Sunday Stills: ‘Abandoned’ house; the full catastrophe.

I was rather apprehensive about seeing the inside of the abandoned house which we bought a few months ago. I knew what it looked like in February, but it had been through another hot, wet and humid Florida summer since then, and with the roof still leaking like a colander, so who knew what new horrors might be lurking there. This is what the roof was like before it was redone.


The imposing front entrance certainly belied what lay beyond, although all the notices stuck on the door, did give one a clue that the house had been empty and uncared for, for four years.


The whole roof had to be replaced, and our contractor said to hubby, “It was a very unhappy house, but now it’s happy again.” We now have the smartest roof in the whole street.


One would never guess from looking at the outside, that once through the door, this grim sight would be there to greet you.


The previous owners must have left in a hurry, as they left behind this gorgeous old radiogram, which was taken away by the garbage truck this morning, along with a lot of other rubbish.


The kitchen will of course need to be totally gutted and redone. That ugly piece of wall on the left, is right in the middle of the living area, and will also have to go.


I’m sure you’ll agree that the second bathroom is in need of a bit of a makeover.


This guest bedroom isn’t quite ready for visitors yet.


The floor and windowsill of the other spare bedroom were absolutely covered in dead bees. The poor things must have got in, but couldn’t get out again.


The master bedroom is huge, but that once gorgeous, plush cream carpet is totally ruined, so will have to come up.


The bathroom needs a lot of titivation too, and that awful wallpaper has to go.


Here’s another bathroom in line with the master bathroom, so we’re going to combine the two to make a ‘his and hers’ shower. How’s this amazing wallpaper? Are any of you interested in the ancient treadmill. It’s going for free. πŸ™‚


There’s a really big lanai, half of which will be incorporated into the main living area.


The view is just as we remembered it, and I’m hoping the white pelican that I saw there in February, is still around somewhere.


Well that’s about it. All the floor tiles have to be taken up, and the ceilings sorted out. The garden is a bit of a jungle, but hubby is going to look for something like a machete to hack his way through the undergrowth.


We do have our own stash of bananas in the front garden.


Also, there are mushrooms on the back lawn, so we won’t starve; just joking of course.


Lots of work to do. Thank goodness I don’t have to live there whilst it being done. Hubby is a really keen renovator, and this will be the first house he’s done, without me having to live with the mess. I remember one house in Johannesburg, where I had to literally walk the plank from the front door to the rest of the house, after he’d taken up the worn out wooden floor. He then knocked down a wall and eventually filled the hole with the rubble. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this house. I’m sure it’s going to be quite a transformation.

133 comments on “Sunday Stills: ‘Abandoned’ house; the full catastrophe.

  1. Somehow I missed this post Sylvia but came over from your most recent one. Wow, you do have your work cut out for you but sounds as if hubby is on it and will do a magnificent renovation work. Think how beautiful it will all be when it’s done…and it’s great to get all those before and after pics for posterity πŸ™‚ Oh, and how amazing to have your very own banana tree in your front garden like that…love it πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for looking, Sherri. Yes there’s much work and planning to be done, but one day, I know it will be perfect. πŸ™‚ We’re keeping an eye on the bananas and will try them when they’re ripe. πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Wood Storks go stalking three by three. | anotherdayinparadise

  3. It looks like a lot of work to me, Ad, and then a crocodile under your nose as a reward! I’d find the croc a little hard to live with and I’m no good at mess. I’d better stay put πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Nice to see your progress.

    • Thanks, Anna. It’s a pretty sad story about the house. The previous owners couldn’t afford to get the roof fixed after it was damaged by a hurricane, as they had hectic medical expenses for a sick child, so they just abandoned the house.

  4. Oh my God ! … And I have been dwelling over my ongoing bathroom renovation … I must say your renovation is beating me by far …
    I donΒ΄t live at home either … We donΒ΄t have any water for a few weeks …

    But I must say that inspite of what I can see of your photos … This house is beautiful … And then the garden … I envy you both … But not the renovation … Many hugs to you Sylvia from me and little Yarri … // Maria πŸ™‚

    • I think any renovations, however small or big,can be very traumatic. I’ve gone through so many in my married life, including at least five bathrooms and three new kitchens. In two of our houses, hubby replaced every window frame and door, including the double panelled garage door, with wooden ones which he made himself. He’s is a very keen DIY fanatic, and always does a fantastic job. I’ll probably be able to help him with this one, once all the mold and dirt is cleared out. πŸ™‚ Hugs to you and little Yarri. xx Here’s a blog post from last year, showing the new kitchen he made in our present house.

  5. I am soooo happy for you both! The roof is HAPPY ! I have never seen such mold but based on what I saw your taste is impeccable! Can’t wait to see it finished! My treadmill went this year after 14 years of use! Wish we lived closer!

  6. Oh wow – you really have a blank canvas. Couldn’t help but notice – did the previous owner/tenant try to smoke various parts of the building? Haha the wallpaper is def a keeper πŸ˜‰

  7. I think both of you are beyond BRAVE to be undertaking this project, but there’s no doubt it’ll be gorgeous once done. I’ve seen hubby’s work in previous posts. How lucky you are to have such a talented spouse and not have to live with the construction chaos this time around!

    • Thanks, Gunta. Yes, I’m beyond thrilled that I don’t have to live with all the mess and dust this time around. Hubby says that compared with some of his past renovation work, this one is “a piece of old tackie.” πŸ™‚

    • Yes it is, rather a big task, but hubby has really got stuck in over the last three days, clearing, ripping up carpets and pulling out cupboards, He never ceases to amaze me, and he’s losing weight into the bargain, πŸ™‚ We will eventually move in there, and sell or rent this one.

      • A big project, but at least you can be there all the time now to oversee. You will have to be the tea-lady arriving at various intervals, plates of goodies to keep his strength up

  8. I’m sure the bananas will provide hubby with a lot of the energy he’s going to need to fix that place up. πŸ˜‰
    I’m sure it’s going to look stunning when he’s done!

  9. Hi AD, I’m already anticipating the “after” pics. The place’s got so much potential. All the best with the renovations…x

  10. WOW! The bees! It looks worse than the ONE house we remodeled that we live in. It’s got great bones and location, location, location. What are you going to do with it once it’s finished? Is this going to be your new home or is this a flip? Your husband is certainly capable and more ambitious than we are.

    • Yes, those poor bees really didn’t have a happy ever after story to tell. 😦 We intend living in this house once it’s finished. I’m sure hubby will make a grand job, but it’s going to take some time, as he likes to be a one man band on these projects. πŸ™‚

  11. Wow it looks good from the outside with the new roof. Also the banana tree is great… The rest….
    So much work to do. Need to think of what it will look like later and you are laughing. A big job though
    All the best and plenty of muscles to hubby.

  12. I always enjoy “before” and “after” photos. But I like “before” better because it is the start of the journey, which to me is the best part. That’s when you take a big gulp of air, and take the plunge. A house knows that it is loved. And this one is indeed loved – which was confirmed by your contractor. I am so excited for you! πŸ™‚

  13. Fantastic, Sylvia! The before and after shots are going to look amazing! It’s an absolutely beautiful house with miles of potential (and I love those bananas – the tree must stay) πŸ˜‰

  14. What to do in the tropics/wet sub-tropics, eh, when the roof’s become a sieve – mould, mildew and black slime begin to rule, oh so quickly! I’m smiling at the prospect of the renovation job – what an exciting project! I’m envious and looking forward to updates (and wishing it was me) πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Meredith. Since the roof has been sealed for a month now, the house has dried out really well. We’ll win the battle against the mold and mildew. Hubby wears a mask when he’s in there, so that he doesn’t breath it in. πŸ™‚ xx

      • I’m glad to hear that everything’s drying out well; and that hubby is donning the mask – dried out, it’s probably more toxic than when it was oozing! Anyway, he needs to keep wearing it till everything’s stripped out. What a joy to be able to shut the door on it every night and go home for a loverley (sic) shower and to sleep in your crisp clean sheets. πŸ™‚

  15. That is definitely a project, but I have a feeling that you and hubby will turn it around into something quite amazing. And actually I think you should try and keep some of that wallpaper with the palm trees, I actually quite like that. It’s quite African looking. It’s a shame that the bank (I am assuming that the bank repossessed it) allowed the roof to deteriorate into such a bad state, so much of the internal damage could have been prevented. I bet the previous owners could weep over that mess.

    • Yes, the bank are totally responsible for the state of the place. When we first saw it 3 years ago, it was of course in a much state, but the people who were dealing with it are based in Texas, and it was almost impossible to negotiate a price. They just didn’t want to know. This time, we took photos, which the agents sent to them, and I think they realised that any offer was a good one. We’ve made a good buy, as one of the neighbours with the same house as ours, has just sold his for $250,000 more than we paid for ours. πŸ˜€

      • Is this a project for investment or are you aiming to live there yourself? You already have a house close by don’t you? Just thinking that you could probably make a tidy profit if you renovate to sell as you don’t have to put in quite the same specification of internal fixtures and fittings as you would for yourselves.

    • Yes, we do intend to live there when it’s finished. We’ll make a tidy profit on our present one if we sell it, as we bought almost at the bottom of the market and have done a lot to it. We prefer this one because it’s bigger and also detached.

  16. One big job done! I was going to say, you almost bought a brand new house after all is repaired and renovated. But to gratify your husband’s renovation talents, the house is all worth the work it entails. πŸ™‚

  17. With vision and a workable plan, hubby will perform his magic and the good news is that you don’t have to live with it while it is being renovated. I suspect there is mold, but that is treatable, too. I’m sure your neighbors are glad that this house will be loved, once again.

  18. Eeeeek! One of those wrecks abandoned during the real estate bust…but you’re right, from the outside one would never know what awaits. You’ll make it a show stopper there is no doubt! But for now, maybe a glass of wine?

  19. Whenever the hard work gets too much, go outside and soak up the view. I’m sure the white pelican will parade at his best.
    And good luck with the renovations! Once it’s finished, it will be your private paradise – not for another day, but for many years to come.

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