Saturday, March 3, 2012

153: The "After"

Transformation got started slowly in December.  My cousin who did a lot of the work was working for a Christmas tree farm, so between juggling that, a pregnant wife, 3 kids and the 153 house project, it was a tight schedule.  After Christmas I was sick, so my jobs didn't move as fast as they should either... Progress continued through January and February and was nearing completion.  

I love small towns!  On one of my MANY trips to the local hardware store, I started talking with one of the employees about the project at hand.  I had mentioned that I still needed to find someone to replace the roof.   Coincidentally, the same employee does roofing on the side.  His bid was much lower than the first I had received.  I knew at one time he was my neighbors cousin and I saw the work he had done on that house, and honestly that was all the reference I needed.  Roof is in progress as we speak.  

With word on the street, we found a renter pretty quickly when the house was nearly completion.  Again, with a small town, although I didn't know the couple personally, half of my friends did.  The waited patiently while we finalized the last details.  


Starting upstairs again, this is the front bedroom -facing Howard St.  It was a khaki color previously, but gone is the green trim and ripply carpet.  Most of the house was painted in Behr paint - I believe the color is called "Baked Scone".    It's a light beige.  

Another shot of the front bedroom.  All the outlets/light switches in the house were replaced as were the plate covers.  We added base board moulding around the floor of the bedroom.  I don't know why it makes a big difference, but it does! 

Master bedroom "after" transformation.  Six plus layers of wallpaper were discovered and because the house is so old, the walls were plaster and not very smooth.  We covered the walls in white bead board (faux wains coating) but the room was so overwhelmingly white, we decided to paint it the light beige of the rest of the house.  The nasty dirty carpet was replaced.  

This is the view from the entry door to the bedroom.  This shot gives a better look showing the bead board.  The small door is access to attic storage.  

The master bathroom after shot.  The shower was replaced with a regular stand up shower stall.  We added a side wall for support.  In the long run, with renters, my thought is this will stand up better.  No worrying about glass doors.  

Gone is the Robins Egg blue paint and pink striped wallpaper.    A new mirror was added as well.  

This is the view as you enter the front door.  The maroon carpet was removed and the stairs were in great shape.   They were cleaned and new polyurethane was added.  Yellow paint was replaced with the beige.  

Another after view of the gorgeous stairs.  

After view of the living room - floors and fireplace.   I expected to have to replace the carpet in this room, thinking there was a reason that carpet was put down in the first place.  However, when the carpet was removed, the floors - like the staircase were in good shape.  The floor in the living room and dining room were both sanded and polyurethaned.  They look incredible.  The fireplace had been placed on TOP of carpeting - so we added trim to hide the remnants that wouldn't come up.  

Another view from the front entry door of the living room leading into the dining room.  

Dining room looking toward the front of the house/living room.  The floors here were bare already and the original plan was just to clean them up  but when I made the call to redo the living room, this room was sanded to match.  They also look incredible.  
This is the downstairs bedroom.  The main challenge in this room was to cover the closet doors that had been written on in marker.  It took MULTIPLE layers of KILZ.   The stained carpet was replaced with a beige and baseboards were added here as well. 

Downstairs bathroom:  wallpaper stripped and KILZ added to ceiling.    My cousin thought the beige would make this room a bit too dark and I agreed, so we found this medium green in my basement, unopened.  I honestly can't remember  what I bought it for.

Another shot of the downstairs bathroom.  The wood was cleaned up with Murphy's Oil Soap.  

View from the kitchen toward the dining room.  Gone is the wallpaper - LOTS of stripping.    What a serious pain!  The cheap bead board (lower quality than the bathroom bead board) was painted to look like wains coating.   With the age of the house, some of the ceilings are coved -- including this one.  Because of this, we decided that the ceiling would need to be the same color as the upper walls.  The beige would have probably been too dark again - and at this point I was reaching a beige over saturation point.  With the counter color (see below), there weren't many options, so green was a likely choice.  This is called "Delicate Leaf" and was purchased at Tru Value -- as it was a last minute call.  

Cabinets were painted, a new stove (and refrigerator out of view) were purchased.  No more country stickers on the doors!

It was a LOT of work, and isn't still 100% completed.  The roof is about 60% completed.  Two small cedar trees along the south side of the house will be removed.  When summer arrives, we'll probably do some outside paint touch ups.  All in all I am very happy with how things turned out!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

153: The "Before"

A few years ago I started walking around the town I live in.  Mainly for some exercise but also to get out and enjoy some fresh air.  This house is on the main street of town (Howard Street) and I would pass it usually once or twice on my walking route.  I first noticed it because it was for sale and one of my cousins was looking to buy.  I thought it was a cute looking house that had a lot of potential.  Since then, I think it's changed hands 5 or 6 times.  

In late 2011, I noticed it was for sale again.  The telltale stickers on the window told me it was a foreclosure.  I checked online and couldn't believe the asking price.  New cars sell for more than this house was listed at!  I mentioned it in passing to my mother and was surprised when she agreed that we should look at the house.  

For a foreclosure, the house was in remarkably good shape.  From my mother's research on the city of Croswell, we know it was built somewhere between 1890 and 1902.  After one or two visits, we put in an offer lower than the asking price and it was accepted.   We had it inspected and the only major issue was that it would need a new roof.  It needed some TLC and a minor interior face lift, but all in all, it was a great house.  We closed in late November, 2011.  

The front of the house.  It probably won't change drastically, but the roof is in progress as I type.  

Working backwards - this is the upstairs, front bedroom.  The smaller of the two upstairs, and facing Howard Street.   It's a good size room, with a nice size closet.  Notice the green trim around the windows, and if you look closely, there is green trim around the ceiling and walls too.  The carpet wasn't in too bad of shape, some minor stains, but it was quite puckered and rippling.  

Another view of the front bedroom.  A better look at the green trim.  

A wonderful shot of the "master" bathroom.  This is upstairs off the larger/back bedroom.  It had a BRIGHT Robin's Egg Blue paint, and the sink/toilet area also had 1 wall of pink striped wallpaper.  Hard to make out in this picture, but if you look close, you can see the stripes.  

The "other" part of the "master" bathroom.  The shower was nice looking, but the doors were broken.  This seemed minor at first, but proved to be difficult to replace.  

View from the stairs landing into the "master bedroom".  This is across the hall from the other upstairs bedroom and has windows facing south - toward downtown.  The walls were covered in wallpaper (we'd come to find out there were about 6 layers on there!) that was peeling and honestly, UGLY.  The wallpaper needed to come down.  The carpet was badly stained and due to it's light color was likely not able to be saved.

Reverse view of the "master bedroom", looking back toward the stairs.  Room  you can see with the other door is the front bedroom.  Notice the door is not stained.  You can see some of the carpet stains here a little better.  

The stairway!!  Such a gorgeous staircase - even in the before pictures.  A total selling point for me!   The walls are painted a BRIGHT yellow and the carpet is a deep maroony-wine color.  While sounding rather alma-mater-ish (FIRE UP CHIPS!) and close to maroon and gold, this was NOT a great color combo.  

Another view of the stairs.  I am still shocked that no one ever painted these.  So lucky!

A look into the living room from the dining area.  The living room is on the front of the house - facing Howard Street.  Coming in through the front door, you enter into this room.  Another good visual of the carpet/wall color combo.  The carpet, even though it was very dark, had many visible stains and was cut in one area.  

Looking from the living room toward the dining room.  

Taken on the stairway - a nice shot of the fireplace (gas).

The dining room.  Other than the hard wood floors, this room was boring.   Some scuffs along the baseboard, but the room was in decent shape.  

Looking into the dining room from the kitchen.  There is a built in china hutch/cabinet on the left.

Off the dining room on the first floor is the 3rd bedroom.  The carpet was a MESS.  Large stains.  You can see the opening to a large closet.  The closet doors had been written on in marker, and it was bleeding through the paint.  

The downstairs bath.  Located off the kitchen, this room was DARK.  There was some mold on the wallpaper.   Some of the wallpaper was slightly peeling.  

Not the greatest picture, but a good look from the kitchen into the bathroom.   The toilet was NASTY.  Take my word on it.

The "country" kitchen. Cheap bead-board plus ugly wallpaper.   

A view from the dining room into the kitchen.  There were stickers on the cabinet doors.   While also "country in theme" like the wallpaper, the stickers were a different material and honestly, didn't match.  The door on the right leads to a back entry door and the stairs to the basement.