On the fifteenth of February in 2017 the Cowboy and I closed on this property where we now reside for a portion of each year. We had purchased the property sight unseen through our realtor Pam, who we trusted. She viewed the property, took detailed photos and told us “you people are nuts” but in the next breath said, “with the talents you two have, this place has huge potential.” And she was right–it did have potential and all it took was a bit of money and tons of hard, physical, back breaking work over the five years living part time in Arizona.
It was two houses separated by a four foot space but both houses were under the same roof–or what was left of the roof and situated on three acres of land. According to neighbors, the houses had been abandoned for approximately 10 years. The house was advertised as having power (very important in this area as it costs $25/foot to run power to your lot), a well which we discovered was dry, and septic system.
We had a new well drilled, spread truck loads of gravel to contain the dust and got to work.
The original house was built in 1972 and we are not sure when the smaller of the two houses was added. This smaller house was in better condition and had less roof water damage than the main house. It had a finished (mostly) kitchen with refrigerator, dishwasher and gas range as well as a complete bathroom. We decided to live in the motorhome and finish what we started to call “the guest house.” We would then live in the guest house while finishing the main house.
As you can see, both houses had traditional peaked roofs. I’ve always wanted a southwest, Santa Fe style house–so my Cowboy with a lot of hard work created one for me. Fixing the roofs was a priority that first spring of 2017.
We now have a house that looks like this–
These two photos are of the guest house kitchen in its original state. We removed that weird center cabinet/eating area.
The living room area had a dropped floor of about 8 inches and some weird doors and walls–the Cowboy raised the floor, removed walls and laid tile.
And now for the main house–it was in sad condition, no kitchen, no plumbing, horrible roof leaks, nasty carpet. It’s still hard for us to believe we created this beautiful home. We built walls to move walls, moved way too many walls, hoisted a 300 pound beam into the ceiling of the living room, laid and grouted about 3000 square feet of tile, custom built kitchen cabinets, planted trees and added a watering system, picked up and disposed of tons of junk the previous owners left, added a garage, painted endless walls and ceilings, installed some new windows, hung insulation (ugh), installed heating and air conditioning, made countless trips to Sierra Vista and Tucson for supplies, and shopped Craigslist for furnishing. We hired someone to stucco the outside of the house, to pour the outside concrete porch floors and to test the mini split heating and air conditioning units–the rest of the incredibly hard work was done by the Cowboy and me. All that hard work just adds to our immense satisfaction with the finished home.
And the master bath now–I wanted no glass doors or shower curtains to keep clean–the Cowboy delivered.
And this was what was left of the kitchen in the main house–
There was no working plumbing in the main house, the Cowboy had to jack hammer the concrete to move the bathroom and kitchen plumbing to the right places as we had moved walls. I had a magazine article describing a kitchen I loved–big windows, all drawers in the lower cabinets, no upper cabinets. We basically stuck with the design from the article with the exception of installing upper cabinets on the side of the kitchen without windows. I think the kitchen is my favorite room in the whole house, maybe–I love the porch too and the dining room, and the living room!!
These cabinets on the porch were obtained with another day of hard, back breaking work. The Cowboy saw the cabinets advertised on Craigslist for free–if someone would remove them from their location. It literally took us all day long to get those cabinets out of that house. We brought them home and the Cowboy remodeled the cabinets to make them fit our space–they add so much to the porch room.
So–that’s a lot of words and a lot of photos. And while we love our house and are so pleased with how it now looks it’s not something either of us wants to ever do again.