Craftsman Bungalow Restoration #1: Bungalow H...E... Double Hockey Sticks

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Blog entry by gizmodyne posted 06-13-2007 03:57 PM 3063 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Craftsman Bungalow Restoration series Part 2: Gasp! »

Introducing the Money Pit
I thought I would blog about some of the restoration projects here at the homestead since so many of them:
a) involve wood
b) require tools
c) got me into woodworking

In June 2001, after 7 years of “courtship,” K. and I got married.
We moved from San Diego to Los Angeles for new jobs, but could not find a place to live. Our new school year was starting in a few days when we spotted an intriguing ad mentioning a rental house in “bungalow heaven.”

We drove into a forbidden area of Pasadena, north of the freeway and found a charming, tree-lined street. We got the house and six months later started looking for a home to buy.

After a few fallen offers I saw a house come up on the MLS…. On our street!

A short time later and we were the proud owners of one of the most decrepit houses on the block, a 1910 craftsman.

No heat… Worn electrical… Broken out windows… overgrown yard… cracked lead pipes…...fallen down fences….exposed crumbling garage….70’s remodel bathroom….

We loved it.

Next Time: Goodbye 1970’s.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

7 comments so far

View fred's profile


256 posts in 4120 days

#1 posted 06-13-2007 04:22 PM

The best real estate investment is to buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. I know “bungalow heaven” and it is a great neighborhood. Congratulations.

I am looking forward to your continuing series. And pics of course.

Gee, some of your projects at the house might qualify as outdoor projects for the summer challenge.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4275 days

#2 posted 06-13-2007 05:08 PM

It sounds like we have similar stories. We moved from the Chicago ‘burbs to the other end of the state – Metro East Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, and wound up buying a sad bungaloid that had been chopped up into 4 section 8 apartments. Talk about the worst/ugliest house on the block! But, out of necessity (new trim work, kitchen, etc.), it introduced me to woodworking. We’re 4 years into a 5 year plan – but we’re only about 75% done :-)

-- To do is to be

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4182 days

#3 posted 06-13-2007 05:24 PM

you are going to have a busy year, JS

Giz…I see another interesting story beginning!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4108 days

#4 posted 06-13-2007 06:49 PM

Giz…I just caught up on your cabinet blog…great series.

I’m really looking forward to following you along on this journey. My wife and I are thinking about selling our current home in a few years (once my youngest is done with college and on her own). We plan on buying the afore mentioned decrepit houses in decent neighborhoods…maybe doing it 3-4 times over the next 10 years. We will hold out to find the perfect bungalow for the last one and make it our dream house.

OK…get blogging

-- Bob

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4111 days

#5 posted 06-13-2007 07:23 PM

Just to be clear this story starts in 2002. I will be blogging the past and current…

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4108 days

#6 posted 06-14-2007 04:12 AM

It sounded like you were talking partly past tense…

You must have done very well with this house since 2002. I had the great fortune to buy my home in 1983…one year later it had doubled in value. We didn’t need to do a lot of work to it. It was brand new. I did frame and finish the basement and we’ve done a lot of imrovements in 24 years. A large part of our focus was on the outside. We have fairly extensive landscaping and gardens and a small treefarm.

I’m very interested to see what you’ve done. You do nice work and I like your taste….get some pictures posted…..schools out.

-- Bob

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4111 days

#7 posted 06-14-2007 07:12 AM

I am getting to it. Schools not out yet!

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

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