“I think about the feeling of optimism of the family as they built this house during the depression,” said Kevin. “Old houses have so many memories.”
“One day a lady who grew up in the house stopped by,” said Donna. “She was from another state. She came in and was so excited. She ran through the house and talked about all her memories. She said: ‘These are my mother’s hardwood floors! How she loved her hardwood floors!’”
That special flooring was covered with carpet before the Hawes started working. Kevin sanded them down and painstakingly brought them back to life. The result is a beautiful addition that is favored by today’s homeowners and reminiscent of yesterday’s homeowners.
Kevin and Donna’s daughter, Mackenna, now 12, didn’t shy away from the work. She learned how to operate a power nailer and a small sledge hammer.
“The demolition was fun,” said Mackenna. “And it’s nice to see the finished project after all that work.”
“The initial clean-up was not fun – and there was no furnace and no water,” said Kevin. “I didn’t mind the heavy work, like building walls, but it’s amazing how long it takes to trim out a house. I’ve been two weeks from finished for six months.”
“We have tried to make it a house that we could live in,” said Donna. “We wanted it to be a house people could be proud of.”
“There is a whole lot of satisfaction in a project like this,” said Kevin. “After we started, people around us began to take a little more pride and Nichol Avenue started to look a whole lot better. It spreads. Everyone can do something to make a neighborhood look better.”
Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.