This 1890s wooden-frame home on Bogard Street is a mesh of house styles: not-quite-a-shotgun meets not-quite-a-single-house, the signature Charleston home style that the TOH crew worked on during the Spring 2018 season of the show on PBS. (The crew worked on two houses this season; read more about the other featured home here.)
Homeowner Judith spent her childhood visiting her grandparents in the home shown here and is now working on the remodel with her wife, Julia. Termites and water damage sent the home into disrepair during the decade it was abandoned, and shortly after the TOH crew started at the house last summer, Hurricane Irma swept up the coast, pushing a rotted corner post out of place.
Assessing the Damage
Peeling paint was only one of the many signs of water damage at this house. The old wooden frame of the home is more susceptible to termite damage and effects of the warm, humid climate than a younger house made of brick (like the other TOH single-house project down the road).
“Blue as Sky”
This is the home’s upper porch on the front of the house. It is directly above a porch on the lower level. The paint on the porch ceiling belongs to the Gullah (and now Southern) tradition of Haint blue, a collection of light blue colors (color shown is more vibrant than most). The hue was used to simulate the appearance of the sky.
Kevin took this photo of homeowners Judith (left) and Julia (right) one of the first times they returned to the house with the TOH crew. Judith spent her childhood creating memories in the house and the pair are excited to breathe some life back into a place again.
Nature Takes Over
Like most of the Southeastern United States, Charleston has a humid subtropical climate; the city averages about 50 inches of precipitation per year, nearly 20 inches more than the U.S. average.
So, greenery abounds! Lush, leafy vines climbed the exterior walls of the home as it sat unoccupied. In many cases the vines even made their way inside.
A Grassy Roof
The novelty siding looks rough, but about half was reused in the renovation, Kevin says, as part of several renovation stipulations outlined by the Board of Architectural Review in Charleston.
Builder Lindsay Nevin and his team are familiar with the city’s rules and regulations and they were up for the challenges this house presented. They got started with a clean and careful demo, which taught the crew more about the realities of the house damage.
Plans to Rebuild
The back third of this house was actually added on after the original front portion was built in 1890, Kevin says. The addition is probably about 70 years old. It was constructed with lower-quality materials than the rest of the house. Since it isn’t original to the main house, it can be removed and rebuilt.
Help from the Neighbors
This side of the house is in much better shape. Adjacent to the neighbors by about 8 feet, it had a shield from the elements that the opposite side wasn’t afforded. The homes in the rest of this Charleston neighborhood are in varying states or disrepair; some are renovated and cleaned up, some aren’t at all, and others (like this one) are well on their way to being restored.
Kevin notes that this photo highlights issues with the home’s foundation. The siding sank into the ground on a diagonal from either side of the vertical strand of greenery shown here. This is a symptom of the termite-ravaged wooden sill.
A Peek Inside
Here you see more of the lush greenery that was taking over the siding and roof making its way inside.
Sturdy Home Features
Taking a look at the front of the house though, and despite the overgrowth and water damage, you can tell the place had wonderful potential, Kevin says. It presents well, with big windows and double porches.
You can now binge-watch the entire Charleston 2018 season of This Old House right here! Want to skip right to the Charleston season finale? Watch that on-demand here.