Our Big Blue House

I mentioned a while ago that we moved over the Summer. We bought this big, old blue house that’s over 100 years old.

When we first bought it, there were two giant birch trees about a foot from the house. We had them cut down and had all the old, plastic covered windows and rotting sills replaced before we moved in.

We also had some of the rooms painted including this yellow…Steelers themed one. The picture below is from the listing. We removed the carpeting in that room and put down hardwood flooring too.

The old fan is still in there and we don’t have any furniture for this room yet but it’s starting to look better. In the corner (below pic), we had to run pipes up to the second floor bathroom because we put the laundry upstairs. (The basement was a somewhat horrifying dungeon with extremely narrow stairs so moving the laundry upstairs was a priority.) That corner will eventually be dry walled in. We’re also going to possibly move the half bath partly into this room.

That little stove in the room is a wood burning stove that will only fit very tiny logs.

At some point, someone took out the old glass above the front door, added glass slanted pieces and boarded off part of the opening. I’m talking to a stained glass maker to see how much it would cost to have a piece of stained glass made for this spot. If it’s too expensive, we’ll probably just put in a regular piece of glass.

Here is the upstairs bathroom pic from the listing. We removed that big, black cabinet on the right and put the stackable washer and dryer there. It’s a temporary fix until we can renovate this ridiculous bathroom. By the way, there’s no vent for heat in this bathroom. Just that light up fireplace.

We haven’t done much in the dining room yet but we did replace the light fixture (which had bungee cords holding it up) and the ceiling is no longer blue. Here’s the before:

And the in progress picture below. I’ve been shopping for curtains for this room for weeks. All of the windows in this house are extremely big and tall because the rooms have 12′ ceilings so curtains seem like a big commitment.

And that’s about where we are with this house. We had an architect come this past Friday and we are going to have plans drawn for the first floor. We want to move the half bath, open the kitchen up to the back den and open a doorway from the living room to the dining room. They’re also going to help us with adding a roof over the front door and hopefully a covered porch across the whole front of the house.

The exterior is scheduled to be repainted in October. No more varying shades of peeling blue!

This house is a huge project and we’re going to have to do the work slowly over time and live with the chaos for a while. But we get to walk/bike to school, Frick Park, our friend’s houses and to restaurants and bars so we think it’s worth it. 🙂

Our house is for sale!

We’ve been busy over here. For the last few months, we’ve been looking for a house that is closer to Sam’s (and soon to be Tucker’s) school and to our friends. That area of Pittsburgh is pretty expensive and in demand right now so we’ve mostly been looking at fixer uppers.

A few weeks ago, we looked at a house that is a five minute walk from Sam’s school. It was tenant occupied and a complete disaster. It’s a little over 2100 square feet but only 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The layout is terrible and there is a ton of wasted space. It needs SO MUCH work. But…we made a low offer, they countered, we countered, they countered, we said no, they said no. We thought it was over but then a couple of days later, they came back and accepted our offer! So we’re closing July 10th, hoping that the tenants are out of there by then and hoping to have our current house at least under contract by then.

We listed our house (<—link to the listing) on Tuesday but didn’t allow any showings until the open house on Sunday. We mainly did this because we have 3 kids and we could get the majority of the showings out of the way that day. The open house went great! We had about 20 groups come through in the 3 hours. We’ve also had 5 showings since then (it’s Wednesday). I’m hopeful we’ll get an offer soon.

We only bought this house a year ago and did a lot of work to it so I thought it would be fun to post the before and after pics. Here we go:

The living and dining area became the living room and kitchen. The hardwood was refinished and we laid porcelain tile in the kitchen/dining area.
The old kitchen area became the dining area so we could add a back door and build a deck.
Another picture of the kitchen.
The old bathroom lost its pink wallpaper and got new drywall, vanity, toilet, mirror and light fixtures.
The back of the house lost its window awnings and we built a deck with slide.
We tore out the old carpeting in the basement, put in carpet tiles, painted and put in recessed lighting.
We also added a new full bathroom off of the basement.

We really liked this house and will miss certain things about it. But we’re really looking forward to being able to walk to school and to Frick Park!