Home Improvement

Transforming a 1970's house from a timewarp to a pleasant modern home

house pictures We bought the house in 1999. We loved our home even then, but a look at some of the pictures from the beginning show a 1970s style house in good shape but in desperate need of a makeover.
heater I'm a guy so first things first. I was still drag racing back in 2000, so winters were the car repair season. Cold concrete isn't much fun, so a heater for the garage was first.
housepaint We both decided we didn't care much for the brown and green color on the outside of the house, so the next project was painting the outside of the house.
fence We also fenced in the yard for a dog we didn't even have yet at the time. Brock sure enjoys "his" yard now!
wallpaper I didn't mind it so much but Greta absolutely hated the wallpaper in the house, so we spent a month stripping the wallpaper and painting all the inside walls.
kitchen Our first really big project was the kitchen. We had grown pretty tired of living with a small kitchen and decided a complete gutting was in order. Follow along with our progress and you'll see you can do alot yourself.
windows Our old windows were pretty drafty. The south facing windows were not even double pane glass! Here we're replacing all the windows, double hung windows at the back and the side of the house, and sliders at the front of the house. Since we'd already started to "color change" all the trim when we did the kitchen, we continued with the new window trim, using a honey oat color.
garagerock Since I was doing a lot of wood refinishing in the garage, I decided to sheetrock the garage walls (the ceiling was already done when it was insulated during the heater install). The white color on the walls really helped brighten up the garage aiding in finishing work.
workbench Along the way I built a "sturdy" workbench. The thought was that it should be able to hold an engine or transmission. While I never used it for that, it does make a nice platform for working on things.
floors Our upstairs bedrooms were fortunately a very pretty oak floor but were in very bad shape. We had the floors refinished, and installed new baseboard trim. You can also see the new 6 panel solid oak doors that replaced the walnut colored hollow core flat doors that were there before.
baywindow The last window remaining to be replaced was the bay window in the livingroom. A friend of mine let me in on a neat trick for installing these. Instead of humping a very heavy window up a pair of ladders, we simply pushed it through from the inside of the house. The nailing fins on the newer style windows simply fold out of the way.
spa Working on the house is a tiring affair. A soak in the hot tub is just what the doctor ordered after working on the house all day.
banister The wrought iron railings in the house looked very 1970's. A new light oak banister and hand railing now line the stairs.
tile The entryway was pretty worn out linoleum. We thought some porcelain tile would look pretty nice.
carpet The carpet in the livingroom and on the stairs had seen its' best days. We went with a green carpet with maroon flecks that looks great with the new woodwork.
bathroom We saved one of the biggest projects for last. The bathroom was still sporting a 1970s countertop, and walnut colored cabinets. We opted for a complete bathroom tearout with a new tub, granite counter, clear glass sliding doors, and a heated tile floor.
garage addition Well, the garage is finally too small. Our Correct Craft SV-211 doesn't really fit very well without a tub of vaseline to squeeze under the door, and pulling the platform off the back, so we're doing a garage addition with a taller 8' door to clear the wakeboard tower, and adding 20 feet in length to make putting the boat away a simple chore.

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Last updated: Mon, May 7, 2007.
Copyright © Mike vanMeeteren, 2007.