DIY DIVA
DIY diva

The Liberty House: The Good, The Bad & The Things That Have Me Up at 2 AM

February 15, 2012 | 37 Comments | The Liberty House
DIY diva

You know what they say about pets and houses… don’t name them unless you plan to keep them. Well, it looks like–godwilling– I’m keeping this one mostly intact, so for those of you who were aghast at the idea that I might take a bulldozer to this beautiful brick house, rest easy. Over the weekend my mom and I tested out a bunch of different names. “The Liberty House” is actually a play on words related to it’s location (which I can’t divulge, of course, because digging shallow graves for trespassers is one of my least favorite activities), and I feel like it’s kind of appropriate for where I’m at in my life right now. Plus reminds me of the 4th of July, which is exactly what I think of when I look at her, for some reason… summer parties and ice-cold lemonade.

And even though I’m already mentally planning a summer soiree, don’t think for a second this house isn’t still giving me heartburn with things like this 150 year old leaky stone foundation.

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And this skylight in the master bath, which I took a horrible picture of, but you can still kind of see how it’s leaking. (Guys… don’t cut holes in perfectly good roofs for any reason, no matter how much you like natural lighting, okay?)

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Also, there’s some water damage to the ceiling of the downstairs bath that’s giving me palpitations, along with the discovery that about a quarter of the roof joists were charred by fire sometime in the last century. They’ve been sistered up with some new joists (mostly), but still.

I’ll know in the next week or so how much pain these things are going to cause me (and my wallet), but I can tell you they are greatly offset by rooms like this:

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Yes. That is my new Pink Parlor. I’ve grown so attached to calling it that, I’m afraid I may never be able to paint it another color.

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And the not insignificant closet space in the master bedroom coupled with a see-through fireplace between the bedroom and master bath. (Sound familiar?)

I mean, that bath needs to be completely gutted, and it’s the size of a large closet, but the fact that there even is a master suite in an old farmhouse is pretty incredible. It’s clear that the house went through some not-insignificant renovations in the 90’s, and I’ve still got a few more surprises to share, but this is all I can show for now.

This next week is still going to be touch-and-go for my nerves, but let me tell you… for buying a house I hadn’t seen the inside of through an online auction? I pretty much just hit the jackpot.

DIY diva

    Comments

  • KC


    Score!!!
    (Just don’t store any boxes in the basement just yet!!)

  • Sarah


    Woot! Looks like a good time :) That parlor looks pretty actually!

  • Julie


    Swoon!

  • Jimmy


    Lots of wood detail, at least one arched entry way, beautiful(!) hardwood floors – who cares about a little “water damage” when you got all that going on?

  • Jacki


    The wood floors are beautiful and the rooms are huge. It has great potential.

    • Kit


      The rooms are definitely huge! It was such a shock walking into what I thought would be the small, closed-off rooms you typically find in farm-houses.

  • Peggy


    Wowza! Those wood floors in the Pink Parlor (reminds me of Pink Palace in Memphis) are beautiful! Looks like you’ll be having our kind of fun for a good long time!

    • Kit


      They might look a little better in the picture than they do in real life (or it could be that SUPER SHINY floors just aren’t my thing) but they’re still in really good shape. A little sanding and resealing and they’ll be perfect. Still haven’t determined if they run through the carpeted upstairs, but I’m not sure I’m going to get that lucky!

  • Peg


    I LOVE your new home’s name: The Liberty House. What a stately name for what looks to be a very stately house. I’m in agreement with you — you hit the jackpot! And after all that you went through the last couple of years, in my humble opinion, you deserve it. Sending you positive thoughts and vibes for the upcoming weeks from Canada.

    • Kit


      Thanks Peg. It just felt right when we said it, and my mom has been calling it The Liberty House ever since, so I guess it stuck!

  • Liz @ It's Great To Be Home


    Heart palpitations aside, I’m SO EXCITED for your house! The inside looks like it’s just dripping with potential – can’t wait to follow along!

  • Kathy


    My husband is a retired brick mason and he would love the brick detail on the house. We were lamenting the lack of true craftman ship in the brick buildings that are going up these days. Beautiful new place – inside and out!

  • Micki


    What an awesome find! You will do this house great justice in restoring the parts that need to be restored. And the house looks livable while you’re working on it! Whoot!

  • Kim


    Score! I’m dying over that fabulous parlor and the view to the rooms/staircase beyond.

    It was fate.

  • Mary M.


    Totally a 4th of July house! I can already see the red, white and blue bunting! I’m super excited to see what comes next! This house has made me comment for the first time. :)

  • hjc


    I live in a 100-year-old pink farmhouse, so I’m totally on board with your Pink Parlor! Yay for the Liberty House!

  • Kate @ The Loud and Clear


    So exciting! Definitely not what I expected to see on the inside but there’s so much to work with. Love the name too!

    • Kit


      Yeah, she needs some serious updating, but there are good bones to work with there (if you don’t count the whole fire-damaged ones!)

  • Guerrina


    Having lived in an 1800s house, the spaciousness is not what I expected either! The wood floors are stunning and “Liberty House” sure settles right. Some great woodwork going on, too! You did hit the jackpot!

  • Pip


    Coming out of lurkdom (hopefully permanently!) to say congratulations on the farmhouse! It does seem like the perfect place for you, and I can’t wait to see how you make it your own. I also hope the foundation issues are easily fixable. What? It’s not like the foundation is, you know, critical or anything. 😉

    I also want to say thank you. After a year of reading your blog, I have been inspired and encouraged by you to overcome my fear of power tools (thanks to a thumb/tablesaw incident in my youth). Last weekend, I actually made a workbench. Okay, it was a kit and the only tool was a drill, but it’s a start, right? 😀

    • Kit


      The Liberty House brings us all together! So glad you de-lurked.

  • Amber


    how exciting! Thanks for sharing.

  • Lucy


    The house is just incredible. Incredible.

    This is a stupid question, but the fact that you are showing up pictures means that you did get it through the auction, right?

    I just need to make sure so I can relax that you did indeed get the house.

    Thank you for sharing this adventure with us.

    • Kit


      Lucy – It’s so great to have you all on this journey along with me! I “have” the house, yes, but there are still a couple of red tape hurdles to get over. They don’t effect my ownership of the place (hopefully) just my wallet!

  • Robin @ 3 acres & 3,000 sf


    Sweeet! I’m going to use the same phrase everyone told us when we bought our house, “It has so much potential!” Maybe that will get you though these next difficult days. Seriously that is so much nicer looking that I imagined it would be! Looks like you’ll have a lot of fun projects ahead.

  • Dave


    The rooms are huge and the floors are beautiful. There’s enough work that needs to be done that you can make the house your own. A house like that on a property like that is my dream house. You definitely hit the jackpot in my book. Seriously jealous.

  • Nicole


    My main question is, are those windows serviceable? They look – and I don’t want to jinx you here – new-ish! If you won an old farmhouse at auction that has new double-paned arched windows, well, you may have to rename it the Victory House. I’m pretty sure a house-ful of those costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $60K.

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators


    You totally hit the jackpot! I would very much like to enjoy a cup of tea with you in that pink parlour. Love the name too. The Liberty House is perfect.

  • Kristen @ Pink Toes and Power Tools


    Wow! When you said you bought it all for half what you expected to pay for the land alone (if I remembered that right), I was expecting way more basement-esque pictures as opposed to the pink parlor pictures!

  • Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl


    I’ll be anxiously awaiting your posts as you fix that old gal up 😉

  • L


    Of all the things to find–a fireplace linking the master bed and bath! Clearly, this was meant to be!

  • Ben


    Just a question: can you get high speed internet so far out in the country? :) I couldn’t live without my high speed internet!

    • Kit


      No. And it was an adjustment, let me tell you. I use a ATT 4G Wireless Hotspot at the moment because I get decent wireless coverage. I only have 4GB/month to work with and it occasionally makes me want to pull my hair out.

      On the flip side, there are a ton of bars about 20 minutes away that have free wifi, so I just take my laptop in and have a beer while doing any major computer updates! lol. It encourages me to be less attached to my computer, which is good.

  • Tara


    I have just spent the better part of a day reading your blog archives (btw…a monthly archive would be awesome…just saying) and I have to say that this house? F*king awesome.
    We’re almost the same age and we are so far from buying a house it’s not even funny. So I live vicariously through people like you. Thank you. I’m going to carry on reading the rest now…

  • hosting


    This is actually the appropriate weblog for anyone who requirements to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost onerous to argue with you (not that I actually would require…HaHa). You undoubtedly place a completely new spin on the subject thats been written about for many years. Good stuff, merely good!

  • David


    Great bones. Hope I see a wine cellar in that basement down the line.

  • Karen


    MAGNIFICENT!

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