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Before-before, immediately before, and after.

Susan W
9 days ago

As my title says, these photos are before-before, immediately before, and after.


This project was a challenge from the first day we stepped inside this Chinese dry wall filled, recluse, hoarder’s house right next door to us. This is what we saw - our before-before:

Kitchen -



Extra room off kitchen -


This is what it looked like on the day we closed - it actually cleaned up pretty nicely (not that it mattered:


The dining room -

The extra room off kitchen -

Front of house windows

Back of house windows


By the time we got to this point we were aware that the house had Chinese drywall in it, but weren’t quite sure of the full extent. Ultimately the decision was made that the only way to remediate was a full gut. So that’s what we did. My goals for phase 1 -

#1 - Make the house livable within a non-negotiable budget

That included a total gut to get rid of the Chinese dry wall, new HVAC, plumbing, etc.

#2 - Create a large, eat-in kitchen

Many urged me to open up the space, but I wanted a true self-contained kitchen.

The hardest part was drawing the line between wants and immediate needs, with lots of difficult decisions. We know there's a second phase that will happen after we sell our current house. It was the project from hell, start to finish…for many reasons, number one being our choice of GC. But that’s behind us and we can catch our breath and hopefully enjoy what we’ve created before we start again.

We split that large “extra room” off the kitchen and now have what I’m calling a mudporch/pantry. Extra storage plus a place to put a countertop microwave. Not having to see a microwave in my kitchen is one of those things that makes me happy. The other half of the old room is now a 3rd bedroom.




And here’s my kitchen, waiting for a few finishing touches, but more than ready to host our visiting kids for Christmas dinner. I know it needs some color and some decorating, but that's definitely a want and not a need. Now we have to get ourselves moved in there and then it’s time to take a breather until we start phase 2…









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