Our “Make it Do” house remodel

This is the little house in Henrieville we lived in from Nov 1997 to Jan 2003.  At that time we were renting.  Noah, Eliza and Jonah were born in this little house.  It is tiny, 20’x40′ approximately 800 square feet.  It had 2 bedrooms, kitchen, living, hall, bathroom and laundry/storage room.  We lived in St. George from Jan 2003 through Aug 2008 (with time in Buena Vista, VA Aug 2007-Jan 2008).  With the economy dropping, our house in St. George didn’t sell (we ultimately were able to do a short sale).  We decided that a move back to Henrieville was in order.  Reason #1 to be closer to family and #2 significantly lower cost of living.  In March 2008 we made a visit to Henrieville and arranged for a home to rent (it wouldn’t be ready until Aug 2008).  We also made arrangements to purchase the house and lot we had formerly lived in.  We initially planned to tear down the home and rebuild, after renting for 9 months and Duztin being laid off that was out of the question.   Finally one morning in July 2009 we decided to see how bad the damage to the house really was (it had been severely flooded).  Upon inspection we discovered that the entire house had 5 to 8 layers of flooring, the water hadn’t gone down that deep and the subfloors were fine.  We decided that a remodel would be much cheaper.  We rolled up our sleeves and got to work.  We learned that one of the best sentences you can say to a child is: “Here is a hammer, break down that wall.”  -after a stunned “Really?” they got right to work.  All through August, September, October and Nov.  We tore out, replaced, painted, floored, repaired, plumbed, wired etc. etc. etc.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us and our children to learn these skills from Duztin.  ~Cool side note, Eva (13) and Noah (11) became proficient enough in putting up sheetrock that they were able to help some neighbors of ours that were building a home, they were approaching a bank deadline.  The two of them sheet rocked an entire mudroom (with minimal muscle help for the ceiling). 

We have decided to name our house the “Make it Do” house.  We are now a family of 9 living in 800 sq/ft.  It is tight but with extreme organizing and courtesy to one another we are doing just fine.  The cost of building a new home on a budget doing all the work ourselves would have been at least $50,000.  Remodelling this home came in just under $4500.  Significant savings that we are happy to live with.   After we put in a root cellar this summer we will begin working on adding a 2nd story.  Now for the photos, we will start with some before shots.  These are all after removing furniture, layers of flooring and some walls.  In the top left photo you can see that part of this house was a mobile home (manufacturer plate 1949).

    Naomi and Joshua put nails in the sheetrock everywhere!  Duztin didn’t mind until they started doing it again after texture and paint!!  Joshua also learned how to drill holes in 2×4’s.  Needless to say Duztin has placed all tools out of reach of Joshua.


That is all for today, I will post after pictures later, right now I have 7 hungry little reasons to stop.




1 Comment

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One response to “Our “Make it Do” house remodel

  1. Yikes! Your after pictures are fabulous. The before pics make me tired. You all did a fabulous job. I still have several “finish” jobs to do on our house. I need to knuckle down and just DO IT!

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