Hillsdale College alumni Kyle Murnen (‘09) and Fred Hadra (‘09) are in the process of remod­eling a 100-year-old house. The house has not likely been ren­o­vated since around 1950, Murnen said. Most of the work in the house has been on the plaster walls, mudding over the walls and tex­tur­izing them or simply cov­ering them with drywall.

“While working on the house, we’d run into a problem, and either YouTube-it or Google-it,” Murnen said

Ren­o­vating a house this old is a lengthy process, as Murnen and Hadra dis­covered. They gave a few tips for anyone inter­ested in fol­lowing in their foot­steps.

1. Buy the house: Murnen pur­chased the house this past August from its pre­vious owner who had lived there for over 60 years.

2. Have a detailed plan for ren­o­vating the house: Murnen and Hadra left the plumbing and elec­trical work to con­tractors, but they have done all the other work them­selves.

“We would have more of a plan if we did it again,” Murnen said. “We kind of went about it knowing that we had to change the floor and the walls.”

3. Ren­ovate the walls and floors: One of the rooms had five or six layers of wall­paper, so they spent weeks steaming and scraping the walls in that room and still didn’t remove it all, Hadra said.

4. Care­fullyknock out walls to open up space: Murnen and Hadra had dif­fi­culty deciding whether or not one wall was a load-bearing wall or not before they knocked it out. After con­sulting YouTube to figure it out, they decidedto just start knocking it out as a final trial, Hadra said. The ceiling held and they con­cluded that it was not load-bearing.

5. Enjoy the expe­rience of learning new skills.

“The most enjoyable part is fig­uring out how to do these projects on our own, we’ve made some mis­takes but there hasn’t been any dev­as­tating damage,” Murnen said. “It’s been a good expe­rience to learn how to fix up a house.”

“Without working on a million-dollar house,” Hadra added.