Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Up Next: The Vintage Colonial

So it's time to start a new project and I'm pretty jazzed about this one.  It just hit the market a couple of weeks ago, so we were excited to snatch it up and get going quickly.  It's a 1938 colonial - about as classic as you can get.

What do I love about this house? 

Original doorknob
It's almost all original  Lots of times we buy houses that have been 'remuddled' (The Old House Journal defines remuddled as 'misguided remodeling,  an alteration that is insensitive to the architecture or the character of the house) and we end up tearing out 1960's paneling, popcorn ceilings, shag carpet and the like, from houses that are far too historic for that trend.  This house stays true to it's 1930's original -with classic molding, built ins and doorknobs that really give it character!

Sunlight  The front of the house faces south and the sun (even in the winter when it sets at 4:04 pm) comes streaming in, drenching the rooms in its glow.  That's something you can't change and as far as I'm concerned, when you live this far north, you can't get enough sunlight!

Quiet street.  The house is on a quiet tree lined street - kind of like a classic movie set (It's a Wonderful Life comes to mind or a Christmas Story, but maybe because it's December!!).  And since it's a dead end,  there won't be traffic noise.  It's a great place for a kid to ride a bike or play street hockey! And it's still a short walk to all the Willard neighborhood has to offer - restaurants, bakeries, shops and of course Willard Beach!

Screened In Porch  This is something we don't see very often, but there is a big porch on the back of the house.  I'm already thinking about a few updates, including a nice ceiling fan and some lighting.  It's the perfect place to sit on a summer evening with a cocktail in hand!  And not worry about a single mosquito or black fly.

Office  There's this fantastic room off of the living room, with big windows on 3 sides that is perfect for a home office.  I already have a vision for how it will look when we get it done!

What I don't love about this house?

Asbestos  Oh yeah, we've got a LOT of it.  All the pipes in the basement are wrapped with it.  The 1950's boiler is full of it.  And the floor tiles that are throughout the basement are made with asbestos as well.  So that's a big budget item to have properly removed.

No Open Floor Plan  Like many center hall colonials, the rooms are very segmented.  We will change that a lot, by removing a few walls and creating a nice circular flow.....but it will haver have a full open floor plan that a lot of buyers want.

Awkward Kitchen  The kitchen is going to take some thought.  It's a galley kitchen - only 8 1/2 feet wide (but 16 feet long!) and thanks to lots of doors and windows, there really isn't enough room for basic appliances, without some rejiggering.  I'm still noodling that one over!

Lack of Headroom in the attic  I know that sounds odd, but there's a full staircase that goes up to the attic.  It would be so much nicer if it had enough headroom to finish it!  But at least it provides easy access for storage.

Electrical -'s your typical old house setup with 2 prong outlets, sparsely located on a few walls.  We're not sure if there's any knob and tube yet - but we're suspicious anytime we see pull chains.  And there are very few overhead lights (which is a shame, I had hoped to find some cool original lighting)  We'll need to do some updating!

One bathroom  Yeah, we'll need to change that.  The good news is the current bathroom can be converted to be part of the Master Suite.  So we just need to figure out where to add another bath.

Want to check it out in its 'Before' condition?  If you're local, please swing by 77 Goudy Street on Sunday, December 17th between 11 and 1.  I know it's a crazy busy time of year, but we'd love to see you!  And if you could bring a donation to the South Portland Food Cupboard, we would appreciate it!

Pin It


  1. Replies
    1. Ha ha - I want to do a bit of clean up, before I take photos. I've only owned it a few hours!

  2. After living in England where the open floor plan really isn't a thing, I am completely enamored with the idea of actual rooms . . . and opening them up just enough to allow for better traffic flow sounds like a perfect balance! I can't wait to see all you do in this house!

  3. Just stalked it on zillow- ONE bathroom?? #savethepinktile

    Can't wait!

  4. Oh wow! I love this house. I can not wait to see the inside and your plans.

  5. This house sounds awesome! I am not a huge fan of the current open floor plan trend. My house was built in the late 50s, and I love how it is not so open (but I know I am an exception to the norm).

    1. I think a lot depends on the house, how you live and the age of your family. With small kids, being able to see them is really important. But as they get older, it's nice to escape sometimes :-)

  6. What a great house. Can't wait to watch you transform and improve it!

    P.S. I took a sneak peek on Zillow and you have your work cut out for you - as usual :-)

    1. It's a lot more fun when we have a big job ahead of us!!! Who wants boring :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...