So she bought the property, relishing the idea of fixing it up, from the nuts and bolts to the last decorative flourish. Contractor and client assessed what would lie ahead as they renovated the bedraggled house. The first order of business was getting rid of the mold. "We just had it scraped off—that part was easy," says Beveridge. Total cost: $5,000.
Other, more expensive issues loomed, however. At the top of the to-do list: updating the wiring and the HVAC system and replacing the galvanized-steel plumbing with PVC pipe. The tiny, dated kitchen would need to be gutted. To gain more space, Kim proposed bumping one exterior wall out 3 feet. And, finally, she wanted a master suite and a connecting screened porch.
Shown: A barn-light sconce from Lowe's helps brighten the kitchen, which has a polished wood-plank ceiling.