Moving on; after our house remodel

Spring cleaning and gardening are two items on my “want to do” list. However, we are in the process of buying a farm a bit farther out in the country and so many of my “want to do’s” have been put on the back burner. More on this later.

Many know that we remodeled a 1978 ranch style home over this last year with the intention of selling it when we bought it. Over the last couple of years we have been making our way out of corporate america work and transitioning to self-employment and going after our desire to live debt free on a working family farm. We have juggled jobs and houses around over the last couple of years to enable us to work from home and move to a farm and God has blessed us in the process. One of our transition projects has been this little farm house we bought specifically for the purpose of fixing up and selling. We found something that was a under priced, cosmetic update-type remodel, although we did end up knocking out some walls and doing a bit more than cosmetic work on it. It was an experience for sure, one we will always remember and one we learned a great deal from.

When we walked into this little house it smelled like a nicotine factory. The house was dark — dark brown paneled walls and dark cabinets and dark brown cheap doors, dark brown windows. It was a good solid house, just terribly outdated.

We torn into 3 layers of outdated linoleum, updated lighting and faucets, installed wide planked flooring and added modern paint colors and crown molding. We took down the dated brown paneling and replaced it with sheetrock. We even put central heat and air in the house. Our major focus was on the kitchen and bath. We tore these rooms down to the studs and completely refaced the entire room putting in new everything. We took out a staircase in the kitchen and expanded the kitchen to be a nice big open work space.

Finally, we are down to minor finishing touches like trim and caulk and some paint. Outside, we will be landscaping the flower beds and painting the door and shutters.

We are pleased with how the little house has turned out and pray it will be a profitable conclusion as we move to put this house on the market this spring.

Here is the kitchen before:

Here we knocked out the staircase:

Another before picture

Here is the remodeled look of the new bigger, better kitchen. Pick what doesn’t belong. I have since replaced the yellow stove with a stainless matching oven/stove. It looks much better. Actually, you can sort of see a picture of what the new stove is like in this post of my muddy boy.

And another view of the kitchen now

Here is the old dining room and the gutted bathroom

Here is the new dining room

For now, this little house has served us well by giving us plenty of opportunity to bring to surface character flaws and sins we have had to deal with. It isn’t easy remodeling a house with 7 little ones, while my husband was working full time in a corporate job and working part time on remodeling a house. Once we finally moved into this small house, we found out that we had new character flaws. It also isn’t easy living in a 1,000 sq. ft. house with 7 little ones! However, this transition was necessary to launch us into the self-employment work as well as transfer out of our big house debt as we awaited finding our farm. As the pieces of this maze begin to wind down, we are all excited to see where God is leading our family.

With the final finishing touches of paint and trim still to go, we are excited that this project is almost completely finished. A lot of hard work, a lot of mistakes but a lot of learning and experience now too.


  • Sally says:

    It’s looking awesome, Beth! Plus, I bet it just feels so rewarding knowing that you guys accomplished this yourself 🙂
    Can’t wait for more updates like this…keep ’em coming!

  • Charlotte says:

    It looks wonderful! I can’t wait to here the rest! Have you found where you will be putting your farm yet?

  • Bethany says:

    Yes… we are closing on our farm within the next couple of weeks.
    The only thing with doing all the work to the house yourself is that you see your house a bit differently than if you buy it already done.
    I see the counter tops or the cabinets or even the flooring…and think…we laid this floor or it was a ton of work to hang these cabinets.
    We took lots of pictures before and after….and in the process so I am planning on putting together a picture book of all the work so we never forget!

  • Mayra says:

    First of all your kitchen looks wonderful. . . and I’ve got a question: Was there sheetrock under the wood paneling? Or did you have to start fresh? I’m asking because I’ve got that awful looking paneling in my kitchen (and in the rest of the house too), and want to so bad get rid of it, just don’t know how bad it would be on my budget

  • Bethany says:

    no sheetrock under the paneling here…. we literally had a large portion of the house down to the studs.
    My husband hung the sheetrock mostly in one day with the help of a friend who had some handy dandy tools to make the job a bit easier. The sheet rock was a huge improvement though…it made a world of difference.
    cost wise…i am not sure what it cost to replace the paneling.

  • Catherine says:

    BEAUTIFUL! I found your link at Like Merchant Ships. Loved the pics.

  • sarah says:

    That is phenominal! Major congratulations to you and Paul. Whoever buys this will be so lucky to have it!

  • Christine says:

    What color are your walls? My husband and I are getting ready to move into a cottage and I want to paint the walls a similar color to the walls in your dining room. Just curious…

  • sarah walston says:

    Bethany that is absolutely beautiful! I know when we remodeled our little house, I really loved it. I miss having modern stuff! I know we traded a fully updated little house for a big house with lots of cosmetic needs…and I know our house will one day be “up to date” but I can so relate to the yellow outdated stove! The house we are in now is dark, full of wood paneling, terribly outdated appliances, and cabinets, only 1 bathroom works, and we need to landscape something awful! But, all in good time! I’m thankful for the space – and thankful that in the next 12 months we will pay off our cars and then only have the house payment! And THEN the fun begins! Then we will completely remodel the house! YAY!!!
    I love the before and after photos. You guys have worked really hard. Congrats on the farm! I was just thinking the other day how I really really really want to move out of the city – in about 5 years. I want to work on building my ballet business – we have the garage almost fully enclosed and I’ll be teaching from home next year – whoo hoo – but in about 5 yrs I’d like to open a “real studio” and then sell this house (sans the ballet studio in the garage – we will have to convert it back to a garage – but that’s ok… it’s a means to an end) and then buy a house on some land! Not a working farm, mind you, but just some space – and lots of oak trees!!
    Your house is gorgeous! I love the floors, cabinets, appliances – you guys did a really great job!!

  • Bethany says:

    The color on the walls??? Well, actually, I am not sure! HA! If you only knew how many paint color samples were taped to the wall before I painted!
    I stayed in a beige / tan family. It adds a little color without being too dark. For this little house I was careful not to get anything too dark!
    I painted the boys room a couple of shades darker (not dark though) of a color named “Dust” –I thought it was appropriate for a boys room!
    And my room is a green color from a $5 “opps” can of paint in the clearance section! Look there first…we found great finds there!