What We Did:
Restored a condemned 1887 Queen Anne that had been vacant for about three years.
Cost: $100,000 plus our labor.
Time frame: Six months to prepare plumbing, electrical, and structural repairs for inspection. Close to two years to complete the interior, front and back porches, and new siding.
Where we saved: Kept most of the layout the way it was. Did the demolition, reframing, rewiring, insulation, and cosmetic work ourselves. Shopped at home centers and salvage yards.
Where we splurged: Energy-efficient windows, and granite-tile countertops on the island and breakfast bar.
What we would do differently: Opt for cedar instead of vinyl siding, and rebuild the second-floor porch.
Biggest challenge: Getting work done quickly to secure a home loan.
How we solved it: Living in the house while struggling to stay ahead of the plumbers and roofers.
Floor plans: On the first floor, a small bath came out and a spare room became a full bath. The second-floor kitchen became a bath, and the adjacent bath, a laundry room.