Eleven HousePhase 1 - The Square The "Eleven" : The Fixer Upper 

Eleven House: Permits and Cash Back!

We’re in the pink!

We finally got the official okey-dokey on the house! Our permits of many colors are taped to the front window of Eleven!

City inspectors and state fire marshals had to check out the house before we changed anything. Everything has to be approved. The inspectors check out the floor plans, inspect plans for repairs, and discuss any changes.  Once they are satisfied, they sign off on the application and we display our permits in the front window.


So our first deconstruction project was to start cleaning out the basement. Our plan was to disconnect  the radiators and remove all the pipes in the basement. But safety first! We donned our safety glasses and filtration masks before heading to the dark side:

Ah, did you hear the news in that video? Yep, Bill Spaid and I are engaged!

Enough mushiness. Let’s move on to some numbers! With the permits costing around $900, we want to recover some of that cost by selling off things we don’t need. So, the metal we pulled out of the basement went to the scrap yard, netting us $122. Here I am, checking out the old coal bin next to the steps:

cash crone in the basement of darkness
cash crone in the basement of darkness

We sold one of those great farmhouse sinks! It is going to a home in Burlington, leaving us $100 richer.

farmhouse sink

The upstairs claw foot tub will travel to another state, after selling it to the highest eBay bidder for $125. (UPDATE: My buyer backed out at the last minute! But we eventually found a new buyer for both tubs.)

upstairs bath tub

That’s a grand total of $347 back into the kitty.  I wish I could find a use for all this wood lath.

More Paper

We also found some “paperwork” that we consider a treasure! We pulled an old salt pork barrel out of the basement (sans salt pork). An old, slightly damp newspaper clung to the top. It turned out to be a newspaper from somewhere around Thanksgiving, 1902! Here it is:

old newspaper from 1902
found in the basement







UPDATE: Leslie Pitt Lowery sent a link that shows old funny papers. She found the cartoon that was on this paper by Googling “Gaston” and “1902.” Thank you, Leslie! Here it is:



Who knows what other treasures we’ll find! I love finding these little bits of history.

So today was tiring, and fun, and productive – and fun! We have a lot more cleanup to do, but feel that today was a good start.

Project Tips

Here are a few tips if you are working on a similar project:

  1. Expect surprises.  The permits cost quite a bit more than I planned, but they are important. Don’t cut corners – submit the applications and get the proper permits. Inspectors and fire marshals are your friends – they make sure everything is safe and up-to-code.
  2. Look for ways to replace money in the budget. We could have simply taken the pipes to the landfill. Instead we took them to the scrapyard and added $122 to the kitty! Bonus points to us for allowing the metal to be reused. Good for the planet, and good for the wallet. I knew I couldn’t use the claw foot tubs and the beautiful kitchen sinks in the new floor plan. I posted a few ads, and the sales netted a cash return of $247.
  3. Don’t get overwhelmed. Eleven isn’t one big project – it is a lot of smaller projects. We’re focusing on one at a time, and keeping our eye on the finish line.
  4. Have fun! I am so lucky to have Bill Spaid as a partner in this project. You can mix work with play!

I’d love to hear about your own projects!

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2 Thoughts to “Eleven House: Permits and Cash Back!”

  1. Sam

    Nice portraits of you two. So revealing! PINK Vader – Ha!

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