Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Original House Interior

Before I started renovations, the house interior was pretty basic. The house had been rented for many years, so the house was serviceable. The family had made an effort to get the house ready for sale, and wanted the house to be in good shape for whoever bought it.

I decided that I want to live in the house, and to be a place that I want to live in, I needed to update the interior. I want to open up the floorplan by opening up the wall between the kitchen and the family room. I am going to create a second bathroom, and redo the original bathroom. When I bought the house, there were 8' drop ceilings and wall-to-wall carpet throughout.

The house has had an interesting history. It's located in a traditionally African-American neighborhood and the property had been in the same family since 1918. The original patriarch had 10 kids, who now range in age from 50 to 85. He was a pillar of the community and was well known and liked in both the black and white communities of Chapel Hill.Elsewhere in the neighborhood, aunts and uncles and cousins used to live. Over the years, most of the family has moved to other parts of town or left town altogether.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

This is my new house

I just bought a house in downtown Chapel Hill! It's an old house with a rich history, but had been vacant for several years as the heirs to the property decided what to do with it.

There is a huge amount of work to do. Since buying the house, I've hired an excellent design/architecture firm, BellaDomus, to rework the interior to fit a more modern lifestyle. Part of the redesign is to move the kitchen to a new room, add a second bathroom, and rework some of the existing space to open it up.

Originally, I was hoping to do some of the heavy lifting myself. Since then, I've decided to serve as the general contractor and hire subs for the various parts of the project. My goal is to have all of the work done by the end of the summer, then host a party to show off the new digs to friends and family. Fortunately, I don't need to live in the house right now, which is good because there is no longer a toilet, sink, kitchen, or shower.

The project has just begun, and I'll post to this blog over the coming weeks and months to show what is going on.