Water…the death of houses

There is so much excitement around buying a house. From the moment we walked through the door during the first walk-through we started dreaming of what it would be like to live there. Could we see the kids running through the house, playing games on the floor, or eating ice cream in the backyard? Then once the offer was accepted, everything changed. Reality set in which included inspections, appraisals, evaluations, paperwork…so much paperwork, and coordinating moving our stuff out of storage. Then that glorious closing day came and after A LOT of paperwork, we got the keys. Keys we’ve been dreaming about for 3 months.

Within an hour of signing the papers, we walked into our house…and did the traditional run through it yelling ‘yahoooooo’!  Then…we went to the basement and noticed that there was water on the carpet in the fully finished basement. I felt horrible knots in my stomach and then we frantically tried to figure out where the water was coming from, how much, how long, and what’s the damage on this house that was purchased less than 60 minutes ago.


Next the remorse questions start…why didn’t we buy the newer house? Why didn’t we make the homeowners remove all their stuff before we did the final walk-through? Why didn’t we catch this? Why…Why…Why?! Is having a home with character really worth all this trouble? Goodness, I hope so, because now we are committed to remodeling the ENTIRE house. NOT in the plan! Lucky for us we do this for a living otherwise this could have been disastrous.

Now we’ve got some work to do.

Step one…move in our stuff 4 days before Christmas. So excited to at least be in our home before Christmas.


Step two…demo the basement. It was a sad day when we ripped up the floors and walls in the basement.  It went from a warm living room to a concrete basement in just hours. We utilized Seifert Cleaning and Restoration to spray for mold. If you ever need to use a service like this definitely use these guys.

The basement is so…so…sad, but at least we have the water contained, know how to fix it, and will be tackling that in the summer.

Step three…pull off the most amazing Christmas ever! All the kids asked for this year was their rooms to be completed. A year long transition is exhausting, even for kids. So, we worked day and night to make this happen for them. Luckily we had already designed the house, made color selections and bought the paint before moving in.


The first room was painted Sherwin Williams Vast Sky, trim and doors were painted Sherwin Williams High Reflective White and the ceiling an Ultra White. We caulked in the baseboards and reattached the vents to complete this room.


The second room was painted in Benjamin Moore Cotton Candy, the trim and doors were painted Sherwin Williams High Reflective White and the ceiling an Ultra White. We replaced the old ceiling fan with a crystal light fixture, caulked in the baseboards and reattached the vents to complete this room. We made it. There were moments of tiredness when we thought it wouldn’t be possible, but in the final minutes it all came together.


Step four…get a Christmas tree! We really wanted a real tree and if you can imagine Christmas Eve is pretty slim picking. We found one tree at The Home Depot and it wasn’t even a Charlie Brown tree. To top it off, they gave it to us for FREE!!!  Such a Blessing!

We have a long way to go on this home remodel, but we will be keeping you posted on our progress. Next we will be updating the doors and working on more painting.


Making New Again

The weather can destroy beautiful homes without warning and earlier this year Springfield had flooding that damaged many basements. One home we had the pleasure to help rebuild had the entire fully finished basement destroyed. The homeowners had hired a restoration company and part of their services included removing all of the water damaged areas which means the drywall had been removed around the entire basement up to 20″ from the ground.

The homeowners also wanted to help prevent this from happening again so they hired a company to install a perimeter drain system and sump pump in the basement. Did you know that if you don’t have a sump pump installed in your basement many home insurance policies won’t cover if you have flooding? If you have a basement that is fully completed, it’s something you should look into.

Once the drain installation company had completed we were able to begin rebuilding the basement. We had to build up the studs, as they were cut off during the drain system installation, so we would be able to attach the new drywall. We also divided the bedroom and added a pocket door to create a larger closet and desk area.

As soon as the drywall was finished we were able to get started on painting. The wall paint colors in the basement were satin Loggia in the living room and bathroom and satin Mint Green in the bedroom and for the doors, trim, cabinets and shiplap we used a dirty white semi-gloss.

TIP: When painting, if you want to reduce brush strokes on your trim and doors you can add a little Floetrol to the paint can. It helps to thin out the paint and allow it to flow out a little easier from the brush. I also like to use mini foam rollers when painting expanses like doors, it always gives them the perfect smooth finish.


The flooring in the main living and bedroom area were carpeted with the Southwind Starlight 2 Berber in Mineral Mist, unlike most Berber carpets which incorporate multiple colors in with the grey, this one is only shades of greys.

In the bar and bathroom areas we wanted a tile that had very little movement in the patterning, but not solid colored, so we chose a modern 12″ x 24″ matte finish dark grey tile with a light grout with thin grout lines.

The cabinets in the bar area were made custom to match the upstairs kitchen with a honed granite countertop.

Seeing this space transform from a remediated disaster zone into a beautiful living area makes what we do so exciting. We enjoy helping to make peoples lives easier and being a part of making homes more livable.