In July of last year we bought a run down little earth contact home out in the back of beyond (see first pic). After intense renovations, it's beginning to look like a totally different house (see second pic).
This is the third fixer upper we have gone through in nearly as many states. But we are back in Missouri now and in tend to stay here. Unfortunately, we have gotten spoiled. The first flip house, we lived in for 3 months, slapped a coat of poly on the hardwoods, and some paint on the basement, and flipped it for a cool 50,000 over what we paid for it, and let me tell ya it wasnt cheap to start with. The second, required coats of paint,, kitchen and bath, low level redo(cabinet makeovers etc.) and we got an even return on our money. At least we didn't lose, and while we were there it was a comfortable little place to live.
But this baby-whew! She's a beauty. 3/4 earth contact, that when we bought in July we loved, but as winter approached, our sentiments became decidedly frostier. As in I had packing taped the windows shut to keep the cold air out in the bedrooms and bathrooms. I spent a whole weekend trying to get the storm windows closed and hunting up the glass that someone had pulled out and shoved in a back closet, I covered the bay window in plastic to stop the gale force winds coming through and ohhhh GAWD the spiders, everywhere, my cat and I had a confirmed 30 killed one saturday afternoon. Don't get me wrong. We knew there would need to be repairs, it was cheap, the rooms were paneled, not sheetrocked, and fake wood floors and dark paint made you feel like you lived in a cave. It was a cute place, nice little porch, acre and a half of woods for a yard, its own well, and we could afford it.
It wasn't until after that, that we realized all of the pitfalls. First it was too small, 1100 square feet, even for a close couple like my husband and I, is too small. So expand out onto the front porch and open up the kitchen dining, living area into one big room. Good enough. Light, with tiny windows, a bay window that did not function, and one boarded up, and a ton of trees, no amount of light was coming in anywhere hence the deep dark cave effect. First step drop some trees. My diligent husband is an Illinois farm boy- "land should be cleared", So I handed him a chainsaw, said " I want a yard bright enough for grass to grow-I'll tell you when to stop", and turned him loose. I now have a pleasantly large yard with new seedling grasses, and a barrier of trees to stop the dust from the gravel road. Next, windows, windows and more windows. The cheapest and easiest way to get windows of a major size is sliding glass doors. Thankfully they have much improved over the past 10 years, being much more sturdy, and usable. Insert two, one in living room area, one in dining room area, add a couple of levered windows at the top in the blank spaces just for added light, and special order the one for the once boarded up window that someone used as a chimney hole, New larger window in the soon to be kitchen area, and vwhala welcome to a bright airy home in the woods. Crappy poly siding was replaced with a gray/brown metal siding called "Burnished Slate", crisp white trim, matching paint on the concrete visible above the dirt, and we are off to the races. (Roof to be replaced with galvanized look metal roof after the next big storm tears off a few more shingles.)
With the outside done and functional, onto the inside, and start rippin out walls. So far the hallway now has a large pass through door, opening the rest of the house to the brightness, the dining room wall, window, and exterior door to the living room is gone, and most of the old exterior walls have come down.
On a good note, turns out there is clean sheet rock under most of the paneling- so slap on some mud and texture and we are done. Eventually, hopefully before winter there will be a new wood stove, good use for all those trees we cut, and new carpet -out with the cheap crappy fake wood floors too.
So, the house is a shambles, on a good note, all the spiders have gone, and this sucker is sealed up as tight as a drum. Soon the kitchen walls will come down, and new cabinets, sink, water piping, dishwasher will go in. Its exciting, and time consuming, and hard work. But, hopefully in the end, it'll be worth it. A large window factory just opened operations in the area, which is a huge boost to the economy and with 300 new workers with a good salary, they are going to be looking for homes to buy, if not, well we will have a comfortable place to reside until we move on.
But we have to ask ourselves when its all over, what now?