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7/26/18

Home Reno: Construction

We bought a house... and gutted it
Sponsored by:
written by:
Sarah

I never really envisioned myself living in a house, much less being a homeowner. The idea of owning a house always sounded like a list of responsibilities that I would never want. I have a deep-rooted fear of being alone at night in an empty house. And bottom line— I love urban living and could live in a high-rise apartment for the rest of my days. My husband, Thomas, on the other hand, is a guy who wants land. He wants a backyard and a BBQ pit. Needless to say, Thomas and I are the epitome of "opposites attract". So its no surprise that our relationship is marked by a series of compromises for one another. Here is the story of how we ended up buying and renovating a house within 4 months:

In September 2017, my mother was visiting from Houston and went for a walk around the East Dallas neighborhood we were renting in. She happened upon a little house with 2 front doors with a FOR SALE sign on the lawn. She assumed it was a duplex because of the 2 front door situation and thought it could be a good investment property. She excitedly came back to our townhouse and told us about it.

We inquired about the house and our realtor friend quickly sent over the info. We learned that the little house was sitting on almost 0.25 acre (which is an IMPRESSIVE amount of land in a neighborhood developed with zero-lot-line homes) and sits less than a 0.25 mile from downtown Dallas. The house was NOT a duplex, instead it was a single family structure that [weirdly] had 2 front doors. My mother went back to Houston and kind of lost interest in the property, but my husband, Thomas, did not. Fast forward a couple weeks— Thomas took me to see the property. The house was pretty awful. The backyard was AMAZING. Thomas asked if we could live here... I asked if we could gut it and start fresh... he said yes. So by the end of October, the house was ours!

I knew almost immediately upon setting foot into the house that the layout needed to change dramatically. The flow was insanely choppy (see layouts below). The 1300 square-foot house originally had 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a living room, kitchen, dining room and laundry room. Thats A LOT of separate rooms crammed into a small footprint. For some reason, the solution stood out to me right away— get rid of the 3rd bedroom altogether and make the entire left-hand side of the house an open-concept kitchen, dining and living room. When all is said and done, the only things that still exist from the old house are the concrete foundation, some of the exterior framing and the roof (which is less than 10 years old)!

Here's a breakdown of exactly what we did to the house construction-wise:

  • completely new layout - 2 bed, 2 bath, open-concept living/dining/kitchen
  • sealed concrete floors - the foundation is concrete so we decided to go with that throughout the house
  • raised ceilings - vaulted (this trick makes the interior feel a LOT more spacious than it actually is)
  • new exterior siding
  • exterior paint
  • new, large windows
  • new doors
  • new insulation
  • 3 DIY vanities - built by my extremely talented dad + husband
  • interior paint - eggshell white
  • new air conditioning unit and system
  • new appliances
  • new millwork
  • new tiles

Scroll down to see stages of the renovation process!

Stay tuned! A comprehensive reveal of the interior of our home is coming soon :)

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Before

Plans

Demo

Framing

Insulation

Drywall

Painted Walls

Floors and Cabinets Installed

DIY Bathroom Vanities

NOTE: These DIY vanity projects were probably more work than it was worth. We built 3 vanities from scratch (with major help from my dad). They cost us about $300 / each, which is huge savings. BUT when you account for the time we spent making these badboys, I am not sure it was worth it...

Tile Installed

Exterior Paint

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credits

French Macarons by WE THE BIRDS

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Sarah

Sarah is the visionary behind the brand's identity and visual content. She leads WE THE BIRDS’ creative department and has cultivated a small team of talented creative producers. In her role as Creative Director, she also oversees the design and visual production of WE THE BIRDS | Macarons. Sarah's credibility in the creative industry is backed by her degree in Fine Art accompanied by her professional experience in fashion, graphic design & photography (having worked in the creative department for national retailer, Neiman Marcus, for the better part of her career).

Credentials

Design Consultant
Bergdorf Goodman, 2016 - 2017

Senior Designer
Cusp by Neiman Marcus, 2011 - 2017

BA Studio Art
BA French Language

College of the Holy Cross, 2010

Professional Skills

Graphic Design, Web Design, Styling, Art Direction. Photography, Creative Production

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