From Margaret Everton on February 19, 2010 in Pittsburgh
Here’s to the fact that you don’t have to be a pro to make a house look awesome. We’re going to tell you a story. It’s a story with a hero and a happy ending. It’s a story meant to inspire you and encourage you. First, lets set the stage. Think old. Like, a long time ago. Its a 100-year-old house in Lawrenceville. Now, think young. Think a 27-year old fresh-faced Pennsylvanian who has a nice office job as an urban planner. Sounds like the beginning to a scary story, right? The home was, to use a modest expression, a fixer upper. As friendly as he was, Chuck (the 27-year old) wasnt quite sure what fix meant, and wouldnt know a hammer if he tripped over one. OK, so thats an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Chuck just bought a house that would have been a nightmare even to the experienced handyman with a lot of cash and time on hand. Chuck had neither, and when he purchased the home, his family contemplated checking him into the mental hospital. Which is where the story takes a turn for the better. Chuck, with all the youthful tenacity attendant to a 27-year-old living in a centenarian home, decided he was going to revolutionize his aged cave into a marvelous living space. It wasnt easy, and it wasnt cheap. He set aside a $25,000 fund, allocated a year or so, and solicited the pros and a few buddies to help him on the project. Chuck the Rookie got down to work. Although his knowledge of the working end of a screwdriver may have been in question, his aesthetic tastes were out of this world. He grabbed a panoramic mosaic from the Pittsburgh Glass Center. He transformed linoleum countertops into Trump-home style countertops. He purchased painting supplies and primed and painted the house from floor to ceiling. He took precious vacation days to scrap wallpaper, paint, crud, and deceased flooring. He pounded nails, cleaned the basement, landscaped the yard, and did everything that everyone else thought impossible. He transformed the house into something worth talking about. In Chucks words, I came in here not knowing what I was trying to achieve, but I explored my options and did my research. He did much more than that. He worked hard. Very hard. It all paid off. The prestigious 2009-2010 Renovation Inspiration Contest handed Chuck the Large Project Runner-up Award. Hes a pretty lucky guy.