Saturday, January 9, 2016

Home Tour: First Look

When we bought our house, we only really ever got one chance to walk through it, before we boarded a plane and flew back across the world. Therefore, as summer approached, we were both anxious and excited to really see what lay inside.

For almost a year, our family and friends did an amazing job of keeping tabs on it. They did drive-bys, walk-throughs, check-ins with the neighbors, and my mom even hired landscapers after the fire department threatened fines for our overgrown yard.

Because of this, we were fairly certain the house was still standing, but not very sure about anything else. We couldn't wait to get inside and poke around. And the day after we landed, that is exactly what we did.

Here, without further ado, is a tour of our new (old) house.

Street-View: Front-of-House

The house is on a gorgeous block. It is by far the ugliest, most run-down house on the block, so we did well, at least according to the saying. It has lots of trees and a large yard. It is only one story, but has an unfinished attic and basement (you can even see directly into the basement above). 

Eight years ago, a family bought the house with plans to fix it up. They began by building a pony wall and pouring a footing, but only got as far as one side, before facing foreclosure. The man who then purchased it from the bank had plans to flip it, however, he never did get around to doing so, and the house ended up sitting, open to the elements, for almost a decade.

We bought the house, knowing that some of our first priorities would have to be finishing the footing, completing the wall, and earth-quake retro-fitting the entire foundation. Another major priority would be straitening the porch. Even though it doesn't look bad in the photo, the left column is badly tilted due trying to support the weight of the attic. And both columns have begun to sink through the wood due to rampant rotting below.

Alley-View: Back-of-House

The back of the house looks much, much worse than the front, although it does include a large back yard and total access to a private alley. From the back, it is easy to see the layers of shingles peeling away from the roof as well as to notice the shoddy stairs and awkward double screen doors. (One of which leads to literally nowhere.)

The back porch was a later addition to the house. (We have no idea why they added two doors.) It is completely closed in and simply adds a small storage room and an extremely tilted bathroom. Neither is welcoming or anyplace we feel safe standing in for long. 

Looking at the back our priorities definitely include replacing the roof and securing the stairs as soon as possible. (I would honestly love to rip it off and start again, but B is very against that.)

The Salon (aka Living Room)

This is the room that made us fall in love with the house, no question. As we walked through the front door we instantly swooned. The columns, the window seat, the picture rail, the wood floors, the pocket doors, the list could go on and on. We could totally picture ourselves reading and talking and hosting our friends in this space and we basically didn't need to see anything else, we were already sold.

The Parlor (aka Dining Room)

The dining room has the potential to become my favorite room in the house. It is somewhat narrow, but very long. It has 3 doors coming off of it - to the kitchen, hall, and middle bedroom, as well as a set of pocket doors between it and the front room. 

We absolutely love the wainscoting around the four walls, and dish rail around the top of it. The built-in cabinet is amazing and B is already referring to it as our bar. 

There are a few major issues with this room, however. First, there is a massive stovepipe sticking out of the wall near the built-in - it appears to go nowhere. Second, I really, really want to add a pass-through between kitchen and dining room, but B is firmly against this, due to unforeseen structural problems and his lack of experience knocking through walls. Third, the vent in this room is huge and if you step on it you will fall straight though to the basement. So all of these issues will need to be resolved in the near future.

The Kitchen

The kitchen has the worst floors and the best walls in the house. The walls are the only ones without major visible cracks - it almost appears as if someone attempted to drywall only this room. Fingers crossed it holds. The floors are the total opposite. They are absolutely covered in linoleum glue. All the floors are covered, but the kitchen layer is so thick it is impossible to even imagine wood underneath. Unless a miracle happens we will probably tile the kitchen rather than trying to sand.The kitchen is quite large but the space isn't used well at all. There is very little cabinet space and even less counter space. There is also only one window - I am hoping adding the pass-through from the dining room will let a little more light in. 

The kitchen also has 3 doors coming off of it (remember, this is a really old house and every room connects to every other room). As well as leading to the dining room, it is also connected to the bathroom and back porch. We have a lot of dreams for this space (butcher block countertops, subway tile backsplash, retro stove and fridge, ripping out that ugly florescent light), but no money for it, so it is on hold for now.

The Teeny-Tiny Bathroom

The bathroom is tiny - as in itty-bitty. Our best guess is that this was once a pantry and was converted into a bathroom at a later time. The shower is old and leaks, as does the toilet and the sink. Literally, every time we shower we create a giant pool of water in the room, so we are fairly positive that the floorboards underneath will be rotted out. 

Despite its tiny size, it still manages to continue the pattern of 3 connecting doors. In this case the bathroom connects to the kitchen, the back bedroom, and leads to small storage closet under the stairs. I have already begun begging B to convert that closet to somehow make better use of the space in the room, but he simply shakes his head. Much like the kitchen, this is an expensive remodel, and so will be tabled for the foreseeable future.

The Three Bedrooms (Back, Green, and Pink)

The house has three bedrooms, although only two of them are large enough to hold a queen size bed. The back bedroom connects to the back porch, the bathroom, the middle bedroom (aka green room), and the attic. It is really small and has no closet, but I sort of love its quirkiness with its set of stairs and absolute lack of wall space - all doors and windows.

The middle bedroom connects the back and front bedrooms a
s well as giving access to the dining room. It has the worst lighting in the house (only one window) but the best walls (barely any cracks!).
The front bedroom is my favorite and not just because it is bright pink. It has great light with two large windows. It looks out into the front yard and connect to entry way. It shares a closet with the middle bedroom and has plenty of space.

All three rooms run parallel to the living, dining, and kitchen areas and are all easily accessible through the hundreds of doors throughout the house.

The Attic and Basement

Both the attic and basement are unfinished. The attic appears to have not been used for a long time, although at one point someone was definitely using it as a grow room, due to some clues found on the walls and floor. It could be a pretty sweet space, but the ceiling is low and the temperature is wicked hot. If we ever finish it, it will be much, much further down the road.

The basement was full of junk when we arrived, but sadly I never took a picture. It is large, with 7-foot high ceilings, although the beams that intersect the room will never allow it to become a really useful space. B plans to build a workbench and use it as a pseudo-garage once it is completely closed back in.

No comments:

Post a Comment