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  1. Joel
    Joel August 31, 2015 5:45 am

    I am seriously in awe of your work ethic. I’d not only have declined to buy the house, I’d have declined to get seriously involved in helping you rehab it. Can’t believe you’ve come this far so quickly.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 31, 2015 5:46 am

    Indeed, a front porch. Or at least a step or two. Looks like quite a reach to get into the front door – unless I just can’t see the steps from this angle. But that is simply one gorgeous house already. Love the colors. 🙂

  3. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2015 6:03 am

    ML — No, your eyes don’t deceive you. There’s no way to get in the front door other than climbing up the wall. A small deck is in the plans for next summer (but then, it was also in the plans for this summer, so we’ll see how it goes). I’ve considered building a set of temporary steps, but since only Mormon missionaries, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-Day Adventist recruiters use the front door, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

    The back porch, which everybody else uses, consists only of a piece of rotting siding and a pair of large wood blocks, but at least it exists. That’s a 2016 project, too.

    Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the colors. I must have gone through 100 paint samples before I finally came up with that five-color combo.

  4. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2015 6:05 am

    LOL, Joel — Worry not. I’d have never, ever asked a friend to commit in any major way to this project. My friends are too few and too precious to lose.

  5. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2015 7:35 am

    LOL, Shel. That reminds me of the days when all us females were “having our colors done” and discussing whether we were Autumns or Springs.

    Me? Instinct, a little inspiration from a few local Victorian “painted ladies,” and learning about the color wheel from my wonderful high school art teacher. To my eye, I still haven’t got it quite right, but I’m not going to do it all over again.

  6. Ellendra
    Ellendra August 31, 2015 8:22 am

    Just so you know, you’ve inspired me to take a closer look at some fixer-uppers in my area. Not sure I’ll ever get one, but it’s a possibility where before it wasn’t.

  7. MJR
    MJR August 31, 2015 10:06 am

    Wow, OK I am certainly impressed. I would never have been a part of a project like this because of the volume of work required. Good on you for taking this on and good on you for seeing it through. I just hope that when you’re all finished you don’t get taxed out of it when the town assess the value of the improvements.

  8. Shel
    Shel August 31, 2015 10:48 am

    I’m even more impressed after reading the BHM posting. Honest. Especially since I don’t know s*** about houses, or at least as little as possible.

    I really think Carole Jackson’s system works. You’ve got Spring colors for the door, door jamb, nearby facing, walls, and borders of the windows, which wonderfully separate the windows themselves from the walls and prevent a horrific clash. The dark green contrasts nicely with the Spring colors and effectively balances the dark roof, which is dark enough to be neutral. Virtually no project of any sort is perfect in the maker’s eyes in retrospect, so if you “haven’t got it quite right,” it’s a smashing success.

    Re your previous roof and ladder escapade: Courage is the ability to push through fear; by definition, you showed it. Pat on back.

  9. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 31, 2015 1:26 pm

    Indeed, MJR… that thought came to me as well. GRRRRR

  10. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 31, 2015 3:41 pm

    My sister bought a house from a cat lady. My parents bought something even worse. I went up there a few times to give a hand, but escaped south as quickly as I could. 🙂

    The only way to reduce the entropy is by an injection of energy…

  11. jed
    jed August 31, 2015 6:24 pm

    Wow. I’m certainly impressed. That’s the sort of project I sometimes think I might want to take on, but not on a shoestring, and not while attempting to live there. Yes, I know, you didn’t move in straight off. I would’ve waited a lot longer.

  12. Karen
    Karen September 1, 2015 6:21 am

    What an amazing job you’ve done, Claire! When we built our house in the forest, we lived in the construction for 2 years, which was challenging enough. I can’t imagine living thru de-construction and construction.

  13. Claire
    Claire September 1, 2015 12:25 pm

    jc2k — LOL! And even better, you had no way of knowing that my family had a joke about my mother being “Mrs. Winchester reborn.” (She liked to change the house a lot, although she had a man around to do the actual work.)

    I toured the Winchester Mystery House once when I was a kid and it was an awful, unrestored dump. I’d love to see it again now that it’s been given some love.

  14. TXCOMT
    TXCOMT September 1, 2015 10:26 pm

    Congrats, CW, but all I can think of when I see this is “how much are your property taxes gonna be when you’re done?” I guess I’m truly a jaded homeowner if that’s the first thing that comes to mind!


  15. Doug
    Doug September 1, 2015 10:47 pm

    You are demonstrating that anything’s possible with enough hard work–and an eye for color, for sure. Inspiring, beautiful, and (I read the article) such an incredible change! Congratulations on phase I.

  16. A.G.
    A.G. September 2, 2015 12:30 pm


  17. Laird
    Laird September 3, 2015 9:37 am

    OK, but where’s the next installment?

  18. Claire
    Claire September 3, 2015 11:42 am

    Laird — I’m typing as fast as I can!

    Meantime, maybe Ellendra will buy herself a fixer-upper and we can get reports from her. 🙂

  19. Ellendra
    Ellendra September 4, 2015 10:12 am

    I might have to hold a fundraiser, first!

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