Blalocks: ‘Never-ending project’ worth it

Published 12:41 am Monday, March 10, 2008

NATCHEZ — Even though they moved into their St. Charles Avenue home about a year ago, Tim and Liz Blalock are still learning the joys and challenges of home ownership.

When they initially moved into the house with their two children, Timothy and Adara, it was much smaller — in fact, at 900 square feet it was about half its current size.

“With two kids — and we want more — we needed more room,” Liz said. “So we looked at what we could do and we doubled it.”

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Even though their home wasn’t built until the 1950s, the Blalocks had to get permission from the Preservation Commission before they undertook what Liz called “the never-ending project.”

With a little shifting around, removing one wall here and erecting another one there, a closet became a pantry, a pantry became a sitting room and the kitchen grew until an informal den and a master bedroom sat where before was only backyard.

While the major parts of the project like floating drywall and carpet installation — before the carpets were installed, the house only had plywood floors — were done by professionals, the Blalocks did whatever they could themselves.

Doing the project themselves was for more than just the satisfaction of having worked on the house themselves, Liz said.

“We did all the tiling work on the bathroom walls and kitchen counters ourselves, and Tim installed all the doors,” she said. “It’s cheaper that way.”

And, Liz admitted, at times it seemed an insurmountable project.

“About halfway through I told Tim, ‘Let’s sell it to the highest bidder as is,’” she said.

But now, with only a small hall, a back bedroom and the second bathroom left to finish, Liz said she’s proud of her new home.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it,” she said.