• Pamela Wilkinson

Blast from the Past

I think I got my love of construction from my father. My earliest memories are of the smell of freshly-sawn lumber and of putting my hand-prints in wet cement. It gives me tremendous pleasure to find a neglected house with good bones and turn it into a showplace, and I love that Decade Properties LLC gives me the opportunity to find such houses for them to buy. I have saved houses that were so trashed, we had to literally remove the garbage with shovels and 55 gal drums!

The photos show one such remodel from a house we flipped in 2015. The back room, which we turned into a master suite, had floors so rotten we could only inspect the space from the doorway.


The future master bedroom had a leaky roof and a dangerously rotten floor. This became a master suite, complete with master bath and built-in laundry.

The layout of the house was badly organized. We moved the kitchen to a more central location and knocked out a wall to open up the space. Look at the "After" photo to see what a difference this made!


A little imagination can go a long way toward making a delightful living space. For example, my budget did not allow a fancy tiled backsplash in the kitchen. I tiled the space with plain white subway tiles, which are very cheap, and bought six 12x12" sheets of mosaic tile, which I cut into thirds. We installed the mosaic strips as a simple accent, but it makes the whole tile job look expensive.

Don't forget that lighting makes a huge difference, and you need several different types of light in a kitchen. These inexpensive track lights and drop pendants from Ikea look good, provide the right illumination, and don't break the budget. The floors are original hardwoods that we refinished. Just goes to show that with planning, good design and a lot of elbow grease, these old houses can once more be a a wonderful place to call home.

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*Lease-to-Own not available on all properties.

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