Tearing Down Our New (Old) House

IMG_3379The past week I have had a few moments of doubt when I look at the destruction I have wrought on our new house….well, what’s left of our new (old) house. When we bought this house, there was never any question about the renovation process – we were doing a gut reno. The electric was from the dawn of electricity, we wanted 2 additional bathrooms, and most of the plaster was falling off the walls. Plus, houses built in 1860 just don’t fit with our modern lifestyle (hello, no laundry room). So walls needed to be moved, a heating and air conditioning system, and the associated ductwork, needed to be added and everything needed to come out of the house. I mean everything.

It’s just that it’s such a shock when you walk in and walls and ceilings are laying on the floor and a crew of Amish workers are busy swinging hammers at what’s left of the walls. There is the moment of, “I am responsible for completely destroying a house. A house I own, that I have now rendered essentially worthless.” But, as scary as this first step is, it’s the first step in the process of making this old house beautiful again. See the pictures of the interior destruction here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29656951@N00/sets/72157634820466824/


Interior Pics

I have had many requests for pictures of the interior of the house, mostly from people who say, “Oh, I’m sure all it needs is a coat of paint.”  Right…..and wiring, plumbing, a kitchen, bathrooms, actual walls…..all that good stuff.  I politely refer to the inside of the house as “distressed”.  This is much nicer than “complete nightmare” which is a lot closer to reality.  However, I do find that the more I am in the house, the more I can overlook its before state and just picture it in its after state.  Check out the pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29656951@N00/



So…..we bought this

Yesterday, we closed on this old beauty.  Ok, so it’s not exactly beautiful in its present state, but after a large sum of money is dumped into it, it will be.   The house was built in 1860, and is a little…..distressed.  By distressed I mean there is no kitchen, working plumbing or electric and it’s kind of stinky.   I first saw the house about two years ago when I was on a bus full of Rotarians (don’t ask) and as we drove through a small town, we stopped, and I looked out the window and saw this gorgeous old house, that was pretty much falling down.  I happened to say that I wanted to renovate a house just like that one (I was about two glasses of wine in at that point) and the woman in front of me turns around and says, “I own that house, I’ll sell it to you.”  After talking to contractors and going back and forth with my husband about whether we should take on a project of this size (clearly the answer is no) we decided to just do it. What’s the worse that could happen? Don’t answer that….And so begins a very expensive whole house renovation….Image