When I was young, nursery rhymes and fairy tales were not politically correct, but they were most entertaining. The ugly duckling tale particularly impacted me as the poor little duckling had no clue how beautiful he would one day become.
Often in rehabbing houses, an ugly duckling becomes a beautiful swan. Such is the case with my own home in St. Paul. Our home was so ugly that our adult children questioned our sanity the day we moved in. In my mind, however, a swan was hidden behind the ugliness. For five years this was our home base:
Do I need to describe its ugliness? The roof was replaced the first week we owned the home because gallons of water poured through the ancient shingles. The fascia . . . ? We really think the last paint was applied in 1950! That ugly gray siding is "depression brick", the moniker for asphalt rolled roofing formed to look like bricks. It was popular in the depression making it at least 60-70 years old. Not to mention that it was missing in a bunch of places! The windows leaked, didn't stay open, and were riddled with rotten wood. That horrible beige paint on the basement foundation should have stayed in the store!
In my mind, however, the house looked like this:
The plan was to pay mega money to hire professionals to destroy the old siding and replace it with Hardi board, a cement look alike siding. Longevity was the key. My honey and I never wanted to paint this "painted lady" again.
But, the economy turned and the hubby was out of work. Lots of time combined with limited funds impacted our best laid plans. The hubby declared one day, "I'm going to remove some of that siding and see what's underneath. Maybe we can do a 'temporary' improvement with some minor repair and paint." I cringed. It was a huge project, but keeping the unemployed hubby busy was important.
The hubby, a reformed desk jockey, has outdone himself completely. What started as a temporary fix has become a permanent upgrade. Today our ugly duckling looks like this.
The ground work has been laid. The swan, complete with a golden sunburst for a brooch, is showing her beauty!
If you want to follow our progress, pictures can be viewed here.