Last night while we were finishing up Mother’s Day dinner we got a text letting us know that the previous owners were all done at the property and the house was now officially ours.

We sat around the table talking about it for a bit and then decided we had to go see it.  We needed to walk through the front door for the first time as owners. My parents were with us for dinner so as an added treat they would get to see the house for the first time.

First impression, it seemed small, which is CRAZY because it is the biggest house we have ever owned. But it is true what realtors say, don’t sell an empty house because the rooms will appear smaller. They did.

While it was fun to show Mom and Dad the house I have to say a bit of magic was gone. Hmmm…what is that about?

Today we went back to the house to meet our builders and get them started on the design phase of the project. While they measured and sketched, we tackled our first house project, removing the smelly (think wet dog) carpet that covered the stairs and landing heading down to the basement.

The removal went pretty well but we had our first, “this is not what we expected” underneath. With a 1907 home we figured this would happen, but would have loved to have not had it on the very first project.

The biggest issue is that part of the stairs are concrete (we believe half of this staircase was originally outside access to the basement), which is fine if we planned to cover them up again with carpet. But there will be NO CARPET in this house when we are finished.

The plan had been to have wooden stairs. Which is likely still doable, but this was slated to be a Jackie & Elden project, so we will need to have a bit of expert advice on the best way to move forward. The good news, we don’t have to figure out the solution right away. We won’t finish these stairs until the construction in the house is complete, so we have a few months to get it all sorted out and a summer full of experts in the house. Someone will come up with a plan B.

Here is a look at the stairs carpet free and ready for plan B.IMG_4393

The concrete at the basement level is in pretty rough shape after being covered up with carpet and padding for years. We will clean that up and stain the concrete when the construction is complete.


The landing and first four stairs heading down are concrete and needing some repair. Hopefully we can level them up and cap with wood.


The easy part of the project, wooden stairs that are in good shape and ready for finish wood to be added.

At the end of the day, a bit of the magic had returned. This definitely feels like home. Maybe ripping out smelly carpet and discovering our first project dilemma was a good way for it to sink in that this place is ours and we get to decide what we do with it.

Last night when we left it didn’t feel like our space, tonight when we locked up it felt like we were leaving home.