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By Staff | Mar 9, 2009

When it comes to home remodeling, there are simple projects and there are elaborate ones.

Then there are the extreme home makeovers. These are the remodeling projects that leave no square inch of the home untouched.

This is what Orv and Gloria Terhark of Blue Earth did with a house they bought to ‘flip.’

“We decided that if we were going to remodel it for resale, we would do everything, and do it first rate,” Orv Terhark says.

The house, located at 207 North Circle Drive, had already had some remodeling done to the outside of the structure.

“The previous owner had replaced the windows, siding and the shingles,” Gloria Terhark says. “That is one thing that attracted us to this particular home.”

The other selling point for the Terharks was the neighborhood.

“We felt that the quality of the homes in this area of town warranted spending money in fixing up this home,” Orv Terhark says. “We felt justified in doing what we did – that we would be able to get our money back out of it.”What they did was a total remodel job. Every wall and ceiling was redone, and given a new skim coat of orange peel plaster.

“We replaced all of the old birch woodwork,” Orv Terhark says. “We replaced it all with modern white woodwork.”

Same for the doors. All are now white 9-panel doors. All the hardware is new. So are the ceiling lights, switch plates, and outlet covers.

Of course, all of the flooring and carpet is also brand new.

The effect is remarkable.

“When people walk in they feel as though they are entering a brand new home,” Terhark says. “That is exactly what we were striving to accomplish.”

The kitchen was stripped right down to the bare walls, and the Terharks replaced all the cabinets, counters, and appliances.

“We left it the same floor plan, because we thought the original layout was the best for the space,” they say. “But we wanted it all new.”

The basement got the biggest transformation of all. It had some old paneling, a bit of sheet rocked walls, and an old bathroom.

“We stripped it – everything went,” Terhark says. “Then we started over.”

The basement, like many in Blue Earth, had a water issue. So the first thing the Terharks did was have professionals install an inside tile system in the basement. They moved the sump pump, too.

“We knew that if we were going to do a lot of work in the basement, we needed to make it waterproof,” Orv Terhark says. “And we did do a lot of work.”

They totally finished off the basement with new walls, new windows, and a totally new bathroom. They redid the bedroom, and a whole new family room area, complete with computer or sewing area.

They replaced the furnace, water heater and bathroom fixtures.

Although the house looks small, it actually has three bedrooms on the main floor, and one in the basement, with an egress window.

The Terharks also rewired the whole house, and made it cable TV and DSL internet ready. Another feature was to have washer and dryer hookups on both the main floor, and in the basement.

Some of the other items they worked on were the landscaping around the house, sheet rocking the garage, and a new front porch.

“The house has 1,000 square feet on both the main floor and in the basement,” Terhark says. “We were trying to make it attractive to a wide range of people, from a retired couple to a young family.”

So how much of the work did the two Terharks, who both have full time jobs, do themselves?

“We did a lot,” Orv Terhark says. “But I do know my own limitations.”

The two were working on the house nearly every evening and every weekend from last March through this past November.

“I don’t think a day went by that I wasn’t here for one reason or another,” Orv Terhark says. “Except for a trip we took last summer to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.”

The two hired a lot of the work done, trying to always use local people. They had a crew from Granada do all the sheet rock work. They also had Tammy Zabel and her crew do all the painting.

“We also tried to buy all of our products locally,” the two say. “We went to Lamperts a lot.”

The two Terharks are not strangers to remodeling. They did a big remodeling job on the house they now live in. And this is not the first house they have purchased, improved, and re-sold.

“I went to an auction one time when Orv was up north fishing, and I was the high bidder on the house, and got it,” Gloria recalls. “Orv was a little surprised when he got home.”

This current project is the biggest one they have tackled. It was a total remodel of almost every inch.

“We did leave one thing untouched from the original interior, just as a reminder,” Orv says. That one item is a recessed light in the stairway to the basement. But it is the only thing they didn’t replace.

Would they do it again?

“Better ask us that after we get this one sold,” Orv says with a chuckle.