One of the first things we noticed about our new house was that at some point someone had left a nice note on the boarded up front door. “No body luvs me. My owner is an asshole.”
Now, I want to make clear that the former owner of this house was a really nice guy. So, we didn’t feel this was entirely fair. However, we didn’t need people wandering by getting the wrong idea about US, so the very first thing to be done was to revise the message on the front door.
A Nice Note
As a side note, it was our son’s idea to name this blog after our new sign on the door.
Now for the “before” tour.
Our house is a 1910 late folk victorian home. Coming from an 1870’s home this fast forwards us into the future where there were things such as indoor plumbing! This house seems downright fancy compared to our current house.
The new management (AKA not assholes)
The exterior of the house looks rough mostly because of pealing paint and boarded up windows. The siding is actually in pretty good condition because it was covered up with asbestos siding for many years. It needs minor repair in spots, but mostly just needs a lot of scraping and painting. Asbestos siding remains on the gables and we are curious to see what the siding looks like underneath that section. The roof of the front porch obviously needs work, but that isn’t at the top of our priority list right now.
The north side of the house
The south side of the house with exterior door
The back of the house
Let’s take a look inside.
Come on in!
When entering through the back door the first room you see is the kitchen. The door to the left is a walk-in pantry, the door in the center is the bathroom, and the door on the right takes you to the basement. You can see there is a mott sink which may be an original detail to the home. We plan on keeping it.
The bathroom has two points of entry, one from the kitchen and one connected to the bottom of a stairway. We assume that the claw foot tub and wall cabinet are original to the house but the sink and toilet are obviously not. We’ll be refurbishing that tub. Check out that snazzy fake tile laminate on the wall.
Tub and toilet
Beyond the kitchen is a formal dining room with an original built-in. Inside the built-in is a little door that we assume would have been used at some point by household help to deliver food without being seen.
You can see the sliding pass through door
Adjacent to the dining room is the living room. On the left of this image you can see an opening from the living room into a secondary living space- maybe a former study or library which was dry walled over to make a separate area for renters. The doorway in the center of this image is a sliding pocket door which takes you to what would have been the parlor. On the far right you can see two sets of exterior doors. This is the vestibule.
The living room
Entering the parlor you will notice there is an original fireplace, additional access to the vestibule, and large front windows at the front of the house.
The parlor. Left door to vestibule, right door to living room.
Detail of parlor access to vestibule
Parlor pocket door
Front windows in parlor
The vestibule is a tiny entry room with a large front door. The room features a window (on the right in this picture) that we will eventually repair with stained glass.
Front door and vestibule
Moving back to the dining room, there are two “bedrooms” on the south side of the 1st floor. The blue bedroom with the exterior door is the room that was once open to the living room and will revert back to it’s original configuration after I ninja kick that drywall.
The 2nd “bedroom” that was created by dry walling the opening to the living room
You can see that the closets have small upper doors on them. The bottom doors on the closets are the size of normal doors. This images gives you an idea of how tall the other doors are in the house. This house has 10ft ceilings!
Bedroom 1 with access to stairs
Before we move on to the 2nd floor here is a view of the entry to the stairs which is also connected to the bathroom.
Bathroom and bottom of stairs
At the top of the stairs is bedroom 3. It’s the only finished room upstairs and the only location in the house with a ceiling. Sweet plaid floors. This room will eventually be the master bedroom.
The steep stairs
Why is there a sink?
Closet and dormer window bay
Beyond bedroom 3 there is another half of the attic that is not finished. We plan to finish this and have all three bedrooms as well as a bath upstairs. We have grand plans… More on that later.
Attic center and doorway to front attic room
North half of the attic with matching south side not shown
And then lastly here is an image of the basement. The basement is a multiple room affair with crypt-like qualities as you move your way back. This is actually the nice part.
Least scary part of basement
As of now there is no running water as the plumbing needs to be gutted. The whole house is currently knob and tube wiring and will need to be replaced. In the ceiling you can still see the original gas pipes from the house’s pre-electricity days when there would have been gas lamps in each room. The previous owner already took care of providing a new 200 amp box for the house. Other than that, the electricity is confined to a few outlets in the basement (which we are very thankful for!) The windows are in surprisingly good shape. They all have original hardware. Almost all of them are still connected to the counter weights and move up and down pretty easily. There are a couple windows that need new glass and ALL windows need to be glazed and refurbished. The foundation is solid and there is no rot or structural issues. The previous owner had also already replaced the roof, so the house is good and dry! There are paw marks on the walls where animals came in under the roof. In fact, there is even a spot in the dining room where we are pretty sure an animal died at some point. Yes, what we currently have is less than habitable (despite our laughably futile attempts to convince a bank that WE could in fact live in this house as it is). But soon, and by soon I mean I have no idea when, it will become our home. We are shooting for within one year.
Welcome to our new house. Soon it will be our home.
Next up… hiring an architect and beginning the long project!
Follow our story and read the next post: So…Now What?
Read our previous post here: House Stalkers! How we found our fixer upper.