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Starting Point

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Beautiful Sears & Roebuck house c.1923

I’m not sure how old this photo is, probably 8-10 years old, taken before the paint started peeling. This was taken from the real estate listing found by my daughter when I mentioned I’d had a job offer in Alabama.

I fell in love with the photos included in the listing. I fell in love with the house even more when I saw it. Four bedrooms, 1.5 baths. From the first moment I stepped inside, I felt as if I were home.

Structurally, the house is great! Original hardwood floors. Original French doors with the cotton candy glass. Original windows and doors, complete with glass doorknobs. The original coal-fueled steam boiler remains in the basement. Although the pipes have been disconnected and the radiators are long gone, it stands as testament to the changes thru the years. The old coal-chute door at the corner of the basement is present as well.

Most of the work required is cosmetic.

Some of the beautiful hardwood floors had been covered in carpet. The carpet was pulled up before I saw the house, but the carpet tackstrips along with the accompanying nails and carpet staples remain. One bedroom still has carpet along with the upstairs landing and hallway. It will soon be gone.

The remaining floors are sound but it appears as if a drunk person refinished them using a mop. Literally. It looks as if someone poured the polyurethane in a puddle on the floor and then used a mop to swish it around. You can see the swiping strokes across the wood. Those will have to be sanded and redone.

All the woodwork, windows, baseboards, stairs, railings, doors — ALL of it has been painted white. Not just painted mind you, “glopped” with white paint so thick you can cut your teeth on it. In fact, every window has been painted shut. Not sure if this is a Southern thing or what.

At one time there was a fire in the kitchen. The underside of some of the upper cabinets is black with soot as well as a portion of wall between the cabinets and the door leading to the basement. What appeared to be laminate flooring is actually linoleum. I can hardly wait to pull it up and see what lies beneath. The ceiling is plaster and lath and has a few cracks which will require some scaffolding and repair.

The exterior paint is peeling. Due to the age of the house and the lead content, that will require some care in removing. Underneath the siding is good. The detached garage on the other hand . . . it will require the replacement of some siding from the ground up. Not extensive, but needed.

The privacy fence, if you’ve read any previous posts, has already decided to come down on it’s own. Actually, nature has assisted with high winds.

The above-ground pool, having been vacant for over 10 years, is not capable of holding water. I have started removing it, and soon I will have more yard with which to work.

All in all, this is where the journey starts. Check back for updates and progress pictures. I look forward to sharing it with you.

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