My husband, brother-in-law and a couple of their experienced friends have started the daunting task of getting the house ready to move. When I tell people that we are moving a house they usually say ‘you’re moving – where?’ to which I reply ‘no, we are actually moving a house’. I never really thought about what was involved with moving a home or building. Luckily there is a house moving company close by that has been in business for many years and knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to moving a house. The bricks need to be removed,  the leaking roof taken off and strapped (a new roof will be put on after the move) and everything around the house must also be removed including the deck and all of the overgrown trees and bushes. As well, the basement ceiling needs to be removed and electrical wiring and ductwork in the basement will have to be carefully disconnected as the basement is obviously not coming with us.

There has been a lot of progress over the last month and the house looks quite different than it did in the ‘before’ photos. There will be a lot more progress photos to come.


Font of house 'before'.

Font of house ‘before’.

The bricks are almost off the front.

The old roof is gone, strapped and the bricks are almost off the front.

Before tearing down the overgrowth and deck.

Before tearing down the overgrowth and deck.

Work in progress...

Work in progress…

No more deck!

No more deck!

Kitchen ceiling is coming down.

Kitchen ceiling and all of that old insulation is coming down.



original house stuff

I was so excited when the previous owner of the house found her parents original box of house ‘stuff’ which I imagine was the equivalent of my renovation binder of information http://modranchreno.com/2014/12/keeping-it-organized/.

The box included the original house plan, blueprints, cost quotes and receipts and some great flyers for everything from fridges to lighting to doorbells…oh my! Not everyone would get so excited about this find but for me, it was like being a kid in a candy store.

Some of the most interesting things were:

The original home plan ripped out of a home plan book which shows a few changes that were made including losing the master bedrooms en suite and walk in closet in order to expand the dining room and downsizing to a one car garage to create a larger mudroom and indoor stairs to the basement which were originally accessed in the basement.

Original home plan.

Original home plan.



And the original blueprints…

original blueprints

Here is the original blueprint for the front elevation of the house

This 1965 Beaver Lumber building materials catalogue is full of great product photos and illustrations.

retro home building catalogue

I love this set up for the back yard


retro building flyer

Notice the vinyl ASBESTOS tile…

Some lovely retro paint colours

Some lovely retro paint colours

I love all of these doors. My favorite would have to be the teardrop style.

I love all of these doors. My favorite would have to be the teardrop style.

Some fabulous doorbells and chimes


I’d like the starburst design.

Some fashionable chimes.

Some fashionable chimes.

These photos show just a few of the fun advertisements in the stack of papers. There are some kitchen design flyers and pamphlets for lovely mid century lighting which I will share in another day.




The house exterior 'before'.

The house exterior ‘before’.

For the last several years I’ve wanted to move out of our two storey brick century home…and preferably to a one level mid century rancher. I just love the look and simplicity of a 1950s or 60s rancher. There are parts of our current home that I do love like the high ceilings, the large wooden trim that accent the doors and windows and the beautiful original wooden doors themselves.

Large wooden trim on windows and doors and original banister.

Large wooden trim on windows and doors and original banister.

I love that it has a long history and likely housed several families throughout the years including our own. However the things I don’t love about living in a one hundred year old home are plenty. It is difficult to create an open layout in an older home like ours, the dining area is very small, storage is non-existent, heating and cooling can be inefficient, and the basement is not a place one would want to hang out in…unless you’re a spider. On the exterior, the bricks need re-facing and the foundation is in need of some work.

So when my husband heard that this vacant 1960s house might be available we called the owner who gave us a tour of the home. She had grown up in the home and you could see it was full of great memories. It had been vacant for a couple of years and it was likely going to be demolished. The home had some water and plaster damage inside from a leaky roof and a few other issues. It is surprising how quickly things inside a house deteriorate once they are empty – homes need people.

I loved the ranch style home’s layout with a great mudroom and laundry area, a large spacious kitchen and dining room with beautiful big patio doors that let lots of light in and lead to the backyard. The living room was a good size with an inviting bay window and comfy window seat. There were hardwood floors through the front entry, hallway and the three modest bedrooms. And the mid-century front door with three oval windows definitely sealed the deal.

So, a deal was made and the house will have a new home, an interior and exterior makeover and a new family to call it home.

Here are some of the before photos. As you can see, we have some work to do but I am sure the after photos will be fabulous!

before house front

‘before’ of house front corner

'before' exterior front entrance

‘before’ exterior front entrance

'before' of the knotty pine kitchen

‘before’ of the knotty pine kitchen


‘before’ of the dining room from the kitchen

'before' of the front entryway...and the door I love

‘before’ of the front entryway…and the door I love

'before' of the living room

‘before’ of the living room