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Tour Tennessee Reno Husbands PJ and Thomas McKay's Restored Family Craftsman Home

July 21, 2023

"Property Lovers" couple PJ and Thomas McKay fell in love with the past and set out to make one of the biggest future decisions a couple could make: purchase and renovate the family home that Thomas grew up in, together. After surprise tear-downs, tons of termites, flash floods and fights about light switches, the two now get to watch their kids grow up in the same home filled with all new family memories.

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza. From: Down to the Studs.

If Walls Could Talk

Real estate duo, husbands for 13 years and dads of three, PJ and Thomas McKay live in a beautiful 1924 Craftsman home in Cleveland, Tennessee, with their kids Allan, Zechariah and Ariana — but this is present day. Rewind to 1985, when the home was Thomas’ childhood paradise and a DIY playground for his parents’ never-ending renovation adventures. Several decades later, the home itself fell into complete shambles and desperately needed new, nurturing homeowners. Cue the McKays. "We met back in 2009 at a mutual friends’ get together and we just hit it off," Thomas says. "We both grew up in the same small town, and we bonded over that [and] over our love of homes and family. And the rest is history."

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Photo: Courtesy of PJ and Thomas McKay. From: Down to the Studs.

Family Traits

"I think the biggest reason why we wanted to buy [this] home is because it's the house I grew up in," Thomas continues. "My mom and dad bought the house in 1985 [and] renovated it themselves." By the time he was a teenager, the DIY bug had already bit him. "My family would come home to find that I had rearranged the rooms again."

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Photo: Courtesy of PJ and Thomas McKay. From: Down to the Studs.

Thomas Was Here

PJ adds, "And there’s just so much history of his family being here." Thomas' childhood handprints are in the pavement right out front in concrete, along with his siblings' prints, too.

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Photo: Courtesy of PJ and Thomas McKay. From: Down to the Studs.

Following Footsteps

A vintage photo of Thomas' mom, Lila, standing proudly beside the sold sign gave the two inspiration to proudly recreate the moment and proclaim their intent to restore the family home to its former glory.

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