Top 3 This Old House Reader Remodel Before and Afters

Here at This Old House, our readers never cease to amaze us. It's amazing what they've accomplished with some good old-fashioned elbow grease! Get inspired by their results, and perhaps, steal an idea or two for your spring remodel. -Tabitha Sukhai

Italianate Before and After: A Community Saves an Old House

Before: Exterior

Vic and Cindy Young never planned on ending up back in Ohio. Sure, the Buckeye State was dear to their hearts-Vic grew up in Cincinnati, and Cindy spent many years in nearby Lebanon-but after moving to Colorado and then living abroad, the couple figured their heartland days were far behind them.

But when their four children ended up settling in the Midwest, coming home started to look like a pretty good idea. "We decided to find a place where they would all be able to come down in just one day to visit us," Vic says. But not just any place. They wanted a historic house in a historic town. And since Vic, a full-time restorer of old houses, was hankering for a new DIY project, it wouldn't hurt if the place were a fixer-upper, too.

After: Exterior
They got their wish with the property featured in our December 2005 Save This Old House column. Set atop a steep hillside overlooking the Ohio River in the town of Ripley, the 1840s Italianate had original double-hung windows crowned with drip lintels, Italianate columns flanking a wide front porch, and broad eaves supported by ornate brackets.

"It looked so forlorn up there on the hill," Vic recalls of the house, which had stood abandoned for decades. "There were more majestic houses to be found, but this one spoke to both of us."

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Bath Before and After: A Bumpout Adds Space and River Views

Before: Blech!

Narrow windows, dingy tiles, mirrored walls, and leaky pipes made the 1980s-style bath redo feel uninviting and out of sync with the house's period.

After: A Relaxing Retreat

On a platform in the new windowed bay, a Waterworks tub soaks up natural light and scenic vistas.

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Kitchen Before and After: Affordable Modern Makeover to Open Up a Cramped, Dated Space

Before: Low on Space

The old kitchen was closed off save for a doorway and pass-through. It lacked ample counter space and was overrun not only with old cabinets and inefficient appliances, but with ants as well. For the owners of this home, a designer-contractor duo, a small, dated kitchen wasn't acceptable. By knocking down a wall, updating the amenities, and adding color, they created a space that feels open and airy.

After: Cheery and Charming

The green pantry wall (far right) covers the spot where a back door stood. The concrete subfloor, exposed when vinyl was removed was cleaned and colored with an acid-based stain. Toekicks were built 1 inch higher than normal to allow for future installation of wood or tile.

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