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Our Fixer Upper


Our Fixer Upper

Votes: 28
Site: Our Fixer Upper
Project: Whole-house Restoration and Remodel
Medium: Blog
About: An inspector who said “every single surface needs to be fixed” and insurance issues early on haven’t deterred these two DIY’ers. They are bound and determined to restore their 1890’s Victorian Italianate to its former glory. He has a degree in Interior Design and owns and operates his own residential construction and remodeling company. She is a talented web designer (no wonder their blog is top notch!) who is learning the ins and outs of construction as they go along.

Ho, Ho, Ho

While many of us have visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads on Christmas Eve, on the eve of Christmas 2004, Teague and Mindy received a most unexpected (not to mention unwelcome) gift. They received a letter from their insurance company stating that they were going to be dropped like a lump of hot coal! Their pleasant dreams were replaced with nightmares of defaulting on their mortgage and finding an insurance agency that would accept their house with all of its various quirks like knob and tube wiring and a crumbling foundation. Dumped by MetLife, then by AllState, they finally managed to get Hazard Insurance through the New York Property Insurance Underwriters Association. Although it’s not an extensive policy, it will at least cover them until they can complete the projects necessary to satisfy a private insurance company.

Lowering Energy Bills

With such a large old house, it’s pretty much expected that the costs for heating will be astronomical. High ceilings and small ducts certainly don’t help the situation, but add to that the fact that when Teague and Mindy moved in there wasn’t any insulation in any of the walls, the hot water pipes weren’t wrapped, and there were cracks, gaps and holes in places that allowed gusts of wind to blow in at will. Today, things are a little different. By wrapping hotwater pipes and the hot water heater, filling every crack and gap, adding insulation, and replacing broken windows, they are now seeing about a 25% reduction in their heating bills. This is with only about half of the insulation done. Imagine the results when the remaining half is completed!

Practical Issues Aside

There’s no denying that you have to tackle the important issues like insurance and insulation, but what fun is renovating if you don’t get to please your eyes too? One of the eye-pleasing projects that has reached completion in the Fixer-Upper is the master bathroom. Months of work have yielded a beautiful, spacious retreat. No more fighting for space in the tiny downstairs bathroom with the 8” diameter mirror. Mindy can soak in the luxury of her claw foot tub and there’s a chair for Teague when he just has to come in for some deodorant and a little visit.

A Remedy for Remodeling Burnout

When you feel like you’ve ‘hit the wall’ take a break, have a breather, try a change of scenery, then go back through your own blog posts and take a good look at those before and after photos. You’ve invested serious personal time and taken great pains to complete these projects and with each one has come a well-deserved feeling of accomplishment. Taking a look at what you’ve done may just help to re-ignite your remodeling fire and give you fresh motivation to move forward.


ive been following their
ive been following their progress, and as a first time homeowner closing next week, they are in inspiration!
I have been reading their
I have been reading their blog for a few months now and like how the content is displayed. They are also very forthcoming with information and responsive to emails.
I've been reading them since
I've been reading them since the beginning. They are really motivated.

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