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‘This old house shines again’: A nine-month journey to renovate a 1924 farmhouse in Hyattsville, Md.

‘This old house shines again’: A nine-month journey to renovate a 1924 farmhouse in Hyattsville, Md.
Posted on August 17, 2017

By Nigel F. Maynard (View full article online on The Washington Post)

Nigel F. Maynard is an architecture and design writer/editor living with his wife, Stephenie, and their 140-pound harlequin Great Dane, Yeager, in historic Hyattsville, Md. From December to February, he chronicled their experiences on The Post’s Where We Live blog renovating the 1924 farmhouse. Now he writes about the finished product.

When my wife, Stephenie, and I decided that we wanted a single-family house with a front porch and a bigger yard, we set out to find a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood within walking distance to restaurants and easy access to Washington.

The task proved difficult, but after a long search, we bought a neglected 1924 Colonial farmhouse in Historic Hyattsville. After nine months of extensive renovation work, challenges and inspection corrective orders, this old house shines again.

With its collection of late-19th and early-20th-century homes and its friendly atmosphere, our neighborhood is the ideal place for us. The people are welcoming, dogs abound and the city is very much engaged with the community. Our house had seen better days, but there was much to love. You just had to see past the neglect.

Measuring just about 1,500 square feet, the house has high ceilings; a decent-size lot; a large wraparound front porch; an open floor plan; large windows; and a great location near the burgeoning Route 1 corridor with restaurants, shopping and a new Whole Foods just down the street. Still, we had our work cut out for us.