Monday, February 21, 2011

Introducing...the Westview Project

We are by no means finished with our own house, but sometimes, a deal comes along that is just too good to pass up.  Our dream has long been to rehab old houses that need TLC and make them warm, comfy, and livable for a new generation.  We were browsing through the real estate section early this year and found such a house just two blocks away in our small town.  The house was a HUD foreclosure with a price tag less than the cost of a new car for about 2,700 square feet of livable space.  How could we possibly pass that up?  

The house is in decent shape considering it was built in the early 1900s, turned into 3 apartments in the 1940s (hmmm, sounds like our house), and hasn't been loved in a long time.  It's a frame house that currently has 6 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on 3 floors.  It's solid and has great hardwood floors, but needs a new roof, new HVAC, new wiring, new plumbing, insulation, storm windows, a couple more bathrooms, and some curb appeal

We're a little unsure if the house has a real style other than vernacular.   Several of the features appear to be Craftsman-like: the clipped gable, the dormer, the 3 over 1 windows, and the details of the front and side entrances.  But there aren't any Craftsman-like details inside.  The trim is just straight, squared-edge pieces of wood.  There aren't any wood wainscoting or built-ins.  It's just really simple and basic inside.  That gives us a lot of leeway for upgrading utilities, making it more energy efficient, and creating a more modern layout.

We started work on it today, gutting the third floor attic rooms.  It is a beautiful sunny space with 3 windows in the dormer and 5 more on the sides.  We removed the trim, wiring, and old wall board in there (some of which was made down the road in Gold Bond).  We envision this space as a master bedroom or a studio or a playroom space depending on the needs of it's new family.  We'll put a master bathroom up there and the eaves are high enough to make great closet space.  Dreaming and demoing - the best way to start a new project.      

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