Bacon Bits – Part I: Jr Bacon

It’s official (finally)!  The Bowens have a new home on Bacon Avenue.  While fully move in ready, we are going to be doing some pretty major reconstruction to it while we live there.  We were finally able to close on the 17th, and the contractor has just started to take trees down and start the work.

The House

The house we bought was originally a home built by Habitat for Humanity that was later sold.  It sits at the end of the street, with a nice big backyard.  While we will be having work done to it, the basics are all there and everything is in great shape.  The engineered hardwood floors are a nice bonus, as is the nice open kitchen.  And natural light.  Lots of windows, which we are really excited about.

The Name

While our house dead-ends one side of Bacon Avenue, our very good friends live at the last house on the opposite end of the street, appropriately titled the Baconator.  Our new next door neighbors also remodeled an old Habitat home, and they documented the whole process on their site – We Live on Bacon.  Our house is a bit smaller than the Baconator, so we dubbed it Jr Bacon.  

Had to have the “Bacon” novelty…

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The ‘Hood

Bacon Avenue is in the “Historic West End” of Charlotte – essentially in Biddleville.  It’s about 1.5 miles from the heart of Uptown, Charlotte.  Historically a fairly diverse area, it was the subject of a mini-documentary you can see here.

The Changes

Interior

While most of the reconstruction is exterior work, we are doing some things inside.  The first thing we did when we closed was to get in and repaint all of the ceilings, walls and trim.  What a difference that made.  Couldn’t have done it without our parents, as well as the master painter, Don Bowen (my granddad).

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The other plans for the inside are to remodel the kitchen and the main bathroom.  The layout of the current kitchen is pretty good, but the cabinets are getting old and there are some things that could be rearranged to give more cabinet space.  The plan is to install Maple cabinets, new countertops (granite woot!) and a center butcher block island, as well as new can lights to give better light over the whole space.

The bathroom work is pretty standard – a better tub, new vanity and a transient window over the tub to provide natural light.

Exterior

The house right now is all vinyl siding.  Soon, that will all go and will be replaced by more durable (and better looking) hardboard siding.  We decided to pull the siding off by ourselves in order to save on labor costs…you’ll find out in a future post whether or not that was a good idea.

The current porch will be removed and a new porch will be built in the center of the house.  We’re bring out the dimensions from ~6’x4′ to 22’x8′.  Can’t wait to have a central outside place to hang out with neighborhood friends (I work with a guy who lives down the street, and several families from our church are within walking distance).

The right side of the house, until this week obstructed by overgrown bushes and trees, will become the new driveway that leads to…wait for it…the garage/workshop.  Easily the thing I am most excited about, it will be a modest 1 car garage that will give us some extra storage space (and woodworking shop), since we are losing a little square footage inside.

Future site of the garage/workshop:

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Future driveway:
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The rest of the yard will be fenced, and soon after we’ll be looking to begin planting.  The previous owner planted a few Asian pear trees that we are excited to see produce fruit.  The soil seems rich, and there are all kinds of things growing in (and out) of the garden box – blueberries, wild strawberries, honeysuckle and a variety of trees and shrubs I have no idea how to identify.

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And that, for the time being, is that.  We are so excited to be moving in this weekend and thankful for all of the help we’ve received from family and friends.  Six trees were taken down this week and work should begin soon.  We’ll keep updating the blog as things progress.

– Ryan & Samantha –