1885 Victorian Renovation

In summer 2009, we purchased a foreclosed house, an 1885 Victorian in Oak Park, Illinois. It had been on the market for three years, and sitting empty for much of that time. The radiators were broken, the pipes had burst, but since we bought the house for half of its original for-sale price, we had money left over for a major renovation.

We hired a general contractor and an architect, and set forth an ambitious plan: to fix it up, restore and renovate, and add a rear addition, an attic expansion, a turret, and possibly a conservatory. The renovation would cost more than we’d paid for the house. We had no prior experience with renovation.

These are the journal entries detailing the process — lots of house stuff, mixed in with bits of the rest of our lives. The first few dozen actually focus on the house-buying process, which was a saga in and of itself, with me several months pregnant and one house purchase after another after another falling through at the last minute and us moving into a friend’s attic for two months.

The actual house purchase / renovation entries start on September 11th.

Below is a full list of all the 1885 Victorian Renovation entries, in order. In most browsers, you can open them in new tabs by right-clicking. Alternatively, to read through the whole series without having to click to open each page, visit the category page.