Monday, February 21, 2011

Photos From the Inspection

This afternoon we spent hours walking through Our Care-free Home to understand its current condition. We suspected it needs a lot of work... now we know just how many repairs will be required! Fortunately, the bones of the home are in great shape - the biggest need is cosmetic... and the many window replacements.

We'll share portions of the inspection report with you as time goes on, as well as our growing list of projects. In the meantime, here are photos from the inspection so that you can see it for yourselves.

The interior is fantastic! The home is built from the last of the old growth wood, so it is sturdy and will hold up for years to come. The foundation is also solid - no signs of settling after more than 50 years! The sliding glass doors and glass panes will all need to be replaced... we're hoping to receive a loan for energy improvements and would use it on more efficient walls/windows.

The original lights are still in the home and working. The walls and ceilings are simply stunning, despite showing some wear.

The kitchen walls will be repainted.

The oak floors are original and in great shape. They do need a good cleaning!

The fireplace is in pretty good shape. We need to have a certified chimney sweep come into the home to clean and inspect the two fireplaces before they're used. We expect to paint this brick and the brick downstairs, perhaps using a glossy white paint.

The window seals have broken, so there is condensation between some of the panes. These will need to be replaced at some point. The roof is in fantastic shape.

The kitchen appliances aren't great, but they'll work for now. The countertop is 80s nasty. The cabinets need some love but they could become something good.

More of the "it will work for now" kitchen.

More of the kitchen.

These are the original cabinets. Some are a little broken, but none are beyond repair. They need to be repainted, but we may keep the color scheme.

You can see where there used to be decals on the cabinets, if you look closely. We'll start with a deep clean of the cabinets, and we'll sand the cabinets before we repaint them.

There is an Energy Star compliant system, but that doesn't mean the home is energy efficient. It's got a long way to go - and with the amount of glass that surrounds the home, we're not sure how efficient it will ever truly be.

The original electrical elements are still in the home (and working) in many places.

A different view of the living room.

More living room view.

A nice aluminum railing leads downstairs.

This is the original aluminum door. Both the front and back door are in pretty good shape, so we're planning to keep them for now.

The detail on the aluminum closet doors is pretty fantastic.

Unfortunately, many of the aluminum closet doors have been damaged. We're not sure if these can be repaired, or if we can reuse them in some way in another part of the home. Either way, we need new closet doors in nearly every room.

The interior of the home has some cool aluminum and wood design elements that are in great shape. We plan to keep these as they are.

This is one of the "Jack and Jill" bathrooms. The glass has been cracked, the vanity needs to be replaced, the tile is hideous, the sink and toilet are ancient... clearly it's original to the home. At some point, hopefully in the near future, we will demolish both bathrooms and a portion of the pantry to create two modern bathrooms.

The green bathroom.

More green bathroom.

The master bedroom closets need to be built out, and the doors need some love (or replacement). Every door inside the house needs to be replaced - they're beyond repair at this point.

There is some great storage above the closets in the bedrooms.

The walls in the master bedroom are covered with some odd cloth-type wallpaper. It's ugly and fraying. We'll take it down and repaint the room. The carpet could be worse, but we're hoping to replace it soon.

More master bedroom.

The view of the breezeway from the master bedroom.

The paint in the child's bedroom, we suspect, is not original to the home. The child's bedroom will become our guest bedroom. While it is interesting, this room will be repainted along with the other bedrooms.

The closets in the guest bedroom are in pretty good shape, but the dings and dents are easy to see in the aluminum. We're trying to figure out what to do with all the closet doors, and how we might reuse them. The closet in the guest bedroom will be painted and freshened up a bit.

The guest bedroom - we will be painging over the black chalk area and neon wall, that's for sure.

More guest bedroom.

More guest bedroom.

More guest bedroom.

The view from what will become the office. We'll need to replace this sliding glass door wall.

As cool as this is, it's damaged and not original to the home. We'll be painting over this with brown paint, to match the opposing wall. The floor is brown linoleum.

The office closet doors need work. There are no guts to the closet, which fortunately works given this isn't going to be a bedroom. We'll have to update the closet doors, as with the other rooms, and build out the interior so that the closets work for the office.

The office closets.

This is the original wallpaper in the office. We're going to wash the walls and do our best to preserve this wall. The opposing wall, as we mentioned, will be painted brown to match.

The carport.

This ugly reddish wood fence will be scraped, sanded and restained. So will the rest of the wood on the exterior of the home.

The pink "Jack and Jill" bathroom is just as 50's hideous as the first.

The same sink, toilet, vanity as in the green bathroom. But this time surrounded by Pepto pink.

The mirrors need to be replaced, as does everything else in each bathroom.

Not what I want to look at every morning, admittedly...

Ceilings need work.

More gold aluminum closet doors.

More decorative aluminum and wood in the home. This hallway is also in great shape, fortunately.

The pantry - which would have been the utility room in other Care-free homes around the U.S. Given this home was built with a basement, this huge pantry is overkill. We'll cut down on the space here to make room for more bathroom space, as the bathrooms flank the pantry. Then we'll have a 14-to-16 inch pantry space left. 

More huge pantry.

The doors to the pantry are in great shape. We'll be keeping them, as well as the original wall that surrounds them.

The carpet leading to the basement is nasty.

The basement bathroom has some great tile... and is missing the vanity and sink.

The toilet is plain.

A pretty lame closet.

More of the boring basement "bathroom."

This is the basement area - needs to be completely "redone." It looks as though someone came in and tried to start the update, but didn't get very far.

The basement fireplace will be painted to match the upstairs. We'll carpet this space and create a lounging area.

Basement fireplace.

The basement floors are in bad shape.

This will one day become a child's bedroom, as there is an egress window. The tiles probably have asbestos, so we'll put down a new floor over them.

The floors.

This will eventually become a utility room.

The basement ceilings need to be redone.

This room is set up like a bedroom, but there's no egress window so it's not up to code. This will become a huge storage room, for clothes, etc., until we decide to do something else with it..

More of the basement room that will become a storage room.

The storage room.

This will become a craft room for Whitney.

The craft room.

Eventually that will be a closed-off utility room. For now, you can access it from nearly wherever you are in the basement.

We currently have this exact, relatively old washing machine.

This dryer is also in need of an update. But it will work for the time being.

The wash room downstairs.

Some random storage cabinet that the previous owners must have decided not to take with.

The wash room.

Electrical space.

Nasty carpet on the stairs.

The exterior of the home needs some landscaping. It's a mess.

The front entrance features a walkway to the breezeway. The wood is gross, but is currently hidden by snow. We'll probably just place some cement pavers down in its place.

The exterior of the home features numerous faded purple aluminum panels. We want to paint them in their original color, but are convinced we'll need to bring them to a professional to have it done. If we can do it ourselves without ruining the panels, we may try... otherwise we may have to stick with these for a few years until we can afford to have them all professionally painted.

More home exterior.

The breezeway.

The tree needs to be trimmed, but it's beautiful!

More breezeway. We clearly don't need to have access to it from all three bedrooms. We may replace these with glass panes/walls, or have one or two bedrooms that have sliding doors.

More breezeway.

More of the home exterior. We'll do our best to get it into shape quickly so that it's no longer an eyesore for the neighborhood.

The wood on the exterior of the home isn't rotting, but it does need to be sanded and stained. It should make a huge difference in how the home looks.

The original mailbox. Hmm....

More walls covered in some odd decorative netting.

This is part of our yard, in front just outside the sliding glass doors. We're hoping to build this up and create a patio using cement pavers.

The wood inside, near the windows, has had some condensation fall on it. Fortunately it isn't rotten. We'll sand it and restain it.

Some of the outlets are not grounded. Fortunately, some of them are.

Some outlets are have broken plates.

We're not sure how clean we can get these, but hopefully the answer is "very."

The kitchen floor... hopefully is covering the original wood. Regardless, we're getting rid of it at some point.

Walls need work in some places.

But some mirrors are in fantastic shape, like this one. Because clearly we need a big wall that is a mirror in both hallways... duh.

Someone beat the crap out of these doors. Was the previous owner operating a meth lab? How this even happens is beyond us, but the doors must all be replaced.

There is a security system! And it's super old... But in a house built with so many glass walls, we'll take what we can get.

The vents needs to be cleaned and we need to replace the register.

The strange hidden storage. We found a huge printer! And it's massively old. Free printer, anyone?


  1. That "odd decorative netting" on the walls looks like grass cloth to me. My folks had that in their bedroom and we all loved it. It was very chic in its time. Looks like you do have lots of work to do in the house, but your ideas seem sound. You'll certainly never be bored. I love touring houses, whether cyberly or in person. Thanks for posting these.

  2. Rochester Alcoa Steve....You may want to take a closer look at the colorful cabinets that are in the family room. Ours are not painted and the color is a plastic laminate glued to the wood.

  3. :)

  4. Thanks for the suggestions! Steve, I think you're right about the cabinets... ick. :) And thanks for the website reco, Pam, LOVE IT! But can't promise that we'll keep the Pepto-room... though we sure will have it for a few years.

  5. I adore your house--I've driven past it for years, wondering what the story was! I can't tell you how happy I am it went to someone who appreciates its quirkiness and won't simply tear it down. May I suggest ? If you don't know AR yet, you should!

  6. Thank you for the tip - Atomic Ranch is amazing! We will absolutely be subscribing.

  7. Love, Love, Love the house! I toured it once with my realtor, who's also mid-century nut. I have a list started of Endangered Mid-Century homes in the Twin Cities, and this was at the top. Glad to see someone has embarked on saving it!!! As soon as the condo market recovers, I'll be selling and embarking upon my own rescue... I have the itch! (and the resources; I'm a designer/remodellor)

    Anyway, thank you thank you thank you for stepping up and preserving this fantastic house.


  8. I'd rain-x the window, after cleaning them. It's a blessing.

  9. It was thinking about whether I could utilize this review on my other site, I will connect it back to your site though.Great Thanks. ashi inspectors