Hello sweet followers,
Recently, I have had a TON of emails and messages about renovating houses and how the process works. In an effort to answer some questions, I thought I might shine a little light on how we got into this and what we have learned over the years. This will be the first of many posts in a “Renovation Series” we have coming! Feel free to send over any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them in these posts.
To get to the “how to”, you need to know the “how we got here” part first…so here goes nothing…
The whole process began with a vacant house across the street from us, when Barrett and I first moved to Graham Street in Old Cloverdale nearly 8 years ago. My crazy supportive, afraid of nothing, loving husband was determined to buy this little house and let me renovate it. My conservative nature and fear of failing wasn’t sure this was the best idea. What if we didn’t sell it or if I made a bad decision? What if something went wrong? I had a lot of hesitations, but needless to say, a little encouragement and support goes a long way. Since our first renovation on Graham Street, we have purchased and renovated 8 houses in 8 years and have lived in all but one. Sounds pretty CRAZY, right?
Our first renovation project, 1909 Graham Street, before renovation in 2006
Our second renovation project, 1910 Graham Street before renovation
Our third renovation project, 1935 Graham Street, as we purchased it. After starting construction, we found that the entire exterior was asbestos siding, but thankfully we found the original wood siding in great condition!!
For those of you who don’t know me, I am a creative person. It is one of my few God given talents. I can not read a book front to back to save my life and please don’t make me read aloud. I am super dyslexic and reading and writing just isn’t my thing. (It’s totally embarrassing, but I stumble over words reading children’s books to my babies and just have to laugh.) I can draw a picture, renovate a house, draw renovation plans, select finishes or pull together fabrics all day…that’s just the way my little mind works. It’s what I do every day and what I truly love to do! Successful doctors open additional clinics, attorneys open multiple firms, successful restaurants become chains…my talent is design and renovating homes. It is something I enjoy and something we have been successful doing.
Our fourth renovation project, 754 Thorn Place, before construction.
Our fifth renovation project, 797 Felder Avenue before construction. A lot of my heart (and sweat) are in this house! We brought lost our twins while living here and brought Cates home to this house, so it holds an extra special place in my heart! The renovation was featured in the March 2013 issue of Southern Living…quick link to it here.
Our sixth renovation project, 3171 Old Farm Road before construction. This house will always be special to us because we brought our sweet baby boy, Rett, home from the hospital to this house. It is where we became a family of four!
I know people probably think we are so crazy to keep renovating houses and to keep moving, but CRAZY is a relative term?!? Crazy to me is reading a book for pleasure or doing what doctors and nurses do on a daily basis. Crazy to you might be living through (and sometimes in) a construction zone, multiple times or even moving a gazillion times!!
Renovations are a complete creative challenge! There are always unexpected, uncovered little surprises (good and bad) keeping me completely entertained and mentally challenged. I am ADDICTED to the challenge. This is why a good portion of the Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design business consists of renovation drawings!
Our seventh renovation house, 704 Felder Avenue, before construction. This is the only renovation house that we have not actually lived in ourselves.
Our eighth and most recent renovation project, 1215 Felder Avenue, before construction. This house will also be dear to us because we renovated and moved in under 45 days… crazy I know?!?!
This post was just a little intro to our series and a little peek into how we fell in love with the whole process!
Stay tuned for tips and a little more insight next week! We will be sharing our Top 10 do’s and don’ts for the renovation process!