Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Des Moines Rehabbers Club Meeting: March 1, 2008

This month’s meeting was at the home of Jack and Meghan Daugherty.  They bought the house next door to theirs and rehabbed it back from a deteriorating apartment house into a beautiful single family home.  The Des Moines Register did a story about them:


Jack discussed the biggest parts of the project: the woodwork, leveling the floors, and pulling down all the plaster and lath to insulate the walls and put up drywall. The woodwork had all been painted a horrible orange and turquoise combination, so he pulled it all off the windows and doorways, labeled each piece, and sent it off to a furniture stripping company in Valley Junction. We all had a chuckle about Jack’s mild panic when he realized that the stripping solution also took off his pencil markings that told him how to put all the pieces back together! It added an extra day’s worth of work for Jack to piece everything back together based on the position of nail holes and other little imperfections that matched up to the original placement. The floors in the house were all warped and wavy. Parts of the foundation had settled and joists had sagged over the years. He hired a company to raise the house, re-build the foundation, and level it all out. Jack described this as the most difficult part to watch because with every creak and squeak the house made, he thought the whole thing was going to fall apart. He needn’t have worried. The floors came out perfect and the rebuilt foundation looks better than ever!

What struck me the most about these home rehabbers was their sense of humor. They were able to keep a positive attitude through some very stressful challenges, including the arrival of a surprise baby girl!

 Here’s our host, Jack, discussing the project:


A young guest listened attentively.


A couple of details about the house stood out to me. For example, this corner sink was fascinating.


An example of Victorian love of symmetry:


Jack is also the president of our neighborhood association, (http://www.unionparkdsm.com/) so of course we’ll be going to the meeting tonight!

[tags]Des Moines Rehabbers Club, photos, Union Park, woodwork, foundation[/tags]

Tags: ,

One Response to “Des Moines Rehabbers Club Meeting: March 1, 2008”

  1. March 12th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Fred@OneProjectCloser says:

    I love the sink in the second to last picture. That works in a way that so many sinks you find these days don’t! How many times is a sink awkwardly in the corner of a room but not facing “caddy corner”… Very nice.

Leave a Reply