circle – the house BEFORE. 

And AFTER:

Now, (sigh), we begin again…but we were smarter this time…at least we can live in the house we just bought….with its blue carpet and red countertops.

I’ve seen many beautiful renovations completed here in blog-land.  Any fun stories to share?  I’d love to hear (or see) them!

I originally wrote this post before I knew what “linking up” was – but I’m so much older and wiser now (almost 3 mos!), so I’ve linked to these parties…


Photobucket Savy Southern Style

 

   

TT small


Weekend Bloggy Reading
take care –

erin

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Picks with Promise

Since I can’t share any of my finished projects until I actually have a space to finish some projects…I thought I’d show a couple of the treasures my husband and I found this weekend.  We found a fantastically cheap barn sale….we did not, however, find a babysitter….so I had to carry our 25 pound daughter and B had to watch our 2-year-old so no emergency trips for tetanus shots would be necessary (they are up to date on all shots, and I think Max has actually had his tetanus, but for the sake of my story, let’s go with it).   This made rifling through a cluttered, dirty, wet old barn a little difficult.   I can only imagine the fun stuff we would have found if we were able to dig in!  We still (I think) found some rusty, old,  crusty  fun stuff.

Please ignore our messy garage…we lost over 1000 sq ft when we moved to our apartment, so most of our belongings live in the garage.  (We also have a toddler who thinks mommy’s decor is more fun than any number of toys)

 

Old metal tackle box

 

old wood crate

 

Old Star Light

 
 
 
Everything obviously needs some serious love…and I can’t wait to get started on things.  We found some more little odds and ends today  Only 2 more days until we move….and oh yeah, I have 2200 sq ft of house that needs completely renovated too (plus, the babies!)
 
Have you found any fun treasures lately?  Or moved?  Do share!

Mine tastes better

Apparently the food on my plate tastes better than the same exact food on Max’s plate.  I guess it’s a toddler thing.  Its been a rough day in mommy-land.  When Max wasn’t performing death-defying stunts or trying to kill the dog, he was whining and/or crying.

Then, there’s Emme, who I’ve nicknamed the screech owl.  People scoff at this description of my beautiful, happy, smiley baby, until they experience it for themselves.  Then, they act like they are the first person to have experienced the phenomenon.

But, when they are sleeping, all the craziness of the dayis forgotten (most of the time) and they look like little angels  (Emme is sleeping on my lap as I type this with one hand)

In other news, Bryan and I had a lot of fun finding some treasures for my new business venture.  It’s called Max Originals, and will be vintagey, unique, “upcycled” treasures and furniture that I plan to sell.  More on that later, for sure!

Anyone else’s food taste better on their plate?  Anyone else have a challenging day?  Please share, I’m sure I’ll feel silly for thinking mine was difficult.

Til next time—

Trying to pack….unsuccessfully

We are supposed to be moving to the new house next weekend…yippeeeee!!!  I.can’t.wait….no more noisy neighbors partying until 4am (ahem, last night), no more revving motorcycle engines at 9:30pm, no more surprise landscaper or maintenance men visits during nap time.

Packing, however, is not going so well…emme is used to almost-constant attention from me, and that’s nearly impossible when trying to pack the kitchen.  At almost-10 mos old, she still has spontaneous falls, so I try to keep her away from as many hard surfaces as possible.  I’ve packed 2 boxes in the last 4 hours.  this progress does NOT=success.  At this rate, we’ll be living here with the next set of renters.

As….uhhh…frustrating as this is, even more worrisome is what I’ll do with her when I’m trying to put it all away.  She’s almost 25 pounds, so I can’t wear her.  Plus, I had all these great plans of painting Max’s room, and starting my business (more on that later – just don’t have the space here to start my projects until we move)….which may be pretty challenging with my constant-companion.  I absolutely ADORE Emme (and Max, of course – but we’re talking about E) – she’s my last baby, she’s chubby, and smiley, and funny…and I want to enjoy every minute of both my babies childhoods that I can….but I also have the small obligation of making our home habitable for them and my very-hard-working husband.

Happy (non-screaming) Emme

…oops, had to step away for a moment….Max was trying to launch himself off of the bar stools (that he’s not supposed to be near) and because I had to step away from Emme momentarily, she had a small breakdown.  I have a feeling the next couple weeks will be a(nother)  test of patience.

Serenity now.

The evil weed-whacker man!!

We’ve lived in an apartment for the past year while looking for our new house.  There are pros and cons…one pro being that you don’t have to take care of a yard.  The con being that the weed whacker man shows up unexpectedly, just in time to wake up my 2 sleeping babies!!  They barely ever nap at the same time, but when they do, it seems like weed whacker man inevitably shows up at the same  time. 

And then there’s the guy 3 doors down who likes to rev his motorcycle’s engine at 9:30pm….

Renovation Reality

My husband and I met when he bought his house. I was his real estate agent. Crazy, huh? He bought the house in May 2007, and planned to renovate and sell by September 2007. He chose a local contractor who came highly recommended by my husband’s mortgage broker.

Here’s a peek at the house (built in 1908) – pre $150,000 renovation lawsuit-blood-sweat-many tears:

The front, obviously. Do you like the wire hanging from the ceiling where a light fixture should be? When it rained, water would pour through the hole, and when it was cold, we would get a lovely icicle.

 

And the back…notice the black tarp on the left? The man who owned the house before us had dug out a bunker under where a porch use to be…by hand, with buckets. Odd.

Don’t worry, I have more pictures. To make a long, heartbreaking story short, when we were about $80,000 into the reno, we realized that of the 26 items on the original estimate, only 14 had been started, and not one had been completed. NOT.ONE. We weren’t living in the house at the time, so when we would come out to check on the progress, the contractor would make promises and give explanations…we were so deep, we thought the easiest way to proceed would be to move into the house (with no hot water, finished kitchen, or bathroom doors) and keep a closer eye on things. We quickly realized that we had made a terrible mistake by trusting this contractor.

We were left with a house that was maybe 25% finished, and we only had about $10,000 left to finish the project (which we quickly realized was not nearly enough) So begins the blood, sweat, and tears part of the story. The hardest I’ve ever worked – and we planned a wedding and had a baby during it too. Instead of 3 months, it took 3 years. Here are a couple more pictures – showing before and after. Sorry some of the pictures aren’t so great, unbelievably, we didn’t really take “after” pictures.

                        

FOYER – There use to be a low ceiling in the foyer. We had it removed and the correlating wall, but the contractors couldn’t figure out how to finish the railing to match the existing lower portion of steps.  The wall and closet on the left were removed, the picture on the right shows what was left.

This is how the contractors left the newly created laundry room…knowing we were moving in that day. (Before they started working there, these floors had been in perfect condition.)  Oh, and they never hooked up the plumbing, so the 1st time I did laundry…water was pouring into our basement, which as you’ll see below, had dirt floors.

Basement…or something.  The  rectangular mound on the left was once a 10 foot deep abyss.

                                                                 

BEFORE- On left, original master bath – and only bathroom in the house.  On right, once they tore down kitchen ceiling below the bathroom, they found serious water damage, so the whole bathroom floor came out.

 

 

 

Originally, a parlor  for the master bedroom, but we added a hallway to make it a small 3rd bedroom.

Original kitchen.  These were all of the cabinets, the opposite wall just had a stove on it.      

Thankfully, we survived, so there are “after” pictures to share.   This post has reminded me to take lots of pictures of our next house, I can’t believe how few I have of the last house!

Thanks,

e

Max and Emme’s Bedrooms

Emme is sleeping on me, so I’m typing this with one hand.  I tried to take them outside to play, but Max was more interested in trying to stragle the dog with her line and opening/closing the screen door.  Therre’s no shade out there, so its pretty uncomfortable. 

I’m so excited about moving into our house in 2 weeks (from today!!), and I’ve put together some idea boards for what I’m thinking of doing. 

Here’s my idea for Max’s room…I’m  still deciding on paint colors…but am thinking green with a gray or blue stripe.  B and I are planning to make his headboard…I’ll post pictures when we get to that point.

And here’s Emme’s room:

I used Olioboard to design them.  You can upload your own pictures, but they have a huge selection of item available too.

My other favorite new site is pinterrest…so much easier than saving everything to my hard drive.

Fun stuff for all my free time!

e