Remodeling Our Brick Ranch: The Before

Remember when I said life got all sorts of crazy a few months ago? Like new job, new house, new baby sorts of crazy? Yeeahhh. 

Since my last update, and recap of our last big trip for a while, we’ve made a lot of progress on all of those fronts. Will finally made it home from Turkey (thank you Jesus!), we completed enough projects around the house to allow us to “move in” (<–that’s in quotes because it is a loose term when you are sleeping on a mattress in the floor) to our house, and my belly has grown big enough that I have welcomed my maternity pants back with open arms. 

I won’t say things have slowed down yet, we’ve added in a birthday party, receiving household goods, and the continual finishing projects around the house to the mix, but I’m at least not spending 12+ hours a day covered in sheetrock dust or paint and sweating like a mule. So, I thought it might be a good time to start looking back at how far we’ve come in the renovation of our little brick ranch. 

A little backstory on the house. When Will received the job offer from a firm back in our hometown of Asheville, we were stoked. Jobs do not come easily here, especially not with the most well known firms and businesses around. We felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and although it may not have been our precisely desired timing to move back and settle, we felt like it was something we couldn’t pass up. A now or never kind of deal. 

If you aren’t familiar, Asheville is a small to mid-sized town that is absolutely booming lately thanks to lots of tourist attention for all the breathtaking scenery, incredible food and beer, and general plethora of all things awesome to do. We love that our city is growing, and the direction it’s going, but to us locals, this means higher priced real estate, and in most cases – salaries that don’t necessary correlate to that increase in prices. 

In other words, we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to afford the astronomical rent around these parts, much less find a house or property to buy. So you can imagine our relief and sheer joy when my Granny offered to sell us a house she had inherited, and has since been renting, 15 years ago for the value of the mortgage. It was a lifesaver! She made the offer, we talked to the bank, and in less than a month we closed on the house. 

The house was a small, yet well built, three bedroom, 1.5 bath brick ranch, with a sizable yard (especially around here), and a desperate need for some TLC. It was also the home to the lady who had been renting from my Granny for all 15 years, as well as her son and boyfriend. Oh, and she was a great candidate for the show Hoarders. Not kidding, pictures below πŸ˜‰ 

Before we closed on the house a termination letter was sent, but it was not until 3.5 months, and a court date later, that they finally vacated the premises. It was another three weeks after that before they finally collected all of their things. 

As soon as we were able, and thankfully at a time that coincided with my Dad changing jobs and having a solid two weeks to work non-stop, we set to working on the house like madmen and women. Although it has great bones, nothing had been updated since the 80’s, and being a rental it was due for some deep cleaning and restoration. We basically ended up gutting it.

The lady had also planted bamboo, and if you are not familiar with it, it is the devil. It forms a root system, and functions like a weed, spreading and popping up all over the place. It’s extremely difficult to remove, and even harder to really kill down (as in it can take years of spraying week killer and constant trimming). And unfortunately half of the house was covered by it, as well as a good portion of the yard. 

So let’s take a peak at where we began. 

The front of the house. Yes there is actually a house hidden back there, and believe it or not, one dead tree had already been removed from the front yard at this point.

Quick note, these are not the after-afters, these are what we started with once all the stuff was finally out of the way. 


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The kitchen and dining room prior to clean out. 

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And after the clean out. 

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The living room before clean out.


And after.


Hallway before.


Hallway after.


First guest bedroom before.


And after.


Full bath before. Those green/yellow furnishings are just as bad as you can imagine. 


And after. 


Second guest bedroom before.


And after.



Master bedroom before.


And after.



Half bath before.


And after.


Basement before.


And after.

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 Whew! Even just looking back at those makes me tired, and amazingly that was BEFORE all the work took place! Stay tuned for the next post where I walk you through some of the projects, what we managed to accomplish in two short weeks, and why I want to give the bird to all of those home improvement shows on HGTV. Liars I tell you! 


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