Disaster House - Abridged

In 2016 I bought a house in Avalon PA near Pittsburgh. At the time it seemed like PGH was a fine investment; Blød Maud was fulfilling and gigging actively and I worked only a short drive away. Actually, Emily (bldmd writer/singer), bought this place along with me! Both the band and the job didn't last much longer, however, and as those incentives died away, I dug my commitment into renovating this house deeper and deeper... who's got the time to dig into why that is, there are a lot of pictures to see.

First of all, here's images I dug up from the initial listing! Cheap/dirty carpets, drop ceilings, tacky wallpaper, wood paneling, vinyl tiles, fluorescent lighting. Oh also one bedroom was only accessible through either of the other two. Fabulous.

We knew we wanted to do a few things, mostly just get rid of the drop ceilings and the vinyl tile floors upstairs. That flew out the door really, really fast once we got the keys and started pulling up carpets downstairs – there was oak flooring under that garbo!

as we moved upstairs, though, things got pretty serious. It became clear quickly that the walls behind the panels were in bad shape and that bothered me a lot. This was my first time encountering plaster and lathe walls and I thought rather than fix it I should just replace it with proper drywall. This was a very (literally) heavy decision – that shit was really hard to get rid of and the dust probably took 15 years off my life.

and when we realized that meant taking down the ceilings too, things got really dusty.

demo is easy, though. This is when things started moving slowly in general, new work is much harder to plan, afford, and motivate yourself to do. But eventually we got drywall up (also insulation).

Went with a light gray paint up there. Things started to look good at this point, the natural sun up there is killer. But this was years in and years to go still.

threw in some laminate flooring, seemed the most affordable option

then adding trim and washing any exposed brick (these got sealed later)....

And, at that point, the upstairs was pretty much complete and I made myself an actual bedroom and an office

Maybe the worst thing I did (and I did a lot of awful things), this stair railing was really tough, even with a ton of great help.

then onto the living room to sand and re-stain the floors, as well as remove that gaudy faux-fireplace

same treatment to the dining room downstairs, had to replace some boards here as well.

and a bonus if you actually made it this far – the 'studio' as I had to constantly move it around and reshape it.

and the final listing photos when it went up for sale (compare to photos at the top of this post)