full of SURPRISES
Unexpected trials and treasures during a major renovation of a 100-year-old house left these DIY newbies with a place worthy to call home.
says homeowner Elizabeth Burns. When she and husband Brian inherited a circa-1901 house from Brian’s grandmother in a small North Carolina town, they were eager to roll up their sleeves, swing some sledgehammers, and shape it into their home. “That was not the case, unfortunately. We thought we were a lot handier than we actually were,” she says.
But with the help of Jake Angi, a contractor and friend, the Burnses discovered all sorts of surprises lurking behind almost every wall.
Some shockers were discouraging: extensive termite damage, for example, and plumbing and wiring that needed to be replaced.
A few of the surprises made the couple smile. Beaded-board ceilings and oak floors in two rooms were salvageable, and several items discovered on the property found new life and purpose in the refurbished home to give it an aura of age.
Elizabeth and Brian were the best revelations of all! Turns out they have a knack for seeing potential in even the sorriest shacks. Elizabeth has since flipped two more houses, and Brian has teamed up with Jake on a full-time basis to remodel houses. Looks like they have learned to love surprises.
“WE HAD WATCHED WAY TOO MUCH HGTV. WE THOUGHT, WE’LL JUST REFINISH THE FLOORS AND PAINT THE WALLS—IT’LL BE EASY,”
2 3 4 1 The steps leading up to Elizabeth and Brian’s porch once marched down the left side. “We moved them to the front to make it more welcoming,” Elizabeth says. They sized the staircase the same width as the gap between the posts so they didn’t...