A house restored
After reading through a series of bulletin board postings here at The Old House Web titled, "I want to buy an old house but I am afraid," I felt compelled to offer our story.
I'd like to say to those wondering about the risk: The return will be worth it.
Our own house is a 1903, two-story farmhouse, about 50 miles north of Chicago. We spent 11 months working on it before we moved in 10-plus years ago. Since that time we have bought repaired and sold a few other houses (It helps to pay for the restoration here.)
Our house has original woodwork throughout with lots of Victorian details include hardwood floors, five-panel doors, built in cupboards, bookshelves, a china cabinet, plus interior and exterior gingerbread.
The house has a great layout, with large rooms, oversized windows and 9-foot ceilings.
How much do we enjoy the old-house routine? Well, right now our house is for sale and I am hunting for another -- another vote of confidence to those would be fixer upper purchasers.
In the following photos and captions, I think you'll see what makes our house home -- and why those of you new to the world of old houses have exciting days ahead of you...
The wrap-around porch is an inviting place to sit and relax in the shade on a hot sunny day. And with almost 1,000 square feet of covered porch and deck, plus the screen house, there's plenty of room for large gatherings.
The two-story barn, now a woodworker's shop, was built in 1911. The old milk house is original, and the garden shed sits on the site of the old summer kitchen. Hundreds of trees frame the property, giving it a park-like feeling, with mature landscaping, goldfish pond, flower and vegetable garden.
These pictures were taken right after we bought the house in the spring of 1987. Despite the condition it was love at first sight. The house has written dates in the closets of 1903 -- and the barn has a 1911 date in the floor.
The original owners lived here until 1959 (Two sons who were born here -- now senior citizens -- have come back to visit!) The second owner was a lumber baron and only used the house 1 morning a week for offices for almost 30 years until we spotted it.
This picture - looking back toward the front door and foyer is what you see as soon as you come in. All the woodwork including the original doors have been refinished. The hardwood floors now show off the beautiful heart pine planking complimented by the extra height in the 9-inch baseboards.
-- Photos & Text by Dee Weisz