“Ladies Changing Durham”

When we purchased the Colclough house, Jennifer and I met with dozens of contractors. They’d come down the driveway, open the truck door, and exclaim something like “this is quite the project.” Or, “do you two really own this?” Or even, “I’m a little freaked out about going upstairs.” Seriously.

It’s amazing to us just how many of these guys … guys who work on homes every day … had no vision for this house or thought we were crazy for taking on this giant restoration.

But, one guy pulled up, jump out of his truck and exclaimed “Ladies changing Durham!” We immediately loved this guy!

So far, we’ve surrounded ourselves with experts that see the vision and respect that two women can make it happen.

One of those experts is our electrical company Dynamic Electric. Check out Andrea, one of the electricians who wired the entire house. We think she’s pretty adorable along with being a badass! She’s definitely another lady changing Durham!


Wall-to-Wall Wood


Have you ever heard the saying “It’s gonna get worse before it gets better”?  Well, that certainly applies to the Colclough house.

As you’ve seen in our previous posts, we removed a few walls to turn three rooms into one big kitchen.  The floors in that new layout were good and bad, with many damaged areas. In other areas of the house, we have some patching to do. Our solution? We removed the entire kitchen floor. The good wood will be used for patching. Anything left will be sold for use in other homes.

As you can see in the photo above, we used one of the front formal rooms as the holding area for all that wood flooring along with a lot of the bead board that we removed from the ceilings. We also tried to remove all the old nails from each strip of wood.

The new kitchen will feature a new subfloor and all new hardwoods using the same cut and species of wood: quarter sewn heart of pine. This is the finest cut of wood used back in 1910.

This week, Sedaris Flooring began to patch all the damaged areas throughout the house. When the house is close to completion, they’ll come back to sand and seal the floors throughout the entire house.



People You Should Know

Things are moving fast at the Colclough House. In the past few weeks, so many experts have put their stamp on this historic restoration. Here’s the first list of contractors who’ve exceeded our expectations.

Asbestos removal. We hope you never find asbestos in your home, but, if you do, call ABControl. Call Jeff at 919-363-7575.


Foundation Repair and Reconstruction. Thanks to Ken Gash at Turnlight Partners, our foundation is rock-solid. Not sure why this extremely tall man chose to work in short spaces, but we’re sure glad he did. Call Ken at 919-475-8866.


Project Management and Site Supervision. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…we’re super lucky to have Trinity Build/Design on our side. Steven manages the sub-contractors, schedules, and budget, and Trent directs the work on-site. We’ve learned so much hanging with them on a daily basis. If you need a GC, give Lee a call at 704-277-2699.


Plumbing. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but seeing the plumbing installed was really exciting. I guess this was the first sign of new, modern materials installed in this old home. Greene Hunt Plumbing installed the rough-in (all the plumbing behind the walls and under the house) with meticulous precision. Archie seems to be a perfectionist. You can reach Greene Hunt at 919-291-5209.

Heating and Air. We chose to work with Brown’s Heating and Air Conditioning because they met all three criteria: high-quality, on-time, and on-budget. Bobby provided us with a great estimate for the highest-quality Trane products including gas furnaces. And, they’re delivering right-on schedule. Give Bobby a call at 336-570-2321.

Tree Removal. The team of tree experts with Gonzales Tree Care swooped in yesterday and removed one large tree and numerous huge branches over the house. In less than two hours, they cleaned up and drove away. Brian provided us with an expert evaluation of our tree situation along with fair price options. Call Brian at 919-231-9244.


Coming soon! Electrical, roof, wood floors, and carpentry.