Go big or go home

Our story so far: My husband Tyler picked up a lot of experience when he undertook a mammoth project back in the early 1990s to renovate an old tobacco farmhouse without any modern amenities into his house.

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One of the things I like to say about my enterprising husband is that he is one to go big or go home. He likes big steaks, big trucks and, fortunately for me, big women (or at least tall ones; I’m 5-foot-10). Our RV is among the biggest on the road, and of course, he’s fond of big houses, too.

finished house
Tyler’s addition to his reno house nearly doubled the original square footage.

This first renovation project was no different. Once Tyler had the old tobacco farmhouse livable, he decided he needed more space. So he built a 24-by-36-foot two-story addition; the main floor was the family room and above it was the master bedroom. (He deconstructed the Swedish wood stove and moved it to heat the addition.) And then he built a three-car garage on the other side of the farmhouse.

When I say “he built it,” I’m being literal. He would frame one wall and invite a buddy or a relative over to help him stand it up. People who know Tyler won’t be surprised he paid his buddies in beer. A lot of beer.

The entire project took just less than two years to construct. Five years after he and his wife bought it, they moved to Minnesota. They sold the old tobacco farm for ten times what they’d paid to purchase it.

Ironically, Tyler’s old tobacco farmhouse transformation was big enough to house a whole congregation—let’s call it cathedral big. We drove by it not long ago, and there’s cross, a flag and a rustic sign out front that reads “Eternal Light Fellowship/Faith Hope Family/ Sunday Worship 10:30 a.m.”

fellowship church
That’s Tyler first renovated house, er, church, in the background.

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Tomorrow: Chapter 8 opens with a moment of gratitude. Read it here.

4 thoughts on “Go big or go home

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