Not many young, first-time buyers have the determination or diligence to completely gut their first home. My brother, however, is highly ambitious. For a little extra money, I’m sure he could have purchased a decent, less “needy” house but, that would have been way too anticlimactic.

Rather than settling, he went with the house that needed new everything. The kitchen, the floors, the walls, the ceiling, the insulation, the electric, HVAC… it all had to go. Scrolling below you’ll see some pictures of the entire house in ruin. Seeing it in this way, stripped of everything that makes it a functioning house, you may ask the question, “Why”?  or  “Is it really worth the headache”?

Yes, are you kidding? First of all, he signed on to a great loan, with a manageable monthly payment. After a few months of work, his home will have a brand new interior (designed to his taste) while maintaining the neat historic character of a 1940s home. Also, given the year that it was built, the house has zero insulation in the walls. This justifies the need to remove the drywall. All of the old smells that the nearly 80-year-old interior retained, will be gone, and brand new drywall and insulation will make it the freshest house on the street. Having the house down to the studs also saves a considerable amount of money when contracting electrical work.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to be done. Fortunately, my brother is pretty handy, so he has already completed ALL demo work, insulation, hanging drywall, and mudding on his own. He also took out 24 feet of load-baring walls and installed his own support beams. His buddy, a licensed HVAC journeyman, helped him install all of the duct work in the basement. To rewire the electric, he hired a contractor.

A lot of what I like to call the “boring stuff” is behind us at this stage. Moving forward, we’re getting close to the trim-work and flooring phase. For the trim, we are going with wide, craftsman-style trim which will be classic and stylistically consistent with that of an older home. The hardwood floors are a highlight because they are original to the house. They’ve taken a beating over the years but, a sand & refinish job will restore all of the character.

Speaking of character, every interior door has the coolest brass-plated, clear knobs! Patina and all, they are really neat and will undoubtedly remain. Also remaining, a perfectly intact copy of the Oldham Era, dated November 21st, 1952. We had a lot of fun reading doctor recommended cigarette ads and recognizing several familiar Oldham County family names.

Keep following along! The next time you see pictures of this place, it will have beautiful new drywall, trim, paint, & shining original hardwood. Thanks for reading!

Tricks of the trade: pick the ugliest house in the prettiest setting.

While tearing out drywall, we found a completely intact copy of the Oldham Era inside a wall. It’s dated November 21st, 1952.

Nowhere to go but up at this point! Thank you for following along!