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Our First House

There's something special about a first home, even if there's nothing special about the house.  We purchased our first place during the summer if 2005 in Black Hawk, SD.  My husband was working on his engineering degree and I was supporting the family on a bookkeepers income; you can understand why only extreme fixer-uppers were in our price range.  Our home was a 1977 split level that had been repossessed after the previous owner was sent to prison.  Our front door was cracked from where the DEA kicked it in!  We spent thee years completely remodeling the house only to move away when school was finished.

We fell in love with the four car garage.  Getting a house with it was just an added bonus.
The basement bathroom was the first room we finished.  Compared to the upstairs bathroom this one was in pretty good shape.  It least it was not covered in mold.
We kept the tub but replaced everything else.
We think this was the original laundry room that was converted into a nursery.  We used this space as an office that was open to the family room.

Office After
Family Room Before
Family Room After
Laundry Room Before
Laundry Room After
The upstairs bathroom was BAD.  The shower surround was moldy and the subfloor was rotten from years of water damage.
We expanded into the guest room closet to put in a corner whirlpool.  The extra eight square feet made a huge difference in this small room.
Living Room Before
Living Room After
 The kitchen was a mess when we moved in. There were no working appliances and the tile floor was badly cracked.
 We kept the window.  Everything else was replaced. 
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After
Guest Room Before
Guest Room After
 Basement Bedroom Before
Basement Bedroom After
Looking back I'm a little embarrassed by my design and decor choices, but this house allowed me to develop skills and establish tastes.  Every mistake I made on this house was one less I would make on future homes.

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Master Bedroom Finished

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Family Room Before and After

When we bought the house the basement was classified as unfinished. The previous owners had made a haphazard effort to convert some of it into living space, but the carpentry was so bad that you would have to be drunk to consider it livable. From what we have heard about the previous owners drunk was probably how the work was done. Anyway, this space at the bottom of the stairs was used as two bedrooms; one directly in front of you and the other through the door to the left. We moved the bedrooms to the far corner of the basement so they could share an egress window well and used the two bedrooms as one large media room. The tray ceiling hides the pipes for the radiant floor heat and also distracts the eye from the beam running down the middle of the room. While we needed the tray in in one spot for practical reasons running it all the way around the room created a nice visual effect. The basement stays comfortably warm from the radiant heat for the 1st floor but we also added a ga…