Sunday, June 21, 2009

An interior Before tour, AKA: What were we thinking again?

This week we closed a short chapter of our lives (by closing on the sale of the Havelock House), and opened a new one, which we hope will also be somewhat short, in purchasing another house to refurbish. (I mean, we hope the refurbishing will be somewhat short.)

This one needs a bit more work than the one in Havelock. And it was accordingly cheaper.

We're reminding ourselves that we like a good challenge as we tour the inside of our new purchase. It promises to be replete with learning experiences.

So, here's a bit of the tour.

The main floor:

You walk in to the living room, and there's another nearly identically sized room to your right. I doubt it's intended to have two living rooms, and that one is closer to the kitchen, so it's probably a formal dining room. The kitchen is big enough to eat in though, so who needs a dining room? It looks like a good school/play room to me.

The floor has a built-in car ramp. We're such cranky parents that we hope to remove it before the kids figure out how much fun it could be. (There's actually two buckles, but the other one didn't show up in pictures very well. This one is a couple of inches tall).

The kitchen doesn't have much in it.

And yes, it's that color. The ceiling is peeling ("Hey Mom! peeling and ceiling rhyme!")

The pantry boasts built in cabinets.

Our plan is to make the pantry into a laundry/bathroom and put cabinets in the kitchen.

That's the main floor. Out of the pantry is the stairs to the basement, but before we go there, why not finish looking at the more "finished" spaces?

Out of the living room/ entry room, whatever it is, there's a door with stairs going upstairs.
The door has a warning note. It says "Do not open door. I have a couple cats up stairs. unless I'm here. Thank you. " On the side it says "Don't want them out".

The stairs are the only place in the house with carpet.

The owner wasn't kidding about having cats up there.

If pictures could communicate a smell..... it seems they at least tried to deal with it.

(The house has been unoccupied for 3 or more years, and it's still smells enough to make you realize the value of a decent gas mask).

In addition to the nice, historical carpet, the landing on the stairs is cool. It has floorpaper.

Upstairs is a standard three-bedrooms and a bathroom. The bedrooms are stylin' with their papered walls AND floors.

Anyone need to use the restroom? It has two toilets! (One is even hooked up, but neither look operational).

Now for the bizarre architecture moment. Inside the bathroom, way in the back, are the stairs to the attic.

We'd like to make this attic into living quarters for Nate, but seriously, he'll have to go through the only bathroom in the house to get to his bedroom? Hmm....

Moving the stairs will require remaking the roof (which wouldn't hurt the house any). Maybe Nate can live with going through the bathroom? Maybe we'll be ambitious and actually remake the roof. If you know us well, you already know what the plan is....

Back to the tour.

Just in case you weren't convinced that we should do a full gut of the house, this is the pantry wall, at the top of the stairs to the basement:

Now, the basement. The stairs are directly under the other two sets, which go from the west-middle of the house to the middle-middle of the house. Just in case you care.

It's dark down there. (Did I mention that there's no electrical service to this house?) They tell me there's moonshine and old canning jars hiding down here. I'm looking forward to seeing those, but I don't plan on visiting the basement in person too soon.

The house has been jacked before. It needs it again.

And this is probably why: it would be nice, maybe even expected that a house would have a foundation. Especially with nice, poured basement walls that are obviously MUCH more recent than the rest of the house. A little digging proved that assumption presumptuous.

That would be the bottom of the basement walls. They just end. No footings. Nothing even approaching the frost line. No supports. Wait, why is the house still standing? Maybe we should get out now.....

First order of business: Get that house supported. Bet that won't be as fast or cheap as we were hoping.

The element of surprise is half the fun, right? It's a good thing that we like a good adventure.