Great News for the Neighborhood


When we were hunting for a house to renovate, we always took into account the surrounding homes. Were they in good shape? Were any being renovated? Had any recently sold? For the Griffin house, we were encouraged by a home that had recently sold for an above-average price on the next block, and another that was undergoing a full renovation two doors down.

As we’ve started our own renovation, we’ve watched the house at 3018 Griffin come to completion and hit the market. The renovator, a local realtor, did a great job of maintaining the home’s historical integrity while still giving it a beautifully modern look. He priced it much higher than we expected—$324,950—and we held our breath to see when and if it would sell.

We didn’t have to wait long. The house sold within a day, for above asking price. This is good news for the person who put so much care into this renovation, and very encouraging news for us! Check out all the photos of the house here.

In related news, Zillow recently ranked Richmond as the fourth hottest housing market in the country for 2016.


Demo Days


After receiving a few quotes from contractors, we realized we could shave thousands of dollars off of our renovation costs by doing most of the demolition work ourselves. The last few weeks have been spent pulling up tile, toilets, walls, wallpaper, and more. I’ve got to give credit to Todd, who has done the vast majority of the work himself. (Apparently, he enjoys it.)

kitchen before after.jpg

The kitchen was the biggest demo project. We tore out the giant wooden cabinets, appliances, the sink (saved for later), and part of the walls to make it easier for the electrician to install new wiring. We also pulled up the tile floor when we realized there are wood floors underneath. We’re hoping to restore these, seal them, and keep them for a cohesive look throughout the house.

DSC_0956-2_thumbDSC_1087-2_thumb.jpgNext up, Todd and Erica’s step-brother Matthew tore up the ceramic tile in the upstairs bathroom and found… more tile! This second layer will be nearly impossible to get up, so our contractor suggested that we just tile over it. (We’re thinking of going with something vintage-looking, like this.) And yes, we’re refinishing and keeping the clawfoot tub. We’ll also be installing wainscoting to cover up a thick tile-like wallpaper.


This room may not look like much (in fact, a friend affectionately dubbed it “the murder room”), but this will be the site of one of our biggest projects in the house. Because it’s not really usable as a bedroom (there’s no closet), we’ll be transforming this into a master bathroom, upstairs laundry, and storage space.


We were beyond thrilled to find wood floors under the brown tile. We’re thinking of leaving the wood floors in the master bath rather than tile over them. Thoughts on wood floors in a bathroom? (Here’s an example of a local reno that I loved.)


Also, under the weird orange fabric wallpaper, we found even weirder greenish paint and several layers of wallpaper. Look closely and you can see the tape where we’ve mapped out the double vanity and laundry closet.

With that, most of the demo is done and we’re just waiting to start working with our contractor in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ll be shopping for fun things like light fixtures, faucets, and paint colors. Stay tuned!