Well, here it is. This is where it all began. As a young (unmarried at the time) couple, we were in the market for a house. Our requirements were few, as was our budget. We were renting for a number of years right around the corner from what would become our new home, so when we searched with a real estate agent for a while and came up with nothing, we thought we were out of luck. Our future home had to have room, it didn’t need to be pretty, but it had to be cheap. We were on a pretty tight budget.
One winter day, Sara came home from work and mentioned a house around the corner with a for sale sigh in the window of the door. The house didn’t look lived in. The driveway hadn’t been cleared of snow all winter, so we called the number on the sign and got our first look. Here is what we saw on the initial walk through in late March of 2003, and there is the sign in the window!
At this point I affectionately starting calling this house “The crack house”. It had some perks, though. With our first walk through we noticed that the house had new vinyl siding, the kitchen cabinets had recently been replaced, and the bathroom had a new shower. Was that ALL of the perks? My first impression was…. yes. I had some wood working experience working with my dad at an architectural woodworking shop, but that was about it. I had never hung drywall, had to deal with electrical or plumbing problems, or anything related to old houses. It looked like a challenge, and to be completely honest, it was overwhelming. I wondered if maybe it was worth it to spend a little more for a house that didn’t need so much work. There was wood paneling and nasty wallpaper everywhere. The carpet was old and smelled of mildew. What was painted, needed repainting. But the house had good bones. It was sinking in one corner, but it felt like a home, and we (or Sara) could see the potential.
More of the old pictures will come in later posts, but you get the idea. The 3 story house had 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and a room to grow. We saw some bigger projects that we would need to do: windows, house needed leveling, roof, furnace, electrical, plumbing. And then every room needed new floors, walls, ceiling, lights, doors. Everything that you could see needed to be replaced. But it wasn’t impossible. It would just take time (and money). We knew we wanted the house after the first visit, and soon after it was ours. We moved in in May of 2003, a few days before Sara graduated from UMaine with her undergraduate degree.
This blog chronicles our journey to make this house our home. We’re DIYers to the core, and we hope to share our successes and failures in our home renovation journey.