So we are now the proud owners of a new home. The first order of business was to make some decisions about what to do with the house. When we bought it, it was a duplex. The entire square footage of the house is 2100 sq/ft. So each side of the duplex is about 1050 sq/ft. We could either remodel it as a duplex and live in one side while we rent out the other side. Or, we could convert it to a single family home. After much consideration, research, and crunching numbers, we decided the best avenue was to convert it to a single family home.

Now that that decision was made, we had to decide how we were going to convert it to a single family home. The first thing I did was take a lot of measurements and then create a floor plan on my computer of the existing duplex.

There was something really satisfying about taking all those measurements and creating a floor plan from it. And, it was really nice to be able to sit and look at the house in sort of a clean slate frame of mind. It looks a lot nicer and cleaner on paper than it does walking through the house so it is easier to visualize what we will be doing.

There was also something really satisfying about moving and deleting walls on my computer and seeing what we would end up with. So after some time at my computer, input from family, and a lot of time thinking about how we live and what we want from a home, this is what I came up with.

With the change from duplex to single family home, we also wanted to front elevation to change slightly as well. We were going to be putting the new entry way on the front of the house instead of the sides so it was a good opportunity to create a nice front porch and change the look from the street view.




DM_Single Family_Front

We had made decisions and we had a plan. We were excited to move forward and actually start tearing into this project!


The Before…

Here it is. Our modest little house on the day we received the keys.


When we bought it, we actually bought it as a duplex. It had not been well taken care of and many people didn’t give it a second glance. Something about it grabbed our attention though. We looked past all the run down…well, everything. We saw the potential and we heard the story of this little dwelling. You see, this building was not originally built in this location. It was built on an Air Force base and started it’s life as Officer’s Quarter’s. The Air Force Base was eventually closed and the building sat unused for a while. Then sixteen years ago, the local officials decided to turn the old Air Force base into a new airport. So many of the buildings, including this one, were auctioned off at a low price and they were all moved to new locations. Which is how our home landed in this location.

There was no doubt about it, we were getting a fixer-upper. That point was driven home, the day after we closed on the house. That night, we had major thunderstorms that flooded parts of our city. We were still living in a rental house at the time, so the next morning, we went by our new house to check on it.

We walked in to find this.

roof leak damage

The roof had leaked…significantly. It rained so much that the insulation and drywall became saturated and then just fell, into a big sopping puddle on the floor.

Upon inspection of the other rooms, we found soft drywall that appeared to have been wet for a while.

soft drywallThere was some good news though. We were planning on pulling all that drywall out anyway. And we were planning on putting a new roof on anyway. So nothing was damaged that wasn’t going to be replaced anyway.  Oh, and we were planning to move into the other side of the duplex and that side still had the ceiling intact. So we were good to go!

Here are the pictures from the real estate listings.