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We were inside for less than 15 minutes — you couldn't stay long on account of the strong odour — when my husband and I decided to put an offer on this adorable century-old rowhouse. It was in the perfect neighbourhood (no more driving to work), and the soaring ceilings sealed the deal. People thought we were crazy — we just barely settled into the brand-new condo we lived in for less than a year when we decided to look for a house. I thought we were brilliant! Flip the condo that we had already grown out of and buy a house that we could put our heart and soul into! I'm a huge believer in sweat-equity and I didn't want a house that had already been renovated to someone else's questionable tastes.

Then came the official inspection, revealing cracks, DIY electrical, mold, cigarette burns, fake panelling, lack of sunlight and an oversized chandelier in every room.

From the outside, it looks pretty adorable and I fell in love with the huge linden tree.

The entry was very dark but I loved the arches and high ceilings.

Most old houses have nice wooden stairs and rails. These... not so much. And the parquet floor looked like it was glued down. I wonder what was there originally?

The main living room has a nice bay window. I'm hoping there is hardwood under the carpet.

And then we hit the kitchen. Oh yes, it was a real beaut. You had to take a step up because there was a cement pad laid below the tile. I'm thinking the previous homeowners were in the cement business?

The main bathroom had a palette of soft blues. The tub was only about one foot high!

This is one of the second floor bedrooms — spacious with nice floors (finally!).

This is actually another second floor bedroom that was turned into an upstairs kitchen.

The back of the house was a whole mess of crazy! I mentioned it was a fixer-upper, right?

It's all in the details!

Cracks in the concrete and DIY electrical had us a bit worried.

Mould and water marks didn't help.

And who doesn't love glass block?

I'm not even going to show you the basement in this post — it's a whole other level of scary that should be saved for another week.

This is the neat and tidy condo we left behind for our new house. It's still a brilliant decision, right?

Stay tuned for my blog posts about the entire renovation, every other Tuesday.

Read blog posts about my colleague Catherine Sweeney's renovation process, too!

Photo credits:
1-15. Mandy Milks

Author: 

Mandy Milks

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