In 1996, Mark and Carrie Wilson bought a fixer-upper in Oella from sellers who had lived in it since the 1960s and had made very few improvements during that time.
"It had gold shag carpet and red velvet wallpaper," says Carrie Wilson, remembering the 1,800-square-feet house that had no bathroom on the main level.
During the past several years, the Wilsons have restored the circa-1900 Victorian farmhouse with historic precision, from the type of wood floors to the color of the trim. In addition to the updates, they have added more space and reworked a detached garden shed into a two-level carriage house.
The house, perched on more than three acres on a hill overlooking the Patapsco Valley, now has about double the square footage, including four full bathrooms.
The couple hired an architect who specializes in renovating historic spaces in Annapolis. They also worked with a paint specialist who helped them return the siding to its original turn-of-the-century color.
They paid close attention to make sure the structural changes didn't alter the character of the dwelling. The new siding was milled to match the old.
"You want to complement the house. The addition should recede, not look like it was part of the original," says Mark Wilson.
The Wilsons, who bought the property before they had two kids, are moving to be closer to their daughter's school and activities. And even after years of renovation, the couple is not tired of fixer-uppers. The house they are moving to needs a little work.
It's become "a hobby," says Carrie Wilson.
About the house --The Wilsons have spent more than 10 years upgrading the house. A family room addition is large and open, with stairs leading to a finished basement with a recreation room and a soundproof media room. Many original features remain in the historic property, including heart pine flooring in some rooms. In other areas, reclaimed heart pine closely matches the original. Pocket doors have been restored using wood and glass. The banisters in the main hall are original. Other millwork throughout the house has been replicated to match.
Address --2642 Westchester Ave., Ellicott City, 21043
Asking price --$1,499,000
Size --The house is more than 3,500 square feet and sits on 3.47 acres, which can be subdivided.
Features --A large, gourmet farmhouse kitchen has a Viking range and oak cabinetry with soapstone counters and sink. The master bedroom has a large walk-in closet, wood floors and woodland views. The master bath has historically reproduced tile floors and a clawfoot tub. A mudroom offers a place for storage. The laundry is on the second level.
The carriage house has vaulted ceilings, radiant heating wood floors and its own full bathroom. It can be used as an office or guesthouse. There is a two-bay utility garage below the carriage house for additional storage. Two slate patios have views of the Patapsco Valley.
Listing agent --Ann Whelan, RE/MAX 100, Ellicott City, 410-418-4240