So back in August I mentioned I did a thing. And then never really followed up with that I was actually doing. I packed my life up, and with the help of a friend drove 12 hours (towing the LBC behind my truck), because sometimes being an adult means you have to move back to your hometown in the middle of Nebraska.

This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house back.
This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house back.

My grandparents bought a brand new house in 1940, and lived there until 2006. No one in the family was interested in keeping it when they passed, so it was sold. In mid-June my parents were contacted by the family who bought the house, that they were going to sell and wondered if we knew anyone who might be interested in the house. I snorted and said no when my mom told me. By mid-July I called my mom and said I wanted the house, and I would move back if and only if the house worked out. I left Wisconsin on August 31st, so to say everything moved quickly would be an understatement.

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I’m now one of those semi-hipsters in the small house movement (anything under 1,000 sq ft, while tiny houses are under 400 sq ft). The main floor is about 800 sq ft, and eventually most of the basement will be finished for a little more room. It has an attached 1 car garage and is a corner lot; so it’s pretty sweet. There’s a 3-5 year out plan to re-build the garage much larger, but for now it’s ok.

I’m trying to keep things sorta original/vintage while updating things here and there. All new windows and exterior doors, because most of the windows won’t open and some of the doors were so out of square grass was coming in under the bottom. It also only had a storm door securing access to the basement which won’t fly with me since I’m making the basement into the master suite.

Kinja is now being Kinja, so enjoy some photos and continue reading after them...

The wall between the dining and living room was opened up, the remaining wall is brick that is exposed in the dining room.
The wall between the dining and living room was opened up, the remaining wall is brick that is exposed in the dining room.
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The original hardwood floors were refinished with new stain and poly.
The original hardwood floors were refinished with new stain and poly.
We removed the closets between two bedrooms in order to make a decent sized guest room.
We removed the closets between two bedrooms in order to make a decent sized guest room.
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The breezeway between the garage and house, now with a real wall and secure door.
The breezeway between the garage and house, now with a real wall and secure door.
The kitchen as it looks now.  The drawers are painted and back in, and about half the doors will be back in a day or two.  Still need to sand the rest and get them painted.
The kitchen as it looks now. The drawers are painted and back in, and about half the doors will be back in a day or two. Still need to sand the rest and get them painted.
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The new closet in the guest room.  It’s literally half the size of the former bedroom, as you can see by where the light was.
The new closet in the guest room. It’s literally half the size of the former bedroom, as you can see by where the light was.
The first hole I made.  I knew the brick chimney had to be there somewhere, so I found it.  The kitchen gained 14 inches of countertop.
The first hole I made. I knew the brick chimney had to be there somewhere, so I found it. The kitchen gained 14 inches of countertop.
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The majority of the work is being done by me and my dad. That being said, we aren’t afraid to bring in professionals. The electrician has his own key since he’s over so much. The majority of the house is being re-wired, especially since things like the dishwasher being spliced into the outlet in the hallway behind it were discovered. The lights in the ceiling of the basement were connected to the outlets in the living room above. We had the original hardwood floors sanded and refinished, since they had been covered with carpet since around 1960. My dad is friends with a general contractor who helps out with some things, especially replacing the doors and he will be doing the new windows once they show up (should be next week, but I’ve heard that before...) On the shortlist for help is digging out a hole in the yard next to the house for the egress window that will need to be installed. This means a section of the fence needs to be taken down so a small backhoe can make it through, because no one has time to dig that by hand. I’m campaigning for them to also help with laying the tile floor in the kitchen and bathroom and the tile backsplash in the kitchen.

Once the main floor is done, I’ll be moving into the guest room. The basement is in pretty good shape. The previous owners already gutted everything but the bathroom, so we just need to put things back together. And gut the bathroom. The original timeline was being in the main floor by Thanksgiving, but that’s not happening. Right now I’m guessing it will be at least three more weeks, and then probably another month to finish the basement after that.

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This has been exhausting and infuriating (my aunt and uncle visited from California for a week “to help” and I got so mad at their suggestions such as “Is *that* really the paint color you bought?” I went and sat in my truck because I was seriously going to snap) but I can’t wait to see the finished project.

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