renovation

The 1898 Queen Anne Victorian

The 1898 House Renovation Before, After & What We Learned

Many of you know that we recently renovated an 1898 Queen Anne Victorian home in Kamas.   Katie planned to keep the house as a rental property but her situation changed so on the market it went.  Since everyone loves a transformation, we thought we’d show you before & after photos and talk a bit about the process.  Every home and every location is different and there’s a lot of thought that goes into these decisions.  We know we’ve looked at renovations and new builds and couldn’t figure out why things were done a certain way.  We thought you might like to know what we did and why.  And really, who doesn’t love a transformation?  We’ll be posting before and after photos and a bit about the process every month this year.  If you’re a design or historic home junkie, you’ll enjoy these posts.  If you’re more of a numbers and investment person be sure to check out our other blog series, Wall Street Your Real Estate, the new rules for investing.  

Rules For Renovation

Can you tell we’re parents?  We seem to be all about the rules these days.  
 
Rule 1:  Respect the Home’s History and Style
There are a few rules of renovating that we tried to follow.  The first rule with a historic house is to honor its history as much as possible and don’t junk it up with a cheap or quick fix.  This house was in the same family from 1898 – 2018 and parts of it had been updated when we bought it but they didn’t follow this rule so we had to redo what they had just done.  You can see where they laid shiny vinyl flooring in the kitchen that we replaced and polyester brown carpet, among other additions.  
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Rule 2:  Don’t Overspend for Your Location
The second rule is not to over-spend for your marketplace.  This house was in downtown Kamas, Utah about 20 minutes outside of Park City.  This is a beautiful location with more moderately priced homes than Park City.  We had to stay within a certain budget to keep in line with the limitations of this particular market but we also splurged in areas to make sure the build quality looked good and would last a long time.  We saved money using vanities from Wayfair instead of building custom cabinets in the bathrooms.  We splurged on having real marble tops for the vanities instead of imitation. We also used light fixtures from Wayfair that are copies of more expensive custom fixtures.  We saved a lot of money by purchasing the marble topped table for the kitchen instead of building in an island.  This was a happy accident as we love that table much better than any clunky island in that space.  We splurged on Thomasville solid wood custom cabinets in the kitchen, glass knobs and on the hardwood flooring throughout the first floor.  We also splurged on the HVAC system and tankless hot water heater.
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Rule 3.  Create A Neutral Design With Unique Details
The third rule is to create a design that will be appealing to many but still unique enough to feel custom.  We achieved the neutral concept with the uniform white and cream color scheme but made it pop a bit with the kitchen island, light fixtures, black and white staircase and black pocket doors.  
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Rule 4.  Complete Your Project In 3 – 4 Months
The final rule is to get it all done in three to four months if you can.  Due to materials delays and delays with the HVAC system, we didn’t meet that deadline in any way, shape or form.  We got lucky that this was all done in a rising market so the delay actually helped our bottom line.  Next time we’ll make sure that there is a hard and fast deadline for all work that gets done on our project.  

Before and After Master Bathroom

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As with most things in life, renovating takes flexibility with time and budget and a robust backup plan.  You’ll be able to see where we had to be flexible and opt for Plan B in many cases.  In the next blog post we’ll talk all about paint colors.