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In November 1968, David Caldwell Sr. drew up the house plans to his very first house. He was 27 years old and recently married to the maiden Phyllis Huggs. He built his own 3 bedroom, 1 bath house with a Rural Development loan and paid a whopping $11,400 total. The loan only covered $9,600, but luckily, David’s father graciously lent him $2,000, which was paid back before the end of the next year. The house did not have central heat or air and was only a little more than 1,200 square feet total.
There, they began to grow their family. He and Phyllis had two children, David Jr. and Charissa, then referred to as “Chrissy.” They spent 10 years at this house before renting it out to local families. During the 10 years, David made several improvements to the house. He took out one “hallway” in the living room and built his own decorative brick wall, he had central heat and air installed, he installed carpet over the original “short” hardwood floors in the bedrooms, hallway, and living room, he built and organized a shed in the backyard, and installed a chain link fence in the backyard. Most of what he added is still a part of the house several years later.
David Caldwell Sr. is my grandfather. This house has a rich history that I am proud to be a part of. I vividly remember spending my weekends and summers with my grandparents as they fixed up the house between renters. I imagined what it would have been like to live here with them. I spent many hours lying in the floor of each bedroom, wondering what it would have felt like to be here in the 70’s, when my mother was young and my uncle was just a toddler. In June 2017, my husband and I moved in to this house. Now, it is our home, too.
Though I was inherently familiar with the house, when we moved in, it was as if the space was totally different than I remembered. The rooms seemed smaller and the carpet stinkier. It was not as glamorous as I remembered. There was a lot of work to be done.
We ripped out the carpet immediately. The hardwood floors underneath were still in relatively good condition. There are still areas that have been damaged by pet messes, but we have not gotten the floors refinished yet.
Over time, we repainted the entire house, installed new carpet in two of the bedrooms, installed a new bathroom floor, and we have recently put in an order for new windows. The house has come a very long way, and we are proud of our work!
Below, are a few of our “after” photos. We are constantly working to improve the space, so stay tuned for updates and instructional articles!
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