Tired Tudor gets a Second Life

A couple turns around a rundown Tudor with a lot of work and a lot of love.

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With an eye for details, they handpicked from a pile of old bricks to make sure the addition blended in with the existing structure.

When architect Chris Davis and his wife Stephanie went looking for a home, they were willing to take on a house in need of a little work. Actually, they were willing to put in a lot of work. "Stephanie and I are always looking for the right project. We constantly scope out our favorite neighborhoods in search of the worst house on the best block. And we found it," Davis says.

What they found behind overgrown shrubs was a charming Tudor that had grown very tired after 70 years of neglect. They loved the location, but also felt a duty to save the house.

"This was such a great small house, with so much character and potential," Chris says. "And it was so rundown that we knew it would be demolished if anyone else bought it. Not to mention its location. Right in the middle of one of our favorite blocks in our favorite neighborhood in Denver."

The modern kitchen features durable countertops made from the same material used to build ramps in skateboard parks.
They dropped the floor in the back of the house and expanded to create room for a new dining room, kitchen and family room.
One of the first tasks the Davis' faced was adding support to the brick walls. They literally swayed when Chris placed a ladder against the outside wall and climbed up.
For the wooden slates at the peaks, the Davis' used boards from a dilapidated old snow fence.

So they rolled up their sleeves and got to work on an extensive renovation. After gutting the house they basically started with a clean slate. They reinforced the brick walls and expanded the kitchen and dining area. Stephanie set about redesigning the master bath. After about eight months of hard work, and some ingenious recycling of old building materials, they had turned the tired Tudor into a modern charmer.

But by doing a lot of work themselves, and getting creative when it came to materials, allowed the couple to meet their budget.

"One of the biggest challenges was completing the renovation on such a tight budget. This meant that Stephanie and I had to spend every waking minute of our spare time on site, working," Chris says. "Another was compromising the practical with the ideal."

Stephanie says all the work really made just talking about buying a house

"People talk about being a homeowner, but really what they're talking about is buying a house that already existed," Stephanie says. "For us, we bought a house that needed a lot of work, a lot of repair and a lot of love. And we put all that into it and are able to own it in a lot of ways other than financially."

And as with most labors of love, the Davis' are still working on perfecting their home.

"We are constantly changing things and finishing things," Chris says. "We recently repainted our living room, repainted the basement, including a lime green color on the fireplace, and put a new bar in the kitchen made of honed limestone."

The couple is now enjoying the benefits of their hard work. And the house itself has been saved from demolition and given a bright future.

"Living in the house over the past year has made everything worth it all. It has turned from being a project to being a home," Chris says. "We are proud of what this house is to us and what it will be for us or some other family in the future."

And they're already on the lookout for another fixer-upper.

"I think that we will definitely do another project," Chris says. "We have been considering buying something in the mountains as our next project...Who knows? Only time will tell, but both of us get the renovation bug pretty easily."

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