The 1898 House
Katie and Alex Renovate A Queen Anne Classic
As told by Katie Noble
When I bought this beautiful Victorian home built in 1898 in Kamas, Utah, I knew I would be in for some surprises with the renovation. I’ve renovated other historic homes and there is always at least one fun surprise and a handful of ‘uh-oh there goes the budget’ surprises.
Expecting to run into difficulties makes any renovation a lot easier. The other things that help
are a great contractor, an open mind when presented with design challenges, a budget with plenty of padding, and a flexible timeframe. Anytime you create a tight budget, inflexible deadline or perfect design concept, your house will know and it will exact revenge.
Don’t believe me? Try it. I dare you.
To make the process even more enjoyable, I was lucky enough to have Alex cheerfully help me with the design concepts. Her keen eye for detail and outstanding design sense have made this a really fun project. Sometimes I got stuck on unworkable concepts or would be a touch off in the design and Alex was always there to help me sort through it. Alex has taught me to much through this process about keeping colors consistent, figuring out where to spend and where to save, and adopting an overall design concept that will appeal to any buyer. There was-and still is- a lot to do at The 1898 House and we’d love to share our triumphs and disasters with you!
Even if you’ve got the right attitude, budget, timeframe, design concept, and partner in crime, the whole project falls apart without a good general contractor. Again, I got incredibly lucky here. Pepe Estrada is the GC on this project and I took a risk because I know and like him personally very much but we hadn’t worked together. He has the awesome background of being an engineer back in Guatemala so he’s a true design professional.
When we started working on this project, I could tell it was a wonderful fit. Pepe loved the home, which is an absolute necessity in the world of historic homes. You need a contractor who will be gentle with our home and understanding of its shortcomings. Furthermore, he crafted a detailed budget and anytime he ran into a problem he came to me with solutions. I absolutely loathe working with contractors that make things like a chipped light switch plate into Big Giant Crisis of Massive Proportions, That I Big Contractor Hero Will Solve But It Will Take So Much Time And Brainpower To Fix And Will Cost You. Pepe is the opposite. Half the house could be falling down and he would calmly explain three options to shore it up, and the cost and timing of each. That’s my kind of GC.
Come take a tour of the outside and the main level. We’ll be completely redesigning the kitchen, adding matching mapple hardwoods in the dining room and kitchen, painting, and changing out the light fixtures. At some point we have to add a heat system which has been our biggest challenge so far. On the second level we’ll be adding bathrooms, taking out carpet and refinishing the floors. This is the overall design direction for the interior of the home.
I’m either selling the home or renting it out so I won’t be living in it. If someone buys it, we want them to be able to add their own custom, antique light fixtures and other personal touches so we’re keeping a log of it nuetral but still respecting the history of the home. We’ll post before photos and videos for you to enjoy. Thanks for joining us!