While exploring the real estate market we found a 1920's "cabin" in the town where he grew up spending his summers. The house was for sale for a couple of years and in rough shape. It has an amazing view of the lake and came with 8 acres of property for a really great price. Ever since buying it we have spoken to dozens of people who looked at the house but even at the low listing price they couldn't fathom paying for the amount of work that the house needed done to it.
Fortunately for us, we are both in the line of work where a wreck of a house doesn't scare us! My husband has the knowledge and experience to fix it and we can both see through the mess to the "finished product".
The only negative thing is that when you are doing so much of the work on your own it takes forever! We have had lots of very much appreciated help from friends and family though which definitely helps to make the work load a little bit lighter.
We knew the house needed a new septic system so that was started on the first weekend with the help of amazing extended family members who are excavators. They had machines ready and an engineer on call to design the new septic. Their help was amazing!
Other than that we said we were just going to do light renovations. Maybe paint the kitchen cabinets, do a mini renovation in the bathroom and fix the addition that the previous owners had put on that didn't look right and had some issues.
Well, all of that changed as soon as we got the keys to house! By the end of the first weekend the bathroom was entirely not only ripped apart but that entire section of the house was ripped off. There was rot found in the floor so they just kept tearing out.....and tearing out!!!
With the big machines in working on the septic, the entire yard surrounding the house became a construction site. The porch that was buried in the ground was dug out. That section of the property then needed to be leveled and held back with a stone retaining wall and it was also decided that a proper foundation was going to be installed so they started digging out all around the perimeter of the house.
The more we touched the more problems we found and we both realized that we needed to really get to the bottom of this house and give it what it needs. So the project has grown and grown. Where we stand now is a completely gutted house that began as a small three bed, one bath with a small eat in kitchen and side porch and now is a waiting to be completed four bed, three bath, house with kitchen, dining room and four porches.
We are still in the midst of the renovation and the house is no where near livable, BUT the progress that has been made is amazing when I look at where we started and the fact that is has been done mainly on the weekends.
This past weekend we started putting up walls in the upstairs bedrooms and that makes the progress seem much more real.
I will continue to post progress updates every few months as things slowly get done.