08 April, 2012

H is for Houses

You can find a full list of my A to Z challenge posts here. :)

Houses! We love old houses. So far, we've extensively remodeled two - as in gutted and re-done from the studs out - and partially remodeled a third, that needed mostly cosmetic work and a new bathroom.

Remodeling is just awesome!

Here's the previous house we lived in, back when I wrote the Dubric books:

This house was a complete and total gut job. We removed everything but the east and north walls, and 3/4 of the foundation. Everything else, wiring, plumbing, roof, windows, everything, we did ourselves. Well, everything but installing the new furnace and running the duct work. That we hired out.

Here's a view from the other side:

Bill built both of the two-story bump-outs himself, and framed the roof (some of the angles were kinda crazy) and it was simply gorgeous!

I don't have digital pics of our first remodeled house (we did it waaaay before the days of digital photography) but here's a picture of our current house, shortly after we bought it:

It's a bit bigger than the yellow house and, frankly, was in better shape. We've replaced the floors in two of the bedrooms, painted it inside and out, did some major landscaping in the back yard, and put in an all new bathroom. That's about it.

The outside currently looks like this:

I love the color! It's perky, quirky, and friendly, all at the same time!

Inside, everything's one of three coordinating nice, creamy tans with white trim:

When it looked like Bill's job would be moving we had it on the market for a while last year and our appraised value was 10% higher than when we bought it. Not a bad return for 4 years investment, especially in this market. :) The yellow house at the beginning appraised at 6 times what we paid for it, but we did do a total gut job, and lived in it for 12 years. Nothing beats sweat equity.

Our current house is done, so we've been talking about moving on to something new, for us at least. There's a big 1890's house in a nearby town that'll be coming up as a foreclosure sale soon, and we're seriously tempted, especially if we can pick it up cheap!  We LOVE remodeling old houses!


Jean said...

1890s? That sounds like fun!

Tammy Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tammy Jones said...

From what we can tell, it's amazing! Structurally great, but tore up inside, and it has gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS bones on a triple lot with a couple of outbuildings. Three stories, stained glass windows, just WOW! We haven't been in it yet - it hasn't come up for sale and is sealed with foreclosure signs on it - but we're hopeful that some original fixtures and moldings are intact. Bill's mostly worried that it wasn't properly winterized, which will mean a LOT of plumbing work if it wasn't, but he walks by it several times a week delivering mail and he's watching for a for-sale sign. We have some money in the bank, and we're ready to POUNCE if the price is decent!! We'd be super thrilled if it needs a complete gutting but is super cheap, or updates and a fairly substantial remodel for a less-bargain basement price. We're both over-the-moon with the potential of this house.

Bill keeps telling me there's nothing more to do here and he really needs a project house. lol

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

We put sweat equity into our homes, but it tends to be more basic landscape and paint type stuff. This one's also involving very slow upgrades to the kitchen. I'm impressed that you have the time, energy, and knowledge to do that level of work yourselves!

And I love the green color of your house! What brand/color did you use, if you don't mind me asking?

And good luck with the 1890s house. Stained glass! Wow!


Tammy Jones said...

Erin, we just picked some chips up at Menards and the local Sherwin Williams store. The color was called Juniper, I think. I'll see if I can find the chip. I know I kept one. And we ended up getting Sherwin Williams paint.

I do have to admit that we hired out painting the exterior of our current house - Bill was working at least 10 hours a week overtime that summer and we decided it'd take him months - of not years - to finish alone. The painters did the outside, the kitchen, entry, and upstairs hall in a couple of days. Much simpler and quicker. lol But I'd painted our bedroom and my sewing room, Bill painted the other two bedrooms and the bathroom. Usually we do our own painting, but we just wanted the exterior DONE, ya know, and the paint company did the other three rooms for just a smidge more. :)

Jean said...

Tammy, that sounds gorgeous. I'm drooling here.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

You do beautiful work!

Nice to meet you, and I hope you're enjoying the Challenge!

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