Happy Monday, everyone! It’s especially a happy Monday for us because, in case you didn’t hear, we closed on the house on Friday! It’s officially ours!
So are you ready for the full tour? I’m gonna warn you, there are a ton of pictures in this post!! I apologize in advance if you’re on a slower internet connection, but I really wanted to get the whole tour done in one post rather than dragging it out into several posts.
First, some details:
- It was built in 1952 (61 years old),
- Edit: I found out the house was actually built in 1948, so it’s 65 years old,
- I’m almost certain we’re the third owners (the original owners, then Vicki’s family who owned the house for over 40 years, and now us),
- It has 2,317 square feet (that’s living space, not including the garage)(that’s almost three times the size of our condo!!! ),
- There are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms,
- The lot is exactly one acre (43,560 square feet — that’s three to six times the size of a typical city lot in Waco),
- We bought the house for $83,000, and then received a $7500 allowance from the sellers for a new roof and other needed repairs.
Now let’s get to the pictures!! This is our house in its complete “before” state. I had to use every ounce of self control to keep myself from ripping up carpet and knocking down not-so-original additions to the house until I got all of these before pictures!! So here goes…
The left half of the house is white Austin Stone (limestone), and the right half is vinyl siding. I’m not a big fan of vinyl siding, so I have future plans to remove all of the vinyl siding and use a combination of Austin Stone and shingle siding on the whole thing. I’ll share more details about that later.
In our front yard, we have a massive tree (I have no idea what kind) on the left, and a pecan tree on the right. I know absolutely nothing about trees, plants, landscaping, etc., so this will be a real learning experience for me. Y’all feel free to share your knowledge with me, because I’ll certainly need the guidance!!
Our mailbox is someone’s masterpiece. It was signed and dated by the artist. I almost feel guilty about replacing something that someone clearly put a lot of time and love into, but it’s just not quite my style.
The hedges definitely need some attention. My immediate thought was to get rid of them completely, but I’ve also seen people cut overgrown boxwoods into little topiary-like trees, so I might give that a shot first. (The white paper tacked up on the porch is the building permit for the new roof that was put on last Friday.)
From the other side, you can see that we have two doors leading out to the front porch. I’m not a fan of the whole double door thing, so the one on the left will eventually be a window instead of a door. We are very fortunate that this house already has a wheelchair ramp, although it needs some sprucing up. That handrail could definitely be improved upon.
Hopefully in the not-so-distant future, we can have the entire ceiling/roof of the front porch raised up to give it more height so that it’s not sitting right on top of the door and window. I also want another gable added right above the front door, and the whole front porch extended out quite a bit. As it is now, if Matt were to come out the front door (rather than that side door), it would be dangerous for him. He could easily lose control, and go tumbling down the front steps. The side door is a straight shot to the wheelchair ramp, so until we can get the front porch extended, the side door has to stay.
As you can see, the whole exterior needs a good once-over with a power washer.
Now for the inside!
Just inside the front door is the entryway (of course), and straight ahead is what the builder intended to be the dining room, although we’re not going to use it as the dining room. You can also see the first sliding glass door. That was originally the back of the house, but the previous owners added a sunroom, so the original glass door now goes out to the sunroom. The doorway on the wall to the left goes to the bedrooms, and the doorway on the wall to the right goes to the kitchen.
Standing in the entryway and looking to the right, you see the living room.
And yes, that’s window air conditioner. I’ve never in my life lived in a house with window units, so it’s definitely different. Hopefully by next summer we’ll be able to install central air conditioning (the house already has central heating), but it’ll have to wait until then because we have some other big expenses that are more urgent. And truth be told, these window units do a fantastic job of cooling, even in the hot Texas summer!
If you stand in front of the doorway that leads to the bedrooms, and look back at the living room, it looks like this…
And then standing in what’s supposed to be the dining room, looking back at the living room and front door…
(The piano isn’t mine. Vicki’s daughter is going to take it, so she’ll be picking it up soon.)
Please don’t be jealous of my green patterned carpet. It has been protecting the original hardwood floors for the last three decades!!
Okay, so here is the doorway that leads to the bedrooms and hallway bathroom…
Stepping just inside that doorway, you’ll see a closet on either side. The closet on the right is original to the house, and holds part of the heating system. The closet on the left with the bi-fold doors isn’t original to the house, and I’ll be tearing that out very soon.
The two doorways straight ahead lead to my office (on the left) and the master bedroom (on the right). Notice that this area has different, but coordinating, green carpet. The room on the left (my office) is the only room in the house that has the original hardwood flooring exposed.
This is the master bedroom. Nothing too exciting…yet.
It does have a bathroom attached, but the bathroom isn’t original to the house.
And looking back the other way, you see the bathroom on the left, the closet in the middle, and the doorway on the right leading back out into the hallway.
This is the only long windowless wall, so I’m thinking this is where the bed will have to go. It’s not ideal (I don’t like walking into a room and not getting the full view of the feature wall, which in a bedroom, is always the headboard wall), but I have to work with what I’ve got. In the future (when we have the shingle siding added), I’d love to have the single window on the wall opposite the bedroom door replaced with two windows spaced so that a headboard can fit in between. That way when you walk in the room, the first thing you’ll see is the feature wall (i.e., the headboard wall), as it should be.
The master bathroom obviously has some issues. I’m honestly not even sure how much I’ll do in here. I might just close the door and ignore it until we have the money saved up to do a complete master bathroom addition, which will include gutting this completely and expanding it out towards the back and to the left.
The room to the left of the master bedroom will be my office. Right now, all of the walls and even the ceiling are paneled. They’re really thick, solid wood tongue-and-groove panels. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with it. I might just start out by priming and painting the ceiling and walls to see if I like it.
And I can’t even tell you how ecstatic I am that my office has three…THREE…windows!!! Our entire condo has a total of four windows in the whole place, so three windows just in my office alone is so exciting to me.
It also has a little closet, which you can see on the left.
Right now the walls just make the room seem so dark and dreary to me, but I think if the paneling was painted white, it would really be bright and cheery in here.
But as it is, the crackled finish on the walls…
…and on the ceiling is a bit much for me.
There is a really awesome mid-century modern light fixture in here. If I were going for a mid-century modern look in this house, I’d definitely be hanging on to this light fixture. But I’m not. So I won’t.
Standing in the master bedroom doorway, and looking back into the hallway, you get a good view of the closet that isn’t original to the house. While extra storage is great, I’m not crazy about the fact that it doesn’t match the original features of the house. It definitely looks like a 1970s addition to me.
The door to the right of the closet is the third bedroom, which will be Matt’s room to do with as he pleases.
He’s always liked the idea of having an arcade room, so perhaps he can do that here. I’ll definitely be hooking up the video game systems that he already has in here, because I can’t stand having those controllers and cords lying around everywhere. So we’ll both be happy that he has his very own room to be used for that purpose.
This is the room with the door that leads out to the front porch (the second door on the porch that I eventually want to be a window instead of a door), so that’s another reason this will be great as his room. If he needs to go outside, he’ll need to use this door for now, until we can extend the front porch out more and make it safe for him to exit through the front door.
And looking back the other way, you can see the little closet on the left. Out in the hallway, you can see the hallway bathroom straight across from this room.
And here’s the hallway bathroom in all it’s glory. That window used to look outside, but now it looks into the sunroom, so I’ll eventually be removing it completely. I plan on adding a solar tube in here for some natural light.
I’m pretty sure that the light and the medicine cabinet are original to the house, but I’m quite sure the vanity was a later addition. You can see the original gas wall heater in the bottom left of the picture. I love those old heaters, but the inspector recommended that we remove those.
At some point, someone got clever and decided to add storage above the tub. It kind of matches the closet in the hallway. I’ll be removing this as well. I’m all for extra storage, but it’s clearly not original, and I don’t want to feel like I’m showering in a cave.
I’m pretty sure that the faucet, handles, drain, and bathtub are original. I’d love to keep them if they’re all in working condition and I can get them cleaned up so they all look nice. (Barkeepers Friend, perhaps? I’ve never used that stuff, but I keep hearing people rave about it.)
And behind the door, to the right of the tub, is a closet. That will be plenty of bathroom storage for me.
And you can even get a peek of the original hardwood floors inside.
Truth be told, I love the style of the tile on the bathroom floor. However, I’m not a fan of the fleshy pink colored tiles. If those were black, I’d be keeping this floor without question. (It’s really in great condition.) So at this point, I’m not exactly sure what I want to do. Try to replace just those pink tiles? Try to paint them? Replace the entire floor? Not sure.
I also really love these original doorknobs. Sadly, some of the doorknobs in the house have been replaced with newer ones (shiny brass from the 80′s, for example), so I’m going to see if I can find replacements that match these.
Okay, now lets move on to the kitchen. Remember that the kitchen is through the door on the wall to the right of the sliding door in what’s supposed to be the dining room.
If you stand in that doorway and look straight ahead, this is what you see. The doorway straight ahead (that leads into the other room) was originally the doorway leading outside onto a dogrun. The doorway on the right was originally a window that looked out onto the dogrun. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “dogrun,” it’s simply a roofed outdoor passageway that connects two parts of a house or building — in this case, it connected the house to the garage.) The previous owners enclosed the dogrun to create a den.
Looking to the right, there is a wall of cabinets. These cabinets are not original to the house.
Here’s a full view of that wall. Notice the groovy 1970′s update to the left of the cabinets.
And continuing to the right. This wall is where the previous owner had a refrigerator and free-standing dishwasher, as well as another groovy 1970′s addition. The doorway to the right is the one that leads back out to the living room area.
And opposite the wall of cabinets above is this wall of cabinets. These are the ones that are original to the house. The door on the left goes to the living room area, the window looks out onto the sunroom, and the door on the right goes to the dogrun-turned-den.
If you stand in that doorway and look straight ahead into the den, you see the door that goes into the garage.
To the right is this big window that looks out towards the front of the house. If you look at this section of the house from outside, you can see the original concrete step that was used to step up onto the dogrun before it was enclosed. To put this room into perspective, it’s 12 feet wide, which is the same width of our condo living room, and it’s about 20 feet long, which is almost twice the length of our condo living room.
And on the other end are these two windows. The door on the left goes into the sunroom. And yes, the ceiling is curved down on this end. Whoever enclosed this room didn’t want to create a new roofline, so they just worked with the existing roof. That forced them to curve the ceiling down on this end of the room. This is something we will remedy when we tackle our remodel of the sunroom in a few years. For now, we’ll live with a curved ceiling.
Again, because they wanted to tie in with the existing roof, the ceiling in this room is lower than the rest of the house (it’s about 7 1/2 feet high, and even lower on the end that curves down). And the fact that it’s stained this dark color doesn’t help matters any. A coat (or three) of white paint will do wonders in here as a temporary fix to brighten things up until we can afford to raise the roof/ceiling to the proper height.
Remember the picture of the den above with the two windows and the door on the left (two pictures up)? If you walk through that door, it leads to the sunroom. You can also get to the sunroom through the sliding glass door in the room that’s intended to be the dining room that’s straight ahead from the front door. (You can kind of see the sliding glass door in this picture on the left.)
This room has an entire wall of windows and another sliding glass door that leads to the back yard.
Here, I’m standing on the step in front of the original sliding glass door, looking slightly to the right.
And here’s the view from the other end of the room, looking back towards the door that goes to the den. The original sliding glass door is on the right.
This room will eventually be getting a MAJOR overhaul. We want to raise the entire thing up so that it’s level with the rest of the house, raise the roof so that it’s normal height (and regular sheetrock instead of those panels), remove the original sliding glass door, and then reconfigure some other things (which I’m still working out in my head ) and turn this into the main family room, and perhaps dining room. This will be a few years down the road, and will by far be our biggest expense in remodeling this house.
Okay, remember back in the den where I said the door lead out to the garage? Well, here’s my garage!!! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited about this garage!! I finally have a place to put my tools, to use my tools, to store projects that I’m working on, and so much more. And I might even park my car in here. You can see that I’ve already got two projects-in-waiting in here.
I love, love, LOVE the exposed rafters in here. I’d eventually like to sheetrock and paint the whole thing so that it looks and feels light and bright in here. Right now, the dark wood and black tar paper stuff on the walls just sucks the light out.
If you stand outside the garage doors and look towards the back of the garage, you see a separate storage area back there. It’s actually a good size, and I considered using it as my actual workroom, but I think I’d rather be in the big open garage instead. The storage room has a door that leads to the back yard, but it doesn’t have any windows, so it’s quite dark in there. I like the idea of being able to open the garage doors and let the breeze and sunlight in while I work.
Okay, are you still with me? We’re on the home stretch now!
If you walk around the side of the garage (where you can see that the siding is in desperate need of a good once-over with a power washer), there’s a wide gate that leads to the back yard.
If you stand just inside that gate and look straight ahead, this is what you see. See that thick row of trees (and dead brush) straight ahead? That marks the not-quite-halfway point of our back yard.
And here’s the view looking over towards the other side of the yard.
If you stand at that row of thick trees (and dead brush) and look back towards this house, this is what you see.
And if you peek through that thick row of trees, you can see the rest of our back yard.
This image from Google maps will give you a better view of our property. You can see the row of thick row of trees that marks the not-quite-halfway point of our back yard. And to the left of that row of trees, sitting almost right on the property line, is a storage building (looks white from the aerial view).
We eventually want to put up a privacy fence around the entire back yard, but it’ll cost a small fortune (at least $10,000, I’m sure), and digging that many post holes is something I’m NOT willing to DIY. So we might have to fence the front half first, and then the back half as finances allow.
Here’s that storage building that I pointed out in the Google maps image above. It definitely needs some love (a good cleaning, a treatment with something that will stop rust, and a new coat of paint will do wonders), but I’m glad to have the outside storage.
And here’s a peek of the back half of our yard from this side.
And here’s the back of the house from this side of the yard. The window with the awning is the master bedroom, and the section of the house just to the left of that, obscured by that tree, is the master bathroom.
On the back patio is this combination outdoor fireplace and planters made of bricks. I’ll be removing this eventually, but I’ll probably hold onto the bricks for…something…since they match the color of the Austin stone on the house so well. Any ideas what I can use them for?
And that’s it! That’s the full tour of our new-to-us, 61-year-old house.
What do you think? Can you see the potential? Do you think it’s just right for this DIY fanatic, or do you think I’m crazy and I’ve bitten off way more than I can handle? Time will tell, I suppose!