Monday, April 18, 2011

Restoring vs. Renovating

When we bought the Behemoth we were excited to restore it. There are few better things than seeing a 19th century home in all of it's glory and we knew we could bring the Behemoth back to where it used to be.

Shortly after we bought the Behemoth we looked into getting it on the National Historic Registry. Such a magnificent house deserves to be recognized.

Once we started work on the Behemoth we realized that restoring would not be a possibility.

No one knows if the breakfast nook was added on.
No one knows what the front stairs looked like originally.
No one knows what the original layout of the kitchen was.

We've heard that this is the 4th version of the front stairs.
We've heard that there are two sets of stairs missing from the original layout.
We've heard that the porch roof used to cover the porch.
We've heard that the house used to be part stucco & part brick.

Our local historical society's records claim that the Behemoth was built in 1920, not 1890.

In truth no one knows much about the Behemoth. The history I've told you isn't necessarily the truth because we don't know the truth. (Heck, we just found out that the house is 700 square feet larger than we thought it was!)

So as it turns out we're renovating the Behemoth. We're keeping what we can but making it work for us.

When you've heard that the stairs were originally skinny, then made wide, then ripped out, then made wide again it doesn't break your heart to make them skinny again.

When you get asked every week wether or not you'll finish the porch or rip off the stucco but you like the way the pillars & stucco look you keep the pillars & stucco.

When you don't know where the original kitchen was but are tearing down two kitchens you can make it whatever you'd like.

So maybe, in the end renovating isn't the end of the design world but rather the beginning of a new adventure.


Life by Wyetha said...

I don't think either task is easy, but if your patient and you have a great historic house, then restoring it could be the way to go.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Wow, I had no idea everything you think about when you live in an older home. The Behemoth definitely has lots of character.

steph c said...

That's crazy. I'd definitely look at it as a GREAT new adventure. You're always so enthusiastic and excited about all the work you do to the house.. I love reading about it :) Turn that frown upside down chica!