Their story: Margee and I have renovated 10 homes during our 36 years of marriage, so we're used to taking on wrecks. Still, when we bought this house, on a handshake deal in 2006, we knew it was a doozy. It had been a two-family rental for 30-plus years, and there had been almost no upkeep during that time. The backyard was so overgrown that you couldn't see the back door—there were 2-inch-thick vines growing all over the facade and even into the interior.
We cleaned it up enough to move in and decided to tackle the exterior first. Other than hiring a landscaper to get rid of the overgrowth, I did all the work myself—everything from putting on a new roof to tuck-pointing the foundation. Margee did most of the research and chose the colors, among many other things. She's the one who drives things forward; I'm basically just the hired help.
Shown: Ugly vinyl siding and a weed-choked yard didn't deter the Wydras from seeing this home's potential.