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503 House

In November, 2015, Vern had surgery on his foot to correct an old climbing injury.  His recovery consisted of helplessly sitting on the couch and obsessively watching the real estate market.  When the house three doors down the street for us came up for sale through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) we jumped on the opportunity to do a full restoration.

That was how we acquired the 503 house.

Front Exterior Before

It was in a very very sad state when we bought it. The previous owner had illegally turned it into a duplex, things weren't up to code, and the tenants had thoroughly trashed it before they left.  It had sat on the market for over a year before HUD picked it up, and then it sat for almost another year before we snagged it. The neighbor behind the house once told Vern, "I think squatters lived there for awhile!"

Front Exterior After

Front Exterior After

The exterior got new windows, paint, landscaping, and lighting. We knocked down the fence that enclosed the front yard, ripped out the broken and cracked front sidewalk, laid bark, gravel and hydro seeded.

Carport Before

I still giggle when I see the before picture of the carport. You could barely fit one car underneath it.  The "Apt A" portion was unnecessary and just created a bunch of wasted space. 

Carport After

We removed the unnecessary posts (they weren't load bearing) and created more parking by laying gravel to the left of the carport.  The shed in the back also got a new paint. 

Side Entrance Before

The side entrance door was broken.  The air conditioner was not only an eye sore, but didn't work at all.  The window wells were full of debris (and a dead bird), and the concrete steps leading to the door were covered in dried glue.  We're assuming that some sort of carpet was adhered to the concrete at some point.

Side Entrance After

New paint, new windows, new door.  We installed a brand new Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump, cleaned out the window wells, and ground down the concrete on the steps to make it smooth and more appealing to the eyes. 

Right Yard Entrance Before

The right side of the property leading to the downstairs entrance had previously been used for parking for the downstairs tenant. 

Right Yard Entrance After

Since we didn't keep the duplex set-up, we laid new gravel along the right side of the house to create RV/Boat parking.  I fought hard for nice green grass, but it would have been more time and expense to pull the irrigation lines into this portion of the lawn.  

"Back" Yard Before

And really, there wasn't much of a yard to begin with.  By the time we got the keys there was nothing green left. 

"Back" Yard After

We opted to have the gravel spread along the entire back end and let the new owners define this space.  At the last minute we decided to refinish the deck, which was one of the best decisions we made.  We literally were painting the railings the night before it went on the market.  

Deck Before

Note the peeling paint.  It would seriously come off in giant flakes the size of my face. 

Deck After

The deck got new coats of paint.  We sanded the old paint off (not fun) and then spent the two days before listing painting everything.

We used Rustoleum's Deck and Concrete Restore line for the deck floor boards, and Valspar Duramax on the railings.  The deck overlooks the hills across the river and a cherry orchard/apple orchard at the end of the street. 

Living Room Before

Where do I even begin.  I remember the first time I saw those lovely wall murals (which took three coats of primer and four coats of paint to cover up). Everything about this room was dated.  The carpet was dirty and pulling up in places. The windows were broken. The walls were different colors and had random holes in them.  The lighting was old, and the popcorn ceiling was a disaster. 

Living Room After

New floors, trim, paint, windows, lighting.  We uncovered the ceiling beam, sanded it down and stained it to match the flooring.  The fireplace was cleaned up and painted a fresh coat of white.  Same thing for the front door. 

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room Before

Living Room After

We opted for a cable track light across the beam.  It doesn't fill the room with light, but it adds to the contemporary design of the house.  The wall in the middle of the room was cut back as far as it could go.  We couldn't remove it completely as it was load bearing, but we removed as much as we could to keep a somewhat open concept.  It retrospect, I'm glad we didn't remove the whole thing.  The living areas are defined without being too closed off. 

Dining Room Before

Oh man. That pink wall.  I'm sure if I would have said yes Vern would have kept it like that.  

Dining Room After

We fixed the holes in the drywall, sanded everything down and retextured.  New flooring, base molding and sliding doors.  We also picked up a new chandelier from Lowes. 

Dining Room Before

Note the red tape in floor to mark a large hole. Not sure what was going on with the white square on the center wall.  

Dining Room After

We opened up the wall and removed the low doorway between the kitchen and the dining room.  

Kitchen Before

Those wonderful pictures were painted on the wall. Lovely, huh? 

Kitchen After

The kitchen was fully gutted.  We removed all the old cabinetry and started from scratch.  New cabinets (from the RTA store), flooring, appliances, lighting, back-splash, trim, and electrical.  

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

View from Kitchen to Living Room Before

View from Kitchen to Dining Room After

One of our favorite projects was the wood accent wall by the stairs.  We wanted something that added dimension to the room, while not being overbearing at the same time.  Although it took a significant amount of time to accomplish (Vern had to make the seams invisible), it turned out beautifully and was a great focal feature of the house.

View from Living Room to Kitchen After

Hallway Before

Again, that carpet needed to go.  We painted, replaced the light, painted the closet doors, replaced the interior doors, new flooring and new trim.

Hallway After

Upstairs Bathroom Before

Everything about this bathroom was wrong.  Everything was dated and needed to be replaced.  The tile floor was heated, but the heating element didn't work. The only thing that was really salvageable was the tub. 

Upstairs Bathroom After

We installed a new floating vanity, new toilet, new heated flooring, new tile, window, lighting, and rain shower. 

Upstairs Bedroom 1 Before

Upstairs Bedroom 1 After

Every bedroom got the same treatment.  New floors, patched drywall, paint, doors, windows, lighting and trim.

Upstairs Bedroom 2 After

I thought I had a picture of this bedroom before, but I do not. There were large holes in the walls that needed to be repaired and it was just a general disaster.

Stairs Before

Stairs After

Again, this was one of my favorite transformations.  Vern meticulously patched and sanded each joint on the accent wall so that it was invisible.  He then created the railing out of conduit. The stairs got new carpet and a light at the landing. 

Downstairs Laundry Room Before

When you stepped off the landing you walked into this small, dark laundry room.  It was meant to be a shared laundry room between the two tenants.  It was super creepy. 

Downstairs Laundry Room After

We opted to move the laundry area to a different room and opened up the wall between this room and the downstairs living room to make the space bigger and brighter. 

Downstairs Living Room Before

Paneling. Moldy carpet. No working lights. This room was a mess. 

Downstairs Living Room After

All the drywall was fixed, the fireplace repainted, new lights and outlets installed, and new carpet.

Downstairs Living Room Before

Downstairs Living Room After

Downstairs Kitchen Before

This was the downstairs tenant's kitchen.  We went back and forth over whether we should keep it or not.  We were converting it back into a single family home, but couldn't decide if a second kitchen would be marketable for buyers.  

Downstairs Kitchen After

Ultimately, we decided against keeping the kitchen.  It just didn't work for the house or the space.  We moved the laundry inside the closets, and put new flooring down.  By leaving this room blank, we allowed someone else to define the space rather than us defining it for them. 

Downstairs Kitchen After

View from Downstairs Living Room into Kitchen

Downstairs Bathroom Before

This bathroom.  The headache! I wish I would have taken better pictures of how truly awful this bathroom was.  The walkway was so narrow that you almost had to turn sideways to get past the shower.  The shower was baby blue and disgusting.  The sink and toilet were equally bad.  It wasn't a very salvageable bathroom.

Downstairs Bathroom After

The bathroom was completely gutted and taken down to the studs.  We moved the bathroom wall over two feet so that you could easily walk to the sink and toilet.  We ripped out the old shower, replaced the vanity and toilet, added a rain shower and new tile, new window, new drywall and flooring.

Downstairs Bathroom After

Downstairs Bathroom Shower After

Downstairs Bathroom After

Downstairs Bedroom 3 Before

Downstairs Bedroom 3 After

Downstairs Bonus Room Before

Downstairs Bonus Room After

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