The Beginning…

Overwhelmed by what to write as a first post, I decided to start at the beginning (see title of post). We are currently at the electric/HVAC stage of our renovations, but it is important to understand where we began. The house we are renovating is over 100 years-old, sits on a hilly 2 acre lot and is really, really close to the road. It is actually the house the hubby’s dad grew up in, and it has always been a dream of the hubby’s to inherit this property. It has not always been mine.

To be completely honest if someone had asked me 5 years ago if we would ever consider moving “back” to his area my answer would have been in the form of a condescending laugh followed by a very confident “No.” (I think this may have even happened a few times.) A lot changes in 5 years though, and having a child gave me the chance to re-evaluate our goals and priorities. Moving to the middle of nowhere so our daughter could have space to play and grow now seems like a better fit. Slowly the hubby’s dream has become mine (with an updated kitchen and lots of room for entertaining and guests), and it is hard to believe that in a few months it will be a reality.

My initial bargaining chip was that we should demolish the existing structure, and build a new house closer to the middle of the lot. I wanted the house further away from the road (and a great room with a cathedral ceiling). This was quickly shot down by the hubby with the argument that building new is not as sustainable as renovating. After some research he easily won the debate (this does not happen often; it was good for his ego). In a future post I will outline the pros and cons of building new versus renovating, but for now I want share with you the before pictures of the first floor before any work had begun, with the exception of the kitchen demolition. In the following pictures the hubby had already tore out the upper kitchen cabinets, some of the wall and the drop-ceiling. One really cool thing we found, that could not be salvaged, was an old, ornate tin-ceiling. The house is an odd mixture of original structure and later additions; there is a “shanty” built onto the back of the house on the right-side, and a covered porch on the left-side. You will also notice that previous inhabitants were completely enamored with wooden paneling. We do not share this love. In my next post I will give you a tour of the before pictures of the second floor and attic.

5 thoughts on “The Beginning…

  1. Hey Mel, this is gonna be fun to watch!! Love the idea of blogging and sharing so we can see the transformation. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

    • Thank you Maria! We have been taking pics and talking about topics for a while; so I am excited school is almost done and I will have more time to share the progress. Plus I am hoping we can get some advice from people who have taken on similar projects.

    • I tried really, really hard to move it. If we were buying it we would never have bought this particular property, but since we inherited it, some things were not in our control. We are going to put up a really good fence.

  2. Our story is very similar to yours! There are a few differences – we are in Texas, on a place that was in my husband’s family for 50 years. Our house is only 40 years old, but was built as a weekend place, and was added on to as the years went by. I too planned to build a new house but my husband held out for renovating the current house, as more sustainable, especially for our budget.. His parents also loved paneling and had it in almost every room! We will be following with interest!

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