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  • Writer's pictureSierrah Hankins

Our First Fixer Upper - Before & Afters

Some of you may remember, but Laramy and I bought our first fixer upper in March of 2020. This was right as Covid was making the news around us, and we closed on the very first day of lockdown. The timing was scary to say the least - we just took on an extra mortgage in a time when nothing seemed secure anymore. We hit several obstacles and had a change of vision pretty early on, which set us on a long course for this little Fixer Upper, but it turned out to be such a rewarding project!


The Obstacles

Our 6 month project turned into almost a 2 year project, but the results were completely worth it. We made slow progress working around our other jobs and taking time off when my health wasn't great. We also dealt with an exploding market, where hiring people out for jobs became increasingly more difficult.

I know I've talked to several other people building during this time, and many people are experiencing the same thing. Workers are so busy and scheduled so far out that getting anyone to come out to give you a quote for a job, or especially to actually execute the job, was frustrating and profitless. We reached out to so many people who wouldn't return our calls, would give outrageous quotes, or would say they'd be out to do the job and never show up. My dad was a huge blessing throughout this whole process - we were able to hire his crew out during rain days or weekends to get some of the work knocked out.


The Vision

Our original plan with the home was to redo flooring & paint on the interior, and fix some of the major exterior items such as roof and porches. We were hoping for a quick project that we could throw back on the market in 6 months or so. Nothing ever seems to go as planned with us, and somewhere along the line, we had a vision for adding extra rooms and redoing the floor plan --- soooo it wasn't long before we had half of the house completely gutted.

The home was originally built in the early 1900's and has been added onto several times. We wanted to keep many of the charming features it already possessed - intricately carved porch beams, bay windows, a full brick fireplace wall. It started as a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home. We turned it into essentially 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and re-worked some of the existing floor plan to make it more functional for a family.

I had so many plans in my mind for how I wanted to build the aesthetics of each room. I had to balance what I had in mind with what was practical, since this was an investment home and not our own. We didn't know who would end up purchasing the home and what their style might be, so we kept many things neutral, (such as wall paint). But I did end up taking some creative liberties with other areas!

I did green kitchen cabinets with brass hardware and a gold faucet. This was my first time finishing cabinets on my own - the process took much longer than I anticipated. Sealing, sanding, painting, sanding, and more painting & sanding lol.

The bathrooms turned out to be so cute, and I got to design and select what I wanted for those (vanities, faucets, sinks, tubs, and tile).

We added two closets on each side of the huge window in the master bedroom, which created a bay window and a more functional space. (This room didn't have any closets to begin with).


The Finish Line

Throughout this project, we had so many people come to us with their interest in purchasing it. We would have people stop by the home and leave notes or their phone numbers, and word got around that we were working on it, so several locals scheduled to come see it. Since things were taking so long, our timelines kept getting extended, and many times it felt like we'd never get to the finish line.

What started as our quick flip turned into more of a passion project, but time was taking its toll on us and we were ready to be done with it. Towards the end, we had a great family approach us about purchasing it and we came to an agreement on wrapping it up! There were a few things that we didn't get to with us selling it sooner, but the new owners have great plans for it and it's been so rewarding getting to see them turn it into their home! Lots of people have asked me if we're doing another one. My answer is usually the same - not any time soon lol. I think eventually, we will take on another project, but we need some time to rest and recoup. Enjoy some before and after photos and let me know what you think in the comments!



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