• Last modified 2338 days ago (March 1, 2018)


Inherited house gets a makeover

Staff writer

When Clara “Bunny” Kaiser of Lincolnville died in November 2013, she left her house to her son, Lester, and his wife, Barb. They lived a half block away.

The house they inherited was a 1950s mobile home surrounded by additions.

Lester’s parents lived in the mobile home while his father, Lester Sr., served in the military. They moved it to Lincolnville and set it on a foundation when he retired in 1965.

A year later, they enclosed the trailer.

Lester was 12 years old when his maternal grandmother came to live with them. They added another bathroom, a utility room, and a bedroom to the back of the house and put a basement under it.

The Kaisers started working on the house in summer 2015. Barb said she and her son-in-law, Martin Combs, spent hours gutting the kitchen.

“My father-in-law had added some cabinets, and they were hard to get out,” she said. “The nails were hard to pull out.”

After going through two contractors that didn’t work out, the third contractor was a charm, and renovation began in summer 2016.

“The kitchen and dining area was the main thing,” Barb said.

New walls, flooring, and cupboards were installed. The only original parts that were retained were an inset shelf area and a unique mahogany ceiling.

When the kitchen was completed, the Kaisers, with the help of their two daughters and their husbands, started in on the main bathroom. They found out it had mold in the walls from a prior problem with frozen water pipes, so they were forced to gut the whole thing and start from scratch.

They installed a sink in a vanity that had belonged to Lester’s grandmother and added a matching chest of drawers for storage. They took out the bathtub and installed a corner shower.

Because of the way the house was built, a long hallway runs the length of the house from the front entrance to the back. The Kaisers replaced the old carpeting with tile.

“My 8-year-old granddaughter, Kelbie, helped me with that,” Barb


New carpet was installed in the master bedroom.

Although the renovation project isn’t completely finished, the Kaisers were able to move in shortly before Christmas.

“I moved things a little at a time,” Barb said. “The neighbors saw me pulling this little red wagon between the two houses. I didn’t want to go back and forth empty-handed.”

They plan to install a new sink, flooring, and shelving in the original bathroom.

“It will be my powder room,” Barb said.

The utility room needs repairs, and a guest bedroom will get new wood flooring.

“I’m enjoying it,” Barb said. “I love doing this kind of work. When I was growing up, I wanted to go into interior design, but life led me another way.”

“This is mainly Barb’s doing,” Lester admitted. “I’m just a hired help.”

Last modified March 1, 2018