Now that we’re officially working on the Nash house, it’s time to start making a plan. It always helps to have another set of eyes to look at a potential renovation, and a real estate specialist familiar with the local market is a really good choice, because they know what sells in the area and what renovations that might work in one place won’t be so great where you are.
So, our first thought was to get in touch with Jennifer Young, who is doing such a great job with our Washington house, and who has managed to find the perfect new owners for Travis 1. I enjoyed working with her on Washington, and it was so great to have an on-site project manager to check on things and manage issues as they come up.
She was delighted to come meet with us and bounce ideas around with us for the Nash house, and has agreed to do the project management again, in addition to getting a sales commission when we eventually sell.
Before we can resell a house, we have to renovate it. We had lots of ideas for what we can do, but those ideas have to allow us to make a profit. Here’s some of what we are thinking, with photos of a lot of the “before” areas:
Outside, we will eliminate all the little trees, but keep the nandina around the front and sides, if possible. We may have to do a big grading project to fix the drainage around the house, though, so we may end up starting all over around the house. Lee plans to call in a landscape specialist to figure out what needs to be done, and that’s our first priority. We don’t want the house shifting and cracking, and we certainly don’t want to repair the cracks that are there until we are sure the house is stable.
We plan to keep the little flower beds in the front of the house, and repair the damaged bricks with ones we salvage from some of the other renovations we do. There is a lot of trim to repair, too.
Bricks will come from two things we do. First, we will install in-wall air conditioning/heating units like what we put in the Rattlesnake house. They are really energy efficient, and everyone we know who’s installed them says they really keep things cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Second, there may be a new window installed in the “garage,” which will give us more bricks.
It’s a good thing we will have those bricks, because we know that in the Cameron market, people want houses with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This house is a 2/1 (which was fine for a single school teacher!). What to do, we wondered.
I came up with the idea of converting the garage into a master suite, since it already has plumbing for a washing machine and sink. We’d put a bathroom with a shower in the back, and make the rest a nice master bedroom with a reasonable closet. It’s just a one-car garage, so it will make a nice bedroom. We will replace the garage door with French doors, which was Jennifer’s idea. That will only leave us with a small area to fill in, which we can use the extra bricks for, and if there aren’t enough, we will trim it out nicely so it looks like a feature. If there’s enough in the budget, we will add a window and put in a pergola or cover, to make a nice patio out of the old driveway.
So, where will people park their cars? Glad you asked! Since the house is on the corner, we will make a driveway on the side of the house that faces 8th Street. We will have to cut down some volunteer trees, but that shouldn’t be too bad. We can then put a covered parking along the back of the house (for one car; not much space back there, and we can’t build to the edge of the property). This will make bringing groceries in really easy.
As for the rest of the house, there was a big debate about the built-in shelving in the living room. One idea was to get rid of it, and the wall where it is, and make the living area open to the kitchen. That would leave not much storage in the kitchen, though, so we compromised with eliminating the wall up to the built-ins, so we can put open shelving on the other side, and an oven with a vent hood.
We want to maintain the period charm of the house by keeping the tile counter-tops and backsplash in the kitchen, but making everything else white or gray, so the yellow is an accent (every single surface is now yellow). On the other side, where the stove will be, we will try to get butcher block, or another surface to complement the tile. The original cabinets were very well kept, so we will try to keep them, but may end up replacing the doors. They will be white, though, not yellow!
One more kitchen improvement will be to eliminate the coat closet in the living room, which will add to a more open look and connect the dining area with the living area. It won’t be 100% open concept, but will be a lot more open.
Throughout the house, my friends the cork floors will have to go. Sigh. We will put in flooring similar to what we put in Washington. It’s really beautiful and sturdy. Other than repairing some cracks, that’s about all the living room and two additional bedrooms will need.
The current bathroom also generated much debate. Well, pink tile does that. I firmly believe, though, that if the pink toilet got replaced with a white one, keeping the tub, sink, and wall tiles pink (and white) will look really cool if the room gets painted white and all the accents are black. If that doesn’t work out, we know where to find the people who spray the surfaces another color.
For the new bathroom, we will add vintage charm, but probably not tile the counters. We’ll just use vintage fixtures.
Well, let’s see if we can fit all this into a budget! Now that we have the list, though, we can flesh out the scope of work and get bids. We know Cody’s chomping at the bit to work on this project, so we will see how that works out.
Looks like there’s no space for many more inside photos, but I’m sure you can imagine. We really think the house will benefit from the extra living space, patio, and new covered parking. What do you think? We are open to suggestions.
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