Queen of Stinky Houses

Yes, that is me. The Queen of Stinky Houses.  I think the smell actually produces a fog that smothers my ability to think rationally which fires up my nurturing guards to do whatever it takes to make this smell go away.  It is what my kids hate when I deal with them and what my husband hates when I shop for houses!  So how do you stop a house from stinking?   Silly question!  You buy it of course!

The first really ..really.. stinky house we purchased was built in 1945 and had just under 900 sqft.  It had two bedrooms and 1 bath, an oversized laundry room, carpet flooring, mold in the walls, no HVAC system, and a cistern or well under the house.  We purchased this beauty at an auction while it was occupied.  That was interesting.

So once we were able to start working on the house, the demo was horrible. The carpet still gives me nightmares.  The filth. The smell. It was bad.  What was good? We did it together. Whenever I have the opportunity to have all my babies together, husband included, and we are having fun and getting things done – it is a great day for me.  The best Mother’s Day Gift ever!

Here, you can see my little Addison, who is now 8 years old, but in this video, she was getting things done, with the help of her big brother (Bubby Armstrong).  I truly believe in the value of hard work, and equally in the value of family and working together. That trumps any smell, any day.

And to continue his obvious strength, Evan demonstrates how to take out a sheet-rocked wall.

and that is how it is done.

To get a better understanding of the condition of this home, I found some of the before photos.. I wish they were better quality, but you can get the idea!


Pretty bad hu?  Well after some serious demo, we worked hard to piece things back together and deal with the challenges as they came. One of those challenges was the low ceilings. We put in an HVAC system, however due to the lack of space in the attic area, and the lack of space to put a full pull-down attic stairway, we decided to create an access panel disguised by the ceiling beams that we created in the living room (credit for this is to Chris Whatley, cMARC Homes). In one of the “squares” created by the crossing beams, we put in an access panel right in the living room that was completely un-detected!

The results? My proudest moment was on the final day after staying up all night before preparing for new tenant to move in. We were actually laying sod at 2:00 am. But it was worth it. The only smell that was in this home now was what I call the “new car smell”. Just beautiful!






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