'Hideous' house sports new look


October 16, 1994|By William C. Ward | William C. Ward,Contributing Writer

When Nancy Mauler first saw the house in late 1990, she was less than enthralled. "I wouldn't even come in. I thought it was hideous," she says.

The farm house in Reisterstown in Baltimore County had been built in the 1920s or early 1930s and was quite run down.

The porch was dilapidated, and peeling white paint revealed weather-damaged siding, giving the house a haunted, spooky look.

If it were up to the 37-year-old housewife, the Maulers probably would have taken a pass. But her husband, Jeff, 38, saw potential in the house. He liked the location on an acre of rolling land with an adjacent fenced-in horse run.

Eventually, he talked his reluctant wife into buying and restoring the 2,700-square-foot house.

"Jeff was the one who could really visualize all this," says Mrs. Mauler, as she looked around the restored home.

The scary paint job and porch are now long gone, and the Maulers are quite happy with the new look.

"We feel that the Lord has blessed us," says Jeff Mauler, who works for a manufacturer of water test kits in Sparks.

The project was labor-intensive. With the help of Mrs. Mauler's brother, Mr. Mauler cut down trees, built an open wrap-around porch, installed new doors and windows, repaired and repainted the exterior a cheerful yellow and completely refurbished the interior.

"I was glad I was in the rental and I didn't have to look at it," recalls Mrs. Mauler.

After the major work, the couple and their two sons, David, 10, and Eric, 5, moved in July 1991.

dTC The house, recently appraised for $220,000, now boasts a bright, open main floor with atrium doors leading from the porch into the dining area and kitchen.

"We've always wanted to have a place where we could have people over, and now we have that," says Mr. Mauler.

The dining area and living room retains the original wood flooring. Across the first-floor landing from the living room is the family/television room, which is connected to a large foyer/coatroom with a spacious closet and a full-view door leading to the porch.

The second floor, also with wood flooring, has the two boys' bedrooms, the main bathroom and a computer room that also serves as a guest bedroom.

The third floor is the couple's master bedroom, which has a large window looking out over a pond and the rolling hills and grassy farmland.

When the couple first saw the view, they were ecstatic. "We just felt like we were on 100 acres," says Mr. Mauler.

The bedroom, once an attic, has been dry-walled to the contour of the gables, and painted white to reflect light from the dormer windows around the room.

The brick chimney is the centerpiece of the room, and dark wooden rafters protrude through the drywall and add a rustic flavor. Outside, a driveway climbs a slight grade about 100 yards from the road to the house. The 2-acre fenced-in horse run separates the house from the road.

"I really like that for the animals," says Mrs. Mauler, who owns a cat and a dog. The Maulers, while maintaining their privacy, are not isolated, and the children have friends in the neighborhood.

The Maulers want next to build a garage and extend the porch so that it completely surrounds the house, but that might take some time.

"First we want to win the lottery. Then we'll do all that other stuff," says Mrs. Mauler.

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