...because home doesn't happen overnight.

It’s house tour time! I mentioned doing a general tour then breaking it down room by room into individual posts with source lists and links to related past posts. The plan is for everything to end up under the “see my house” tab on the side bar. Today I’m sharing an overview of befores & afters. The goal is to give you a general idea of the layout and major renovations. We bought the house in 2011 and a lot has changed since then. Let’s take a look!

First up, the current floor plan. I hastily drew this up in Floorplanner, an online site that allows you to create house plans for free. It isn’t exact and doesn’t include doorways but, hopefully, you get the gist of things. If not, you might find this post helpful.

floor plan

Part of the remodel included tearing down walls that separated the original kitchen, dining and living rooms.

floor plan walls removed

This allowed us to create an open kitchen – living space conducive to our casual lifestyle. It also made the modest house feel larger without straying from the original footprint.

exterior 2011

When we bought the home it was surrounded by numerous trees – some not in the best health – which prohibited the house from drying out properly and ultimately led to mildew problems and termite infestation. The exterior was in need of long overdue maintenance and repair including a new roof & gutters, new windows and general yard cleanup.

exterior 2014

We had several trees removed and installed a metal roof along with insulated vinyl windows. The yard was excavated and we added basic hardscaping and landscaping. In an effort to preserve the home’s midcentury roots, we rehabbed the original front door.

view from entry 2011

The original view from the front door looked into the dining room. Dirty and worn shag carpet was abundant. There were termite trails in the carpet pad and the baseboards were disintegrating due to termite damage.

view from entry 2014

After removing walls, vaulting the ceiling and adding skylights, the space feels larger and brighter. We switched out the dining room window for a set of french doors to help connect the new kitchen to the backyard.

kitchen 2011

The original kitchen was small and closed off from the living room.

kitchen 2014

The new kitchen is open to the living room. A nine-foot-long island provides plenty of room for food prep and casual dining. It’s the hub of the house.

kitchen-2 2011

The original kitchen cabinets didn’t open / close properly and some were rotted through in places from years of neglect. The layout assigned the refrigerator to a corner all by itself and didn’t include a dishwasher.

kitchen.2 2014

We left the kitchen sink under the window but ran new water and gas lines to relocate the refrigerator and stove and gain a dishwasher. We installed Ikea cabinetry. All appliances (save for the microwave) are Ikea as well.

kitchen.3 2011

The original kitchen’s footprint was quite small.

kitchen-3 2014

We relocated the dining room to make way for a larger kitchen. One side of the kitchen functions as a home workspace.

fireplace 2011

The living room – while dirty and outdated – boasted a brick fireplace and a large picture window. Chimney and roof leaks had caused damage to the ceiling and wall.

fireplace 2014

As much as we loved the idea of a wood burning fireplace it wasn’t a practical feature for our young family. A new gas line and a craigslisted gas insert allowed us to convert the fireplace to gas. We lived with the red brick surround for more than a year before deciding to take the plunge and paint it white. With limited wall space, we mounted the flatscreen TV above the fireplace and recessed it in a planked bump out.

everything room 2011

This room was used as a den originally. Sliding doors look out onto the backyard. Notice the window A/C unit. The house didn’t have central air conditioning.

everything room 2014

This room serves multiple purposes now. It’s our dining room, mudroom and laundry room. We installed a heat pump found on craigslist for $500, got rid of the window A/C unit and added a pair of freestanding wardrobes to stand in as closets. Hardworking tile and planked walls were specifically incorporated for their practicality.

laundry 2011

A laundry closet housed the washer and dryer behind cumbersome folding doors.

laundry 2014

We ditched the closet and created a laundry nook with a floating countertop and upper cabinetry.

main bathroom 2011

Moving onto the more private rooms in the house, here is the main bathroom. After discovering black mold within the walls, we gutted it.

main bathroom 2014

We moved into the house with this bathroom unfinished. (Luckily, the master bathroom was fully functional.) We’ve sloooooowly been working on the bathroom when time allows but have recently given it more attention. We tiled the floor and are in the midst of tiling the walls. The wait will be worth it!

nursery 2011

The smallest bedroom came to us with peeling paint, nonexistent baseboards and scary carpet. When we bought the house, we were a four-person family. Three bedrooms would have allowed each of our two sons to have their own bedroom. But three months after we closed on the house, we found ourselves unexpectedly expecting a third child.

nursery 2014*

The smallest bedroom became the nursery. I installed the engineered hardwood flooring (same as in the main living space and all other bedrooms) while seven months pregnant. And, yes, I want an award for that.

boys room 2011

The only thing this bedroom had going for it was its size. It’s the largest of the three bedrooms.

boys bedroom 2014

Naturally, it became a shared bedroom for our two boys. We’re currently working on bringing better design to this room. I’ll share the results soon!

master bedroom 2011

There wasn’t anything master-ish about the master bedroom other than it sported an adjoining bathroom. More crumbling baseboards, more gross carpet…you get the idea.

master bedroom 2014*

Three years later, it’s our retreat at the end of every busy day.

master bathroom 2011

The original master bathroom was very PINK. The shower tiles were cracked. The floor tiles were hideous. The vanity was too small. The fluorescent lighting was unnerving.

master bathroom 2014

We demo’d the bathroom down to the studs. We kept the original layout but updated the fixtures and finishes.

That concludes the general house tour. Our goal was to make the modest ranch work for our family and lifestyle without adding square footage. I should probably mention that we upgraded the electrical, had a radon mitigation system put in, added insulation to the exterior walls and vaulted ceiling, and installed all new interior doors. We still have a few big projects in the works: finishing the main bathroom & boys’ room, installing a new driveway, hanging a new garage door, organizing the garage, improving the backyard, etc. so we aren’t done by any means. I’m including links relevant to the larger renovations we took on below and will include source lists when I discuss each space in more detail.

DEMOLITION

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/06/09/demolicious/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/06/30/feeling-the-ceiling/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/07/06/shes-a-brick-house/

FRAMING

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/07/27/framing-up-the-underdog/

VAULTED CEILING

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/08/04/things-are-looking-up/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/08/18/the-underdog-sans-scaffolding/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/11/23/tongue-and-groovy/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/02/24/what-it-took-to-vault-the-ceiling/

WINDOWS & DOORS

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/10/11/new-windows-doors/

SKYLIGHTS

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/10/25/light-skies/

METAL ROOF

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/10/27/rockin-a-metal-roof/

FOAM INSULATION

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/11/01/in-case-youve-never-seen-foam-insulation/

INTERIOR DOORS

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/07/05/hold-the-door/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/10/15/a-date-with-my-doors/

FLOORING

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/01/05/good-thing-my-body-is-producing-relaxin/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/01/11/the-flooring/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/09/26/our-wood-floors/

EXTERIOR

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/09/21/stranded-in-the-desert/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/03/18/on-deck/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/05/28/gettin-our-deck-on/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/07/23/the-deck-where-we-left-off/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/08/05/deck-boards-hidden-fasteners/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/08/06/deck-done/

*http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/04/24/my-front-entry-part-i/

For easy access, this tour and info can be found under the “see my house” tab. I’ll gradually be adding individual room tours and will update the tour with new projects as we finalize them.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

113 Comments

24.June.2014

Can it really be three years already since you moved into this house?! I’ve enjoyed watching the transformation. Hard to believe how cramped and dark the house looked before!

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24.June.2014

Your house is really incredible. I can only hope to someday have the vision you did to transform the house from something out of one’s nightmares to something of one’s dreams! Have you ever listed the total square footage of your home?

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24.June.2014

I don’t know why but every time I see your master bedroom, I want to jump on the bed! I love the wall color and really, everything about the space! You have such excellent taste IMHO :)

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24.June.2014

I love everything you done. The kitchen island is probably my most favorite thing in the whole place. We are on the verge of a bathroom makeover and I’m stealing all my ideas from you.

One question: do you ever get annoyed with the curtains in front of the washer and dryer? I feel like I’d be tempted to do cabinet doors in front of them somehow.

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24.June.2014

I’ve been following your blog for a while now, but hadn’t seen most of the before pics! The change is really drastic and incredible! You guys did such a great job! Very inspiring!

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Dana, being that I’m in the before stage right now, I am clinging to your after pictures like a light at the end of the tunnel. You have the best eye for design and you’re a great stylist, plus you do it yourself, which overwhelms and amazes me.

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replied on June 24th, 2014

That means so much coming from you, Heather. I admire your style as well and wonder how you pull it off with kids underfoot. Can’t wait to see what you do with your new place!

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24.June.2014

Absolutely incredible! Good job Millers!

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24.June.2014

Ok, I give you the award you requested! Amazing difference, had to wait a long time for this post but it was worth it.

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24.June.2014

Really amazing! The vaulted ceilings completely changed the space. Love your style.

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I love seeing the progress! You’re a total inspiration to us as we work on our own dream house.

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24.June.2014

Incredible, amazing and absolutely gorgeous! Love what you’ve done with the Underdog so far and I can’t wait to see all your future projects!

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It looks so good!! One day my home will be done. One day….

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24.June.2014

Just curious — how often do you eat at the dining table versus the kitchen island? If it were me, I suspect it’d be mostly the kitchen. I’m lazy like that. :)

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replied on June 24th, 2014

We eat at the island 90% of the time…which is why we wanted to incorporate it. It’s nice having a true dining table for get togethers or sit-down family dinners. Once Mabrey is out of her high chair, I don’t know what we’ll do!

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24.June.2014

Those are some TRULY amazing before and afters! Congrats, your house looks awesome!

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24.June.2014

You have such a beautiful home! Don’t forget to showcase your beautiful deck space! :)

I did have a question – where to do you put guests when they come to stay?

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replied on June 24th, 2014

I will add the deck space! Unfortunately, it was pretty dirty when I snapped these afters. There are some links at the end of the post to the deck install if you’re curious.

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24.June.2014

The vision it took (and the DIY mojo) to move from the 2011 photos to the recent ones is beyond impressive. Looking forward to seeing the other bathroom, especially what you and Steve come up with to support the tub. You’ve both done an amazing job. FYI, your style–in decor and wordsmithing–still make your blog one of my top 5 daily check-ins for design.

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24.June.2014

I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your living room before. Your design with the recessed TV, wood paneling, and gas fire place is probably the only set up I don’t find awkward. I just never like the look of two big black boxes stacked on top of each other (although I understand a lot of people don’t have much choice).

It’s amazing how much you have accomplished in three years with three little kids!

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replied on June 24th, 2014

I’m with you. I don’t like TV’s above fireplaces. I went through so many other scenarios in my head that would put the flatscreen somewhere else. I even proposed we go without it. But Steve really enjoys TV – a large one with lots of speakers – and this is a real house so we came up with a plan to build it in as much as possible. It was the best compromise we could come up with where both of us were *mostly* satisfied. I have to say, I don’t hate it.

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replied on June 25th, 2014

I don’t think you could have come up with a better solution for your space. I also love the little media cabinet you added off to the side since it isn’t an obvious answer to the question of “where do you put all the stuff”. We have a challenging and very small living room so I have a lot of respect for out side of the box answers. Partly because we really didn’t have any choice in our layout.

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replied on June 27th, 2014

Thank you for saying this. I am not a fan of of tv, but sometimes the person you love is a BIG fan of tv and you have to accomadate that. You have to remind yourself that its just a television and its not ruining your life. Especially when it makes someone else happy.

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These are probably the most breath-taking before and afters I’ve ever seen, it is absolutely insane what y’all have accomplished in just three years!! I love your in it too, modern but still relaxed and earthy, it has inspired me to add some similar touches around ours. Thank you for sharing all of this with us :)

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24.June.2014

Wow!!! This is exactly what my vision of my house looks like in my head…sigh! Just curious, what’s the home’s sq. footage?

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replied on June 24th, 2014

It’s roughly 1,600 sq ft of living space.

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I cant get over the amount of sunlight in your house in the afters. What a gorgeous space you’ve created!

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replied on June 24th, 2014

It was very sunny the day I snapped these photos. Almost too sunny. Some of the shots are blown out but, still, AFTERS! We like that the main living space is bright and the bedrooms are less so. It makes the private spaces feel even more private.

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24.June.2014

Amazing !! It’s (one of) the good thing(s) about blogging : you think you don’t work fast enough but when you go through your archives, it becomes obvious that a lot has actually been done. And it gives so much to look forward to … Good job Millers ! Take care.

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The transformation is incredible. I would say “you did all that in three years”. Amazing!

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24.June.2014

Major transformation… I love it! I especially love how you opened up the front yard, and the metal roof is very nice. I’m sure it’s a very meaningful place to live knowing how far it has come. Good job!

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Oh, I just think it looks so great! You must be really happy looking at all your great hard work. And yes, definitely an award for flooring install at 7 months pregnant. I’m about to start installing mine (arrives Friday!) and I’m pretty sure I’ll need an award even not being pregnant. :)

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Wow, what a transformation thus far! We have a similar rancher type layout and want to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room for a more open layout. We’re looking at many of the similar upgrades (new doors for the interior, etc.) so it’s good to know we’re sorta on the right track. Amazing job! Your master bathroom is still one of my favorite bathrooms to date!

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24.June.2014

I can’t… I don’t even understand… Seeing the befores of your house… I would’ve run screaming for the hills! HOW?! HOW did you have the vision to turn THAT into what you currently have? I LOVE your style and I think your house is probably my favourite in all of blogland. And you alone are the reason I’m currently considering a black kitchen when we tear the old one out, never thought I would.

Love your work.

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replied on June 24th, 2014

The house was hideous but the price was outstanding ;) It’s been a shared goal of ours to be completely debt-free by the time we’re 40. We’re set to pay off the house at the end of 2015. We’ll be 37.

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replied on June 25th, 2014

I just can’t. You guys will be debt-free at 37?! That’s such an amazing achievement. Congratulations to you both for having the vision and courage to make that happen!

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24.June.2014

Your house is so beautiful! This is a very detail oriented question. But how high is your kitchen island and how far does the bar/eating portion of the countertop overhang the island base? We are planning a kitchen remodel and hoping to include this element, but it’s hard to guess how much knee-space is necessary :)

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replied on June 24th, 2014

The island is 36″ high including the walnut countertop. We went with a ~15″ overhang on the dining side. I clearly remember searching the internet for recommendations on a bar overhang. This depth really works for us. You can read more about the island countertop and see how we used corbels to install it here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/05/24/installing-the-walnut-butcher-block/

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24.June.2014

Will you share more about the radon mitigation system? How you diagnosed your need for it, what it is and how it works, etc? We’ve all heard the horror stories of finding radon in a home, I’m so curious to hear your solution. Thanks!

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replied on June 24th, 2014

The house failed the radon test upon inspection. (I don’t remember the actual number.) We had professionals install a radon mitigation in a wall in the laundry nook to avoid interfering with the floor plan. You can see a photo of it before the walls were closed up here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/09/13/behind-the-walls-i-mean-scenes/

Basically, it’s a pump that draws radon gas from underneath the foundation and releases it out through a vent in the roof. It doesn’t negate radon, just redirects it so that it doesn’t build up in the house. Higher than normal radon scores are pretty common around here and it doesn’t depend on the age of the house. In fact, our previous home was brand-new and failed radon testing, too. We paid to have a mitigation system installed there as well.

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24.June.2014

I love that you decided to rehab a family house that was obviously in need of a lot of love. Too often where I live, classic houses like these are torn down to build a McMansion, when all they really need is an update and a simpler life!

And can’t wait to see the new bathroom!

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24.June.2014

Love, love, love your afters! I am constantly drooling over your afters and am fairly certain that you should no longer be referring to your home as “The Underdog”

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This is inspiration and aspiration at its finest. You are a visionary, Dana and I am going to pick my jaw up off the floor now. I am not sure how, but I had never seen before photos until now. Maybe THE most impressive before and afters I’ve seen in the blogosphere. So motivational to me.

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24.June.2014

WOW!!! You created a miracle! I would never have even considered buying that home! I applaud your work and how wonderful it looks now.

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24.June.2014

I discovered your blog just before you bought the Underdog and I’ve loved following along with your transformation– but still love seeing the transformation all in one place. And thanks for adding the links, I’m sure it was a lot of work but worth it for us readers.

This post is extra inspiring because we have been looking for a house and despairing of finding one in our price range that meets our needs… and just today was wondering if we should take a second look at a fixer-upper that I dismissed pretty much from the beginning. Who knows, maybe we will have an underdog of our own. We are not nearly as skilled as you guys though! Were you ever afraid that your tweaks would wind up to be more expensive than the money you saved on the house?

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replied on June 25th, 2014

Oh yes! But our goal has never been to flip the house…i.e., make money off the transformation. It’s been to become debt-free while still having our home reflect our style. We probably could have become debt-free by age 40 in our previous home but I would have had to continue working at a job I disliked and it wouldn’t have left any money for improvements that would have made the house feel more like us. Yes, our goal is to be debt-free but we don’t want it to be a completely suffering / sacrificial endeavor. It got to the point in our previous home where I felt like we were running around like crazy – working, paying for the kids’ childcare while I worked, hectic drop-offs / pickups, not to mention just cleaning such a large house – and we became slaves to a house that was bigger than what we really needed and didn’t reflect our style all that well. And we were paying a pretty penny for it, too. Does that make any sense?

Since moving into our current home, we have been making the same monthly payments as we were making on our more expensive previous home – even though our current monthly mortgage is about $1200 less than what we were paying in our old house. So we’ve been chipping away at our mortgage a little each month.

Our renovation is like any other. Some projects end up costing more than estimated and everything takes longer than anticipated. Our #1 rule is to only make improvements that we have the cash for at the time. No financing. We used the equity from the sale of our previous home to fund the down payment and renovations.

Sorry, that’s kinda a politician’s answer.

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replied on June 25th, 2014

I LOVE this answer. I live by myself with just a dog in a 2-bedroom, 1-bath house. It’s 764 sq. feet, which is a small house obviously, but it’s laid out really efficiently and I have a huge backyard. I love it, and I love that I’m using ALL of my space. I would hate to clean/maintain/pay for square footage that was empty. I think what you’ve done is admirable, and I’d love to have my house paid off before I’m 40.

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I just stumbled upon your blog and wow–what a remarkable transformation! The ‘after’ photos make me heave a massive sigh of relief because, well, you know what the ‘befores’ look like :-) Love the vaulted ceilings and everything else. As a fellow renovator, I know how brutal the process can be. Worth it in the end though, isn’t it? Congratulations!

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24.June.2014

Oh Miss Dana! I knew when you two first bought this house it was gonna be the transformation of all transformations. Wow!! Love seeing the side by side photos! Such an inspiration.

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24.June.2014

The house looked so sad and sick before, like an abandoned puppy, now it looks alive and happy! Love your blog, it’s my favorite!

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I remember when you first introduced the Underdog. I was so impressed with your decision to downsize and with your vision for your new home. You guys have done an AMAZING job!! SO inspiring!

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No words Dana….just no words. Ive enjoyed every post over these past three years and have been incredibly inspired by them. What you and Steve have done to this house to make into your perfect home is nothing short of amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and for showing us that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

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25.June.2014

I’ve read literally every post you’ve ever written, but still took the time to enjoy each before and after here. I read (way too) many blogs, and yours is still my very favorite house – on the internet or “in real life.” Truly, thank you for the daily inspiration!

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25.June.2014

Every day I check in here for updates for many reasons: you’ve got great taste and I love what you’ve done with your house. But mostly I love that you are a family who thoughtfully chose to downsize and are making it work. And to read that you’ll be debt-free next year? Completely inspirational. My dream, too, and love following your journey and thought process.

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25.June.2014

You’ve made such wonderful changes to every space – so inspiring!

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25.June.2014

I rarely comment but I have to say that your blog is my favourite out of all the ones I follow. Every time I see a new post I get pretty happy (nerd!). Love love your afters. I can’t believe the vision you had to see all of that. The word termite alone would have scared me off. I love your style – as many have already commented, you have impeccable taste. I seriously don’t know how you do it with 3 kiddos (and I only have 2!). Haha – sometimes when I am debating something for my house, I wonder – would Dana do this? Just love everything you’ve done – especially your living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Especially love the look of your leather couch in your living room. So few ‘styled’ homes I see use leather and you’ve shown me how good it can look.

Just curious – how did you know that the termite problem was completely taken care of and wouldn’t come back? Like I said, the word termite just scares the beejeezus out of me.

Keep up the good work!!

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replied on June 25th, 2014

Thanks for the kind words, Jennie!

As for the termites, our home inspector said there was evidence of a previous termite infestation but there was not an active infestation at the time of purchase or during our renovations. When we closed on the house, the seller’s realtor provided us with paperwork which showed that the termites had been treated in the past. Our inspector strongly believed the termites were there due to problems with moisture. (Termites LOVE wet wood.) Too many overgrown trees in the front and back yards blocked sunlight and their roots contributed to the problem along with a planter below the picture window filled with mulch.

On top of that the house hadn’t been maintained properly. The roof leaked and the yard sloped towards the house causing rainwater to run towards the house. When we demo’d the wall and ceiling above the fireplace, some of the studs were so damaged (due to a chimney leak) they literally crumbled. Our inspector recommended making improvements to keep excessive amounts of moisture away from and out of the house to avoid future termite infestation.

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25.June.2014

OMG you are truly talented! LOVED!

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25.June.2014

I’ve been reading a long time and am well familiar with your house reno. But seeing the before and afters like this- wow. The befores are pretty heinous, yeah? Worse than I remember. Which speaks even more to the amazing vision you had. Kudos to you and all the work you’ve done. Your house is stunning!

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25.June.2014

WOW! The Eighty Twenty linked to you today and I have found a new inspiring blog to follow. Kudos to you for all the hard work, it looks beautiful. I’ll start searching your archives, but one question I have is where you found the beautiful rugs in the kitchen and dining area? It’s exactly what we are looking for to bring in color but I don’t know where to start looking. Thanks!

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replied on June 25th, 2014

The rugs are vintage. I found the one in the kitchen on ebay and the one in the dining room on etsy. I recently wrote about all the reasons why I love using vintage rugs here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/06/09/8-reasons-why-you-should-consider-vintage-rugs/

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25.June.2014

I’m been following your blog since you were in your last home, and I have loved watching The Underdog transformation. That being said, the before and afters blew me away this morning. I supposed I’d forgotten just how bad the “before” was. Your transformation has been absolutely incredible. Thanks for putting together this amazing post where we could see it all together!

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25.June.2014

Wonderful post as always! Thank you for sharing. I was wondering where you found the bench at the end of your bed? I’m looking for something similar and it would be so helpful to know where to start looking! :)

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replied on June 25th, 2014

The bench is from Rove Concepts. You can read more about it here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/02/17/a-bench-in-the-bedroom/

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25.June.2014

Woaw! This transformation is amazing! Good job :O :O

Cindy | mazedays.blogspot.com

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25.June.2014

You’ve made some amazing changes! Everything is so lovely. As beautiful as everything looks this post also depresses me a little. I just closed on my first house and it’s a mess (a foreclosure vacant for over 3 years) and we’re trying to update the ceilings, flooring, paint the walls and kitchen cabinets, fix electrical and plumbing issues, and clean up the disastrous front and backyards. We’re trying to tackle as much as we can before we move in but everything takes three times as long as I anticipated. It seems like it will be months and months before we can move in. However, if the results are anything as spectacular as yours then it will be worth it. Kitchen and bath renovations will be years down the line but I think it will be amazing to see what a difference clean ceilings, floors, and walls will make.

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replied on June 26th, 2014

Oh, we definitely fluctuated between feelings of depression / panic / excitement during the course of the renovation. I think that’s normal. Just keep your eye on the prize and take it one day at a time. Try not to feel so bad when something takes longer than expected. It’s inevitable. Anyone who has ever lived through a renovation will attest to things taking longer than expected. It’s par for the course.

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25.June.2014

A truly SATISFYING ‘before’ and ‘after.’ And a worthy goal – to become debt-free while still living a stylish life. Thanks for the inspiration! Oh – and lofting the ceiling may have been your smartest move! It’s amazing how it made the house feel so open and airy! You should be proud!

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replied on June 25th, 2014

I should add a question: what decision are you most happy that you made about this renovation?

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replied on June 26th, 2014

Hmmmm…I’d have to say vaulting the ceiling in the main living space. It completely changed the look and feel of the space without adding square footage.

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25.June.2014

I have also been following your blog since before the Underdog, and I truly love your blog. I love how this house tour ties it all together.
I LOVED the “yes, I want an award for that” comment about laying the floors. :)

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25.June.2014

Whoa, I don’t think I’ve ever seen true before photos. Incredible work Dana and Steve!

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25.June.2014

Amazing! I’d love to rehab a smaller, older home in an established neighborhood when we are settled in one place, and will certainly look to your blog for inspiration. I’ve seen vaulted kitchen/dining/living areas in other ranch bungalows, and feel that that it is a most effective and worthwhile transformation.

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25.June.2014

Wonderful. I wish I had taken more photos of our house before working on it! How long after you closed on your new home were you able to move in?

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replied on June 26th, 2014

We closed on the house in May of 2011. But we didn’t dive head first into most of the major renovations until August / September of 2011 after our previous home had sold. We *wrongly* guesstimated a 3-6 month renovation. It was nine months before we moved in and there was still a lot to do on the house then. We had no interior doors when we moved in! So, it was an entire year from close to move-in.

We were lucky enough to live in an interim apartment during most of the major renovations. It wasn’t much but it preserved what little sanity we had left. I would strongly encourage living elsewhere during such an extensive renovation – especially with kids. It’s important to have a safe haven away from the demolition and construction, I think.

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25.June.2014

Such an inspiring post. Seriously love your house and what you have done with it! xx

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25.June.2014

You are awesome. Just awesome.

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25.June.2014

Your home is beautiful, inspiring, welcoming, and just downright amazing! I have a question…..How do you deal with the scuffs and scrapes that happen to the front of your island? The front of my island is also black….and the daily scuff marks drive me bonkers. I’m thinking of covering the front in some material (it’s currently coveed in beadboard painted black which I thought would hide the scuffs), but I can’t find a material I like. I was thinking of corrugated metal….something like they have in Chipotle. (Do you have Chipotle eateries where you are? They are so so yummy!) What do you think? Can you think of any alternative materials? I am just at a loss!

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replied on June 26th, 2014

We haven’t had any problems with scuff marks but we don’t wear shoes in the house. We have had a problem with some of the plinth we used to cover the side panel seams losing its veneer edging from the kids kicking it. I touched it up with black paint / black marker and no one’s the wiser but in hindsight maybe we should have used wood trim and painted it black.

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26.June.2014

Such an amazing transformation from what was a very ordinary, dated home! Bravo! Your fireplace make-over is exactly what we need for ours. Can I ask, where do you house your DVD player and any other TV related appliances and stuff??

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replied on June 26th, 2014

Media components are in a small cabinet to the left of the fireplace. It will make a better appearance in the post on the living room.

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replied on June 27th, 2014

Wonderful! Thanks so much.

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It has been so much fun watching the transformation these last few years. It looks amazing – you should be proud (and yes, win an award for installing the hardwood while pregnant)!!!

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Awesome, gorgeous, fabulous. So much creativity and work. I was hoping you’d give me a way to keep my (horrible) pink bathroom tiles. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

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replied on June 26th, 2014

If it’s any consolation, we would have lived with the bathrooms as-is for a while if the tile hadn’t been cracked and allowed water to seep behind it. Instead we gutted both bathrooms, finished one and left the other unfinished for three years and counting…

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26.June.2014

Wait – do you have A/C now?

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replied on June 26th, 2014

Yes! We bought a heat pump via craigslist and installed it with the help of a friend. It cost us $500 whereas estimates from pros were right around ~$3,000.

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replied on June 27th, 2014

Ah, okay, I didn’t realize that’s what a heat pump meant :)

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26.June.2014

Such gorgeousness!!
I noticed in one of the pics (and remembered you mentioning) that the carpet in the main room is curled at the corner. Just wondered if any of the other corners are curled… If not, you could just rotate the carpet 180 and the curl would be under the media cabinet. We had the same problem and I tried everything to un curl it, then hubby said to just turn it around! Ummmm, why did I never think of that!!!

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replied on June 26th, 2014

We’ve been saying for months that we’re going to rotate it because the curl drives Steve bonkers. But for some reason it seems like a huge hassle to move the furniture and rotate the rug. That’s what happens after a huge / long renovation…the smallest tasks seem overwhelming. Haha.

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26.June.2014

This is SO inspiring!!!! I’ve followed you for awhile and love seeing it all evolve. One question though – I had NO IDEA the boys room has two windows. Does it ever show the 2nd window in the “after” photos? Or am I just losing my mind?

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replied on June 26th, 2014

The boys’ room has two windows. The after (more like in-progress) only shows one of those windows. I will be sure to take a true after at the same angle as the before for a better comparison.

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[…] from one of my favourite interiors blogs House Tweaking is giving a whole house tour right now. She is working on an epic renovation and I love her style, so head on over for some […]

27.June.2014

Ive read your blog since before your move and I need to tell you your style is seriously one of my favorite in the blogosphere!! I just LOVE everything you have done with this new place. Its very inspiring for someone stuck in a bit of a design rut right now.

Thanks for sharing with all of us!

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27.June.2014

[…] 1|| House Tweaking’s Then & Now Tour […]

27.June.2014

I have to keep looking back and forth from your pictures to your floor plan because I can’t even SEE the before in your afters! Are you sure you aren’t cheating and showing a totally different house? ;) I’m amazed. And trying to remind myself that this is after years of work on your part. I’ve only been in my place for one year and since it’s a new build, we have nowhere near the drive to dig in and demo things. (At least my husband has no drive. I am antsy as heck!)

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[…] The before and afters of the House Tweaking home are so amazing I just can’t even see the same house in […]

28.June.2014

I love your style! You have amazing talent. Thank you for sharing pictures of your work.

Would you mind telling me what color and finish you used on the French doors in the kitchen?

Thank you!

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replied on June 30th, 2014

It’s Glidden’s trim & door oil paint in deepest black with an extra high gloss finish. You can read more about it here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2012/12/06/random-tidbits/

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replied on July 10th, 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my question. It’s very much appreciated:)

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29.June.2014

Oh, WOW!!! I’m here via Emily A. Clark, so I’m new. But I just have to say that I L-O-V-E, LOVE your style!!! Whatever it is! It is SO my style! The rooms feel so connected yet unique. And the whole FEEL of your house just SPEAKS to my SOUL! Thanks so much for such a fabulous post. Lots of pics! Lots of fabulous before and afters! It’s what us design blog junkies go crazy for. :) I will be adding your blog to my list of daily reads. Your newest fan, Autumn

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01.July.2014

Your style amazes me. I felt like you were my design sister when I was looking at your pictures! You seem to execute what I can’t create. :)
The kitchen makes my jaw drop, I have ikea black bases and white uppers and the Butcher block counter top. I have struggled over the last year to find a stain and sealant & then I see your beautiful island counter! Can you tell me what products you used to get it that way?!

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replied on July 1st, 2014

The wood on the island is walnut. We sealed it with several coats of Waterlox – no stain.

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01.July.2014

Is the metal roof loud when it rains? I’ve heard many metal roof owner’s say they wish they knew that before so they could insulate better.

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replied on July 1st, 2014

I grew up with a metal roof and it was LOUD when it rained. (I loved it.) But metal roofing has come a long way since then. The metal itself isn’t as loud and we had adequate foam insulation installed along the vaulted ceiling in the main living space. It isn’t loud but you can hear the rain…it’s mostly heard on the skylights. We love the sound of it. In the bedrooms where the ceilings are the original 8′, you can’t even hear the rain.

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02.July.2014

[…] you for all of the wonderful comments and encouraging words on the house tour! Seeing the before-and-after images next to each other was a little surreal even for us. Like, […]

04.July.2014

Wow. Just–wow.

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05.July.2014

Your home gives such hope to the rest of us. It is so wonderful to see a normal, ordinary ranch home transformed. I have been living in mine for years dreaming of what it would look like to vault the ceilings and remove the wall between the living room and the kitchen and I searched and searched for pictures of someone doing this and here you are. And it’s amazing! I’ve never been quite sure if I have the square footage in these two spaces to pull it off. Can you tell me the dimensions of original living room and the kitchen? One more question, did you have any issues with load bearing walls when you removed the wall and then raised the ceiling? Thanks!

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replied on July 6th, 2014

The original kitchen was ~12′ x 11’6″. The original dining room was ~9′ x 11’6″. (Those are very rough estimates using a tape measure and guessing where the walls once lived.) The walls we removed were not load-bearing but removing the ceiling joists required added support for the roof. We had a ridge beam manufactured and installed at the peak. You can read more about it here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/02/24/what-it-took-to-vault-the-ceiling/

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replied on July 7th, 2014

Oh my goodness. Such wonderful details about the roof! Can you tell me the dimensions of the living room as well, from the window to the original wall of the kitchen? If you’ve already mentioned this, I’m sorry for asking again. I couldn’t find it. Thanks!

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replied on July 7th, 2014

The distance from the living room window to the original wall separating the living room & kitchen was ~13′.

15.July.2014

Such a beautiful home, thanks for sharing!
Could you please tell me what gray paint you used in your master bedroom?
Thank You!

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replied on July 15th, 2014

I’ll be posting a separate master bedroom tour soon! The wall color is Benjamin Moore half moon crest.

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