OK, here we go. Our first attempt at fixing up a house and selling it for what one hopes is a tidy profit.
For the first project, we selected what is known as a Capanelli Ranch. These neat little houses went up by the thousands after World War II as starter homes for returning vets. They are great little houses (in fact our first house was one).
No basement, rather, built on a concrete slab. The original houses had three bedrooms, one bath, kitchen, dining, living, that's it. Many (like ours) had additions put on as families grew, the houses changed hands, or money became available.
The heat was hot water run in pipes through the floor. Not the most efficient way to heat a house, but it sure is nice to have warm floors. Of course one runs the risk of a leak (like we had in our old house). Imagine how unfortunate that is. We didn't notice our leak at first as it started under the piano. By the time it became visible, it created a constant wet spot on the floor that the dogs loved to lay on to cool off. Needless to say, that necessitated a very expensive repair. This one has already had the heat converted to baseboard. Sweet.
Let's see what we have...
Living room. Note the awkwardly placed fireplace in the rear corner. Not amenable to positioning furniture around for a cozy evening, but a feature that really helped sell to the original owners. Gave it a country feel.
The short wall is brick and has an opening up top to provide light and air to travel from front to back.
New carpet, fresh paint on walls and ceilings, hardwood flooring, new trim, and moldings, new window (imagine how much heat that big old circa 1950 window lets out) and the brick wall is just too ugly to keep.
Dining room. Those aren't so popular with folks anymore as most people opt for a gigantic kitchen big enough for a table that seats about 12 people.
Fresh paint, hardwood flooring, trim, and the dinosaurs are history.
The smallest bedroom. Barely big enough for a twin bed and bureau, but why give kids lots of space when they're just going to mess it up anyway?
Fresh paint, trim, carpet, and bye bye raggedy Andy.
Half bath off the master bedroom. The original houses had just one bathroom. This one was carved out of a piece of the already tiny master bedroom. The location was dictated by the main water access. Because the house is built on a concrete slab, putting anything requiring plumbing in a different part of the house means breaking out a jackhammer and pounding up some of the floor. Uck.
No photo of the master bedroom, but it is due for paint, trim, and carpet.
This little bathroom will be gutted and totally replaced.
No photo of the full bath either. It's pretty space challenged too and we can likely carve out some extra space by cutting the wall back. The main bath is another gut job.
Corner bedroom. Slightly larger than the other, but they took a chunk out of it to make a hall closet for towels and whatnot. Storage space is at a premium. We're keeping the hall closet and just freshening up this room with paint, trim, and carpet.
On to the more challenging areas...
This style of ranch had a little room off the kitchen maybe 80 square feet. At some point, the owners chopped the garage in half and added part of it to the wee little room. Obviously a work in progress at the time of sale. You can just see the kitchen in the doorway and the family room addition is to the right.
This space will be all cleaned up and serve as either a home office or a fourth bedroom.
Uh oh, the kitchen. Check out that little box on the left. That is the boiler. Yup. The houses had the boiler in the kitchen. Actually not such a bad idea since these ancient things threw off enough heat on their own to help keep the house warm. And it makes a great surface for drying mittens and socks in the winter.
The boiler will be tossed and replaced by a way cool energy efficient model that will sit out in the garage area. Do I need to say that the kitchen is going to be gutted? All new appliances, custom cabinets, granite countertops, the works! In fact even as I type most of it is already in the dumpster.
Last, but not least, the family room addition. This room will sell the house (we hope). It is big and opens on to the backyard. But it is a MESS!
Oh no! Wood panelling. And they went a little nutty with the windows. Way too big. I have visions of dollars flying out of them in the winter. Windows aren't insulated or anything.
Oh look, a fireplace. Sweet. But double sliding doors? Are you nuts?
Family room, complete gut job. You won't recognize it.
Nice yard. There's even a little covered patio out back. Plenty of room to play in and a slope up the the rear half into a wooded area.
Hopefully just some cleanup will do the trick.
That's it. Stay tuned for weekly progress reports. We've only had the house for three days and already the kitchen is in the dumpster along with all the carpeting. The heat has been turned back on and there has been constant subcontractor foot traffic. Lots to do.