Our Just Bought 2-3 Year Labor of Love.

So my partner and I just bought this 100 year old four-square house in Birmingham Alabama. It might be older because we saw some records that stated it was built in 1905. Anyhow, we've been living here for about 3 years now (originally from NY) and this is one of the first old houses we saw in this transitioning neighborhood.

Well now its ours...and now the fun begins. It was built by the prominent owner of the Alabama Coffin and Casket Company (this reno should be very interesting). It's a big house with 4br and 2 1/2bth and other rooms. We don't know much more then that about the house or who built it.

We'll be starting demo in a couple of months and I'll be posting here with pics over that time. Wish us luck.


Views: 127

Comment by Sarah Jane Dean on June 4, 2010 at 5:15pm
Wow what an interesting house with huge potential !!! I'm sure you will make it amazing. Good luck and keep us all posted !!!
Comment by Martin on June 12, 2010 at 2:57am
good luck and keep us posted!! The house looks like it will be great when you are done. We have been working on ours for over a year now, and still haven't fully moved in yet :)
Comment by Catherine Brooks on June 18, 2010 at 8:45am
Regardless if you do the demo yourselves or hire a contractor, use lead-safe work practices with all that old lead paint! It is dangerous work. Read www.epa.gov/lead. EPA now has a law requiring contractors to be RRP Certified (Renovation, Repair, and Painting Law) to do demo and any work disturbing lead based paint. Old, high-heat guns 1000+ degrees), torches, toxic chemicals (methylene Chloride), open sanding and powerwashing are now prohibited. Must contain paint waste for safe disposal. Low heat (400-600) infrared (Speedheater), HEPA vac attachment for sander or shaver, green chemicals (Back to Nature, SoyGel, etc) all are EPA compliant. Chemicals good for brick. Other methods for wood. Ask more specific questions as you go along.
Comment by Carrie Z on June 30, 2010 at 8:44am
Wow! Your house has so much potential - best of luck with your renovation! It looks like a lot of work, but a lot of fun to make this place your own. Keep us posted!!

Comment by Clare Alexander on July 1, 2010 at 9:38am
What neighborhood is your house in? I used to live in Birmingham, on Southside...I remember there being two white houses across from Rhodes Park in similar condition, and I always wished someone would swoop in and save them. I don't think this is one of them (I would remember that distinctive entryway), but still, kudos to you for bringing it back to life! Birmingham has so many great old houses.
Comment by Sarah Jane Dean on July 1, 2010 at 10:44am
Well, how is the project going, we are all waiting to see what you 2 have been up to ?? Please dont wait untill it's done to let us see. Wishing you smooth sailing !
Comment by Ivan Reyes on July 13, 2010 at 2:28am
Well its been a little slow going after having to go in for back surgery. First thing will be to put a tarp on the front portion of the house. This weekend we'll be boarding up the 1st floor windows and puuting the tarp on. The house is in North Bham in Norwood.

Norwood has had a rejuvenation over the last several years. It's transitioning so its still rough around the edges, but a nice bond has developed between the new old house residents and the older people who have lived there for many years.

Right now we're also getting MANY thoughts on whether to paint or strip the brick. Stripping would be nice, but I thinkk in the interest of time any money we'll be painting.
Comment by Sarah Jane Dean on July 13, 2010 at 9:45am
First of all, you are wished a speedy recovery from the surgery. About the neighborhood, we had a similiar experience as urban pioneers in Allentown, pa. We were able to bond with some of the older residents, and they were glad to see new people willing to invest in a transitioning area. We did a 7 color paint job on our house and the rest of our block followed us. The block became the "post card row" of the Old Allentown historic district. On painting the brick, the Harry Packer mansion in Jim Thorpe, pa is painted brick, and it looks great. On the flip side, a house near us was just stripped in one day by pros and then brickpointed the following week, and the results are stunning. Let us know what you decide.


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