ren·o·ven·tion \ˈre-nə-ven(t)-shən\
To restore to life, vigor, or a former better state using ingenuity and imagination.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meet the Money Pit - Part 1

So without further ado, here is the story of our own little money pit. The original house was built in 1891. We purchased it in 2008 from an elderly man who had lived in one apartment and rented the other to a close friend. They had lived in the house for over thirty years and I'm not sure they changed anything in that entire time. These photos are a mishmash of the inspection photos, architects photos and my own personal shots taken just after we purchased the house. Remember I said she was a fixer upper?

Here she stands. The original limestone is still in amazingly good shape and some of the details are beautiful. The house was a two flat with an unfinished basement. Like most Chicago lots, the front property line is 25ft across, making for a long narrow building.

You can see some of the stonework details we fell in love with. The imaginative use of old plumbing pipe as the porch railing is something I think we will change.

The floorplan of the first floor apartment at purchase. You can see that the house was divided down the middle for structural reasons, resulting in common areas on the eastern side (top of the plan) and three TINY little bedrooms on the western side (bottom of plan). The back deck area (on the far left) was an addition added to the structure by the previous owners. Besides that change, the room layout is pretty much what you would expect from an old Greystone.

The Front Hallway/Entry. The discoloration in the third photos is a water leak.

The front room. The wood flooring in this room had a number of areas eaten by termites.
Apart from the obvious dirt and grime, the window frames are rotted and the radiator is rusted and pretty questionable. There was also a bit of exposed live wiring going on.

The exterior of the window frames.

First floor bathroom. I think it speaks for itself.
I put this under the category "Disgusting".

Shots of the first floor kitchen. The flooring and ceiling in this area were both Asbestos. Not that you would want to cook in here, but even if you did where would you put everything?

The back porch. Extensive water damage and the black stuff in the corner was mold. Also, although you can't tell from the photo, the whole porch was starting to lean away from the house.
 Excited yet? Don't worry, there's plenty more where that came from.

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