The good existing features of the house:
- More than 1/2 acre lot, plus an adjacent few acres of land-locked forest and wetlands.
- Overlook a creek
- Deer live behind the house.
- Great in-town location - close to schools
- Large home (over 3600 sf), but a humble front elevation since its a daylight ranch - no McMansion for us
- Simple truss construction with only one internal load-bearing wall, allowing re-design flexibility
- Adult area upstairs, kids area down
- Fully excavated under the garage to make a 1300 sf family room down stairs
- Fireplace in the center of the house
- Large kitchen area
- Lots of deck space
- Solar friendly design
- Good insulation for the time it was built
- Original owners took good care of the place
- Two water heaters - split baths on one and kitchen / laundry on the other
- New 40-year roof
Some of the not-so good things:
- Low quality kitchen cabinets that were refaced - nice new doors though
- Very small master bath - 8x7 sf
- Upper floors out of level in places
- Long-dark hallways leading to the bedrooms
- Hardly any closet or storage space
- Sprinklers shooting into the house everywhere causing dry-rot in some small spots
- Leaky, tired aluminum windows
- Harvest gold and power blue tubs, showers, toilets, ...
- 30 year old heat pump / furnace / water heaters (two of them)
- Cheap trim and finishing
- T-1-11 siding with various small problems
So we took the place as a "starting point", and we have started to renovate it into the house we really want. We are not dedicated to restoring it to any period, but to a comfortable style.