Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Before & After

Step right up and see a display of blood, sweat and tears--now on sale for a very affordable price. We bought this poor house almost 4 years ago. It was so pathetically ugly. I don't have the very first before picture, since that was B.D. (before digital), so really my "before" picture here is a "during" picture. The original shingles were mercifully damaged by Hurricane Ivan, and so they got to be replaced. I was SOO glad, because they had been a horrible brown, faded by the sun, and streaked with age/fungus/who knows what. If you look closely, you can see that the shutters were those cottagey type made of 3 boards placed side by side (with a modest gap in between the boards) and then a "Z" of boards was nailed over them just for purty. Just not suitable for a ranch house. Plus they, and the rest of the trim on the house, were faded to precisely the color of dead pine needles. Now that's inspiring, folks. I am sorry to say the old garage door is not down in this picture, for your viewing pleasure. It too was a choking shade of faded brown, and was so gross you didn't want to touch it (it was metal and left a chalky residue on your fingers). It had two rectangular peephole windows in it, so that the door looked like a big face with two glaring, mean, narrow, beady eyes and a handle/tongue sticking out.

So we did a lot of work on this old house, outside and in. We painted everything and replaced flooring (most of the new flooring came AFTER we moved out, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.) Our biggest project was remodeling the kitchen, which we did very soon after we moved in. The original kitchen had ONE outlet in it and smelled of old grease, cigarette smoke and dead mice, and that was after a vigorous cleaning by three industrious women. I do remember finally putting duct tape over a hole in the wall, and that stopping the dead mouse smell. We ripped the cupboards out and Jason salvaged them for the farm shop. To this day, he says they still have an unpleasant odor to them. Lovely! So this is the second house we have lived in and fixed up. I was sad not to be able to do landscaping here, but that is a task the new owner will inherit.

I am so glad to be in our new house, and know that we will probably be here for a very, very long time. It's hard to pull myself away from places that I get attached to. We just hope the new owner is the right person for this house and neighborhood--someone who cares and who will finish what we started--making this house beautiful.


Carrie said...

You guys really did a great job fixing that house up!! It really looks a lot nicer. Now I want to see pictures of the one you're in now, please... :)

Cottonista said...

Working on it! They are coming soon. Jason's aunts and uncles are chomping at the bit to see them too, since it was his grandpa's house.

Heather said...

You have a very colorful way of describing the renovation of your previous home. I esp. loved the old garage door part. :)