Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Beginning

Well, now we've gone and done it. Earlier this week, we closed on "Big Orange" ... "Orange Crush" ... "Orangehaus" ... Whatever you want to call it, it's pumpkin-colored and it's massive. And, it's about 120 years old.

For most of the 13 years of our marriage so far, this has been Marlo's dream: to be part of history by owning an old house. One that we can pour our family's love and effort into, and to be a place of Community. I've been the one who has resisted and put up roadblocks. Worried about the looming projects, the endless to-do lists, the need for another whole emergency budget just for home repairs.

But somehow, you know what?... two days into this "project," now I'm excited too. (I would say don't tell Marlo but I think she's already figured it out.)
Lots of pictures and video to come throughout this lifelong journey, but to start with here is a BEFORE and NOW exterior pic:


  1. We are so happy for you. Rest assured, you will go through all the emotions of owning, renovating/restoring this beautiful gem. When we felt our lowest, cash-strapped, cold, annoyed, frustrated, & constantly asking ourselves "what have we done?" and "how do we fix this?"...Always remember Big Orange will love you for restoring her! And she will always rise up to meet you every day! God Bless. Cannot wait to hear about all the progress. PS: Get yourselves each a pair (or 10) of good work gloves! ;-) Lib & Shawn

  2. Thanks so much Lib! You guys come over and check her out for yourselves!

  3. Oh Marlo and Ben - We absolutely love your house! How I wish we lived close by so we could lend a helping hand. When we were much younger we also wanted to find an old large cool house to fix up but could not find any in Phoenix. So we built a house from the ground up. Your house has soooo much potential. I can't wait to see what you're going to do with it.
    Love, Sue and Jerry

  4. Sue! Oh how we wished you lived closer too! You and Jerry are exactly the people with know how that we need as a resource! I consider the McInturfs the best DIY people ever!
    We are wading through the first few weeks of large projects, namely the construction of a kitchen on a small budget. Any advice on that end? Thanks.

  5. If you're going to put new cabinets in, I recommend IKEA - at least for the bases. I put in all drawers, except for under the sink and it was one of the best decisions I made. If you are going to reuse existing cabinets, see if you can convert some doors into drawer fronts. Watch craigs list and check the Habitat for Humanity frequently for kitchen stuff. We got some great deals from both. We also sold some stuff from the previous kitchen and gave some other people a great deal.