On this week’s episode of Bucket Talk, we chat with Lilly, the woman behind the renovation at the Elm Street House in Lewiston, Maine. After spending her college years in Florida, she returned home to Maine, where she was born and raised, to put down some roots. She purchased a fixer upper and is now on the journey of returning it to its former glory. Listen in as she talks with Eric and Jeremy about starting out in marketing, finding old treasures in her home, what it’s like to put blood, sweat, and tears into a renovation and more.
Eric Girouard 0:00
This is bucket talk weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trade and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discussed what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:28
This is Jeremy and Eric here with Bucket Talk powered by BRUNT. This week we have Lily. Lily's of the Elm Street house. But before we jump in, Eric, what's been going on?
Eric Girouard 0:37
All right, a lot of action going on over here for both Jeremy and I this is the first weekend we've actually divided and conquered went to two separate locations. For our day job. I'll let Jeremy talk through his, I happened to head up to Epping, New Hampshire, where there is a large snowmobile grass drags event where they actually rides race snowmobiles on grass, and also across a small like kind of pond thing that most actually think the reason I went there, we are sponsoring a snow cross team one three motorsports team. And they were there with their big hauler and all four sleds and all four riders and one we got to see what the sleds are going to look like for this upcoming season. Two on the two big races that we're going to be doing the primary we got to see what one of the sleds looks like when we're the primary sponsor and three and most importantly, we got to meet the team meet the writers, we got a lot of cool stuff coming up this season. We don't spoil it too much. It was well worth the time and glad I got to meet those folks. Jeremy, where in the world were you?
Jeremy Perkins 1:42
Awesome. No, I was in the Catskills, New York I was at a magical place called makers camp. It's a gathering of people who share their trades and their crafts from blacksmithing to epoxy pouring to, you know, acts resurfacing and welding. So long story short, we went up there and and hung out with a whole bunch of folks that have supported us from day one has been huge drivers and helping us grow and the community and understanding our products and the products that we can feature and just was awesome to hang out with these people and, and get down and dirty with what they do every day. So definitely a cool, cool event. And we'll definitely be there next year.
Eric Girouard 2:27
Awesome, awesome. And as a thanks to Lily, we are going to be giving a code for the listeners this week. For $10 off $60. More on brunch code is elm 10 e l m 10. Use that at checkout for six hours or more. And we got you taken care of as a thing. So Lily, let's dig in.
Jeremy Perkins 2:51
All right, well, today we are here with Lily of Elm Street house Lily. How are you?
I'm doing well. How are you?
Jeremy Perkins 3:00
Awesome. Awesome. So I'm super interested in this podcast. Not that I haven't been interested in other podcasts. But this one is super exciting for me because we share something in common and we both have really friggin old houses. Before we start. I want to know more about Lily, where did you get your start? What are you doing? Like take us all the way back? Give us the whole history of Lilly.
Sure. I mean, I'll start by saying that home renovation was not anything that I saw myself doing. It's not anything I really had experience with until I bought my house. I actually have a degree in marketing. That's what I chose as my career. I've always been a super creative person. Like I play musical instruments. And I sing I was a one of those theater kids. And my favorite part of any class was always the projects are the posters like getting hands on and anything that takes me out of a textbook. So I always knew that I wanted to do something in the creative field. But I also have like a love for helping people and I love critical thinking and logic and all of that fun stuff too. So marketing was just like a perfect fit for me where I can kind of blend all of those worlds into one. And when I got out of college, I took the first job I could find I was an IT recruiter for five months, I did not last very long at all. Everything there was like, really micromanaged. So I hated every day I went to work, I need a little bit more autonomy and to be able to bring a little bit more of Lily to a job. So the whole time I was there I was looking for something in marketing, ideally that would be you know, a better fit for me. And I ended up finding a job for a marketing agency at the time I was living in Tampa. And I went in entry level for them on their client services team so working directly with their clients. And this is kind of To my first introduction to anything home service, because their primary clientele were home service companies, H back in particular was like their bread and butter, but they worked with plumbers, electricians, all over the US. And so here I am, like, I'm a 20 year old kid, I am not even close to being a homeowner didn't know, when I would own a house, I have no experience in the industry at all. And now I'm expected to get on calls with business owners and talk to them about their industry, and help them strategize their marketing around it. So I really got thrown into it quickly. And you know, I wasn't expected to be a subject matter expert, but to know enough to not sound like an idiot on the carpet. So it really was just like, sink or swim. And I learned how to swim. And I loved that job. The people I worked with were amazing. I got to be creative all day, every day, and do what I really loved, which was helping people through just helping them grow their business. So I was with them for gosh, a little over four and a half years. And during that time, the pandemic hit. And so we all went remote, like most office jobs did. And I had been wanting to move home. That was like the one thing I didn't like about that job is I'm from Maine, born and raised Mainer over here, I went away for college just to have like that, let me experience a new place. rebell a little bit be in a bigger city. But I was ready to come home and they just don't make marketing agencies like that. And main, it's a totally different ballgame up here. But when we went remote that like opened up the door for me to come back. And so I got approved to be a fully remote employee came back to Maine and immediately started looking for houses because this is always where I wanted to settle down. And when I was looking, I could talk all day about the home buying process because that's a nightmare. But I'll give you the Cliff Notes version. Yeah. I knew that I wanted to buy a multifamily home. Another really fun fact is I'm a personal finance geek. So I know where every one of my pennies goes and multifamily just seemed like the move like that additional income. It just makes sense.
Jeremy Perkins 7:22
I have to stop you there because same thing but multifamily worked against me because my then Okay.
Know what things to avoid.
Jeremy Perkins 7:39
So 95% of the time it works. Yes, I'm
hoping I'm part of that. 95% That's the goal. Although I already have friends that are like once the once the house is done, like I'll come visit and I'll stay in the apartment, and I'm like, I'll have enough bedrooms. I'm renting that out exactly how long they'll stay.
Jeremy Perkins 7:58
Yeah, no. little fun fact about the Perkins farmstead. But anyway, continue. Sorry.
No, that's okay. Throw in all the fun facts you love. I will, I will. I love it. So yeah, looking for a multifamily. And then I was open to a fixer upper. And now that's like a funny thing for me to go back and say because at the time fixer upper to me was like, I'll swap out some flooring and change some finishes and repaint. And I'll be so handy. But everything that I was finding had like major foundational issues, the money that it was going to require to fix the houses that were on the market at the time was just you are not going to be able to get out of it what you put into it. So it was like hard pass after hard pass. And finally, this is like a random day of the week my dad came home. And he I don't know if you had an aha moment or what. But the house next to the one that he grew up in, had sat vacant for a few years. And the family he grew up next to still owned it. And so he reached out to them. It was not on the market. But he asked if they would be open to selling it. And they were like yes, but like it's in rough shape. It's gonna need some work. And I'm like, Oh, it's fine. I want a fixer upper. Let's go see it. And we pull up and if you've ever seen a picture of my house, you know it looks haunted. And like the paint is peeling off the side. There's missing panes of glass. There's like lace curtains blowing in the perfect scene for a ghost. But I still I don't know something about that screen charm to me, I guess. And when he got inside the house was built in the 1870s and I'm pretty sure every decade that someone lived in that house was represented somewhere in a layer of wallpaper in the knob and tube DIY wiring that was done in the 70s and 80s and the wood paneling that was put up. It needed a lot more work than I thought and it was going to be a complete gut job, there was a ton of water damage, like the roof, the last time had been repaired was the 80s. So all that water is just like seeping down into the plaster and separating it from the wall. So I knew going into it, that I was taking this down to the studs, but the bones were like solid, this house is level in ways that I didn't think was possible for house like every house I've ever lived in has a little bit of a little bit of a lien somewhere. And it's pretty minimal in the house. So it was a daunting thing and intimidating thing. But I couldn't shake the feeling that like, This is my house. Like I just I loved it too much. And before I could talk myself out of it, I went right home and call the realtor and got to work on buying it. And so we closed summer of 2021. And I started doing all the demo work myself primarily to save money. Going back to that whole personal finance stuff. I want to save every penny I can and I'm like everything in this house needs to be broken anyway. So it's not possible for me to mess this up. Like what am I going to hit that can't be broken? Nothing. So I'll take a sledgehammer to everything. All my friend. Cool.
Jeremy Perkins 11:16
What's that? When you download I actually so I come from I mean, it's obviously historic New England. Friends of ours back in Massachusetts, they had done a demo on their house. And when they opened up the wall, it was just full of old glass liquor bottles, like I guess, was like normal at the time. So they had like, like Old Boston companies. And it was they took each bottle and they actually made it like it's almost like a piece of artwork. But essentially, they built all these small shelves and put them there. But I mean, there was probably 30 or 40. And just the little renovation that they did. Did you find anything cool like that within the walls are now
oh, I have so many treasures. The third floor had been used as attic space for I don't know how long and so there are piles of paper up there. And one of the first rooms that I cleaned out, I was going through everything just to see if I would find anything cool. And I have at the time it was the oldest thing I found in the house a letter from 1911 of the owner of the house owed money on traveler's insurance is like $2 overdue for his traveler's insurance. And so I have the envelope that came in I have the lead the little postcard from them and the Return Payment piece. And through the home renovation I have, I've found numerous newspapers, the oldest one being from 1886, most of them intact, some of them in pieces, and then another not so old treasure, but under the flooring on the second floor, there's also a nollie and put down to look like rugs in the room. Nice. And when I pulled that when I pulled that up perfectly preserved and pressed underneath it was papers from the 1960s in the 70s. So whenever that floor got put down, they laid newspaper underneath it to kind of create that padding and barrier between the hardwood and the flooring. And so the result was literally just perfect, perfectly preserved newspaper. So I have you know, like the under Storage plastic bins. I've got two things of that full of newspapers. Interesting. Yeah, paper I didn't find any bottles.
Jeremy Perkins 13:28
No and a you know, I also have an old property I laughed when you said your house looks haunted. I literally have a cemetery on my property. I'm one of those people that are like, You guys are good over there. I'm good over here. We're fine everything. So our property used to be an old Cooper Smith's property way back in the day. So we find like nails and and like barrel rings and, and just really nothing fun. So cool.
Like that's still a piece of history. You know, the square nails I find in my house and like someone made this and this has survived for so long, even though it's, you know, once you find enough of them, it's not as cool and novel anymore. It's still like piece of history, I think is is me
Jeremy Perkins 14:15
and you're 100% right, I look at like the wide plank flooring up in the main part of my house. It's probably a good foot and a half to two feet wide. And that was flooring, and probably about an inch thick, if not like an inch and a half like true bath. And I'm like this is insane and the beams in one part of my house so I had like a woodshed that got walled off at one point in time and became part of the house. I mean, it's just got timber framing that's just unreal. And yeah, there's definitely something special about it and I absolutely love but it's definitely hard to work with. I mean, you get contractors in you're like, Hey, I just want to want to put an outlet over here and they're like, No, you gotta get the whole thing. You're like, Dude, I just want to put an outlet right there. If you can't do that, I mean, I laughed where I had a guy come out, I needed to put a, an outlet in for my chickens, because we needed a heat lamp, I did not want to run an extension cord. So he goes, we started at the outlet. He's i Where's the sub panel? So we go to the sub panel, the sub panels in the bathroom because this is like, I can't believe you have a sub panel in the bathroom. I'm like, well, we'll overlook that I didn't put it there. So it is what it is. And then it goes, this is overloaded. So then we went to the main panel, and he goes, this is overloaded, and he's like, You need a new service. I go, I just need an outlet. Like, hard. I'm not spending 20 grand right now for my kids. So it was funny, but like, what's some of the stuff that you're facing right now? Where are you at in the state in the process? And you know, what are you up against?
Yeah, so right now the house is sitting it is demo is done. There's some like, some finishing pieces. Like there's a few baseboards, I need to go muscle out of there. But for the most part, it's completely gutted and cleaned out. And so what I am working are trying to work through right now is because it's multifamily in the state of Maine, licensed electrician has to do the electrical, a licensed plumber has to do the plumbing, like I can't even do any of the roof and myself, which was my initial plan, the state inspector kind of squashed that dream. But my biggest challenge right now is finding any electrician and plumber that has availability before like spring or summer of next year. It's proving to be a challenge. But you know, people like the at least they're still answering the phone, at least they're still coming to take a look at the project because that was a struggle at the very beginning before things were gutted. People would come look at the job and not call me back. Or it would be too big of a job for them. I don't think they realize like it will be open to the studs for you mister electrician, I will make your job so easy. But yeah, right now just everybody's working. And it's been a struggle, but I'm powering through.
Jeremy Perkins 17:11
What do you think you could take on? Like going forward? How did you kind of what's the next step for for Lily in in her learning process? Once it's all electrical and plumbing? Are you going to start? You know, finishing it out? trimming it out? Are you going to put up the draft? You're gonna
drywall is the one that I'm like, iffy on. I've got 10 foot ceilings on the first floor and I got like everything walls and ceiling all needs to be done. So I'm sure I could do it. But there's enough weekend where it's just me at the house my dad comes to help when he can. We've got family friends that have come help when they can but not reliably enough. So I may hire that out. But as much as I can I want to do myself I love I like found this whole passion for renovating and like learning new skills. There's something so fulfilling about especially when it's intimidating tasks. Like for me taking down plaster in the house. By the time I did the first room I was like how in the world am I going to do this entire house like I had this moment of not regret, I will regret but it's kind of like that, where I'm like, What the hell did I get myself into? What did I find? Like I can't do this like, but figuring out like finding the little tricks to it and making it happen. It's It's really fulfilling for me. So as much as I can, I will do myself the electric and plumbing needs to get done. But yeah, like anything from that point on is fair game to me.
Jeremy Perkins 18:45
I will say and you brought up a good point. And I do want our listeners to know this because I burned them out. Be careful use your friends and family tactically. Because when I first started the farm and in all this, you know, I had huge buy in from friends and family. And you know, still great friends and family. I'm not gonna I'm not saying that that any love loss, but Right? No, you could only ask them to help you move stuff or build stuff or, you know, excavate stuff so many times before they're like, Dude, I got my own stuff to do.
I was really nervous about that. And when I first started, I was not asking for any help and it took my mom pushing me just kind of a fun story. I went to a wedding in Mexico in January. And my dad was going to do like a little bit of work at the house for me while I was gone because he needed something to do that weekend. And so when I came back my mom took me to go check out the work he had done. And to my surprise the entire third floor. I had most of the plaster down in three of the five rooms. Everything else was down all the laugh had been taken down. She had organized a surprise To Work weekend for me. And so there were like nine people at my house came to hell. And so from that point, I got a little more comfortable asking for help. But to your point, I don't want to overdo it. I have not found that line yet. And I'm happy about that. But I know it exists.
Jeremy Perkins 20:18
Yeah, I needed I needed a huge, like, kickstart essentially, like, just to get everything operational and, and so I didn't need to front load a lot of that. And, and, you know, now we have to be content with doing every little project on our own or paying for it. I think as long as you're cognizant of how you're going to utilize, you know, your help, and your goodwill, I mean, it's great, it was a great experience for a lot of my friends to come up and, and help out and be a part of something that they're not normally a part of. But at the same time, just be careful. Be careful how you use, utilize people, or just have your parents move in and, and be paid.
I don't know, I have a friend tell me once that maybe I should avoid that. So if I've learned anything on this podcast, I may not take that piece of advice.
Jeremy Perkins 21:11
So no, I love they listen, they're avid listener, so I really love them. However it is it is funny, it's like, you know, I don't know, you just you just don't want to ruin relationships and boundaries are set with myself and my parents. So everything's great there. But it is funny. I do hear a lot of people who do rent out their second home, or the, you know, the multifamily or whatever to family and realize that was a huge mistake. Yeah. You know, my father in law told me back in the day that if you rent something to family don't expect that money. And it only came from his experience. And it was it was funny. I was like his own sister, you know, and he's just like, You know what, you're gonna do it out of love. Don't do it for the money. And I was like, yeah, so interesting take, but all right. So you're done with them all. You need an electrician, which I think if anybody's listening, there's some electrical work that needs to be done up in mid to northern Maine. If you're free,
let me know exactly.
Jeremy Perkins 22:16
But are you changing the layout anything structural changing, or are you just going to restore it the old way.
So the only things that are changing right now it's opened up to the original floorplan there's one wall that's missing. So on the first floor, there's a living dining area, that's kind of like a great room right now. And there would have been a wall separating that but at some point that was taken out. And I'm going to leave that that way. I kind of like I don't want to full open floor plan. But I like having that space. Yeah, on the second floor, there's a couple of doorways that will be they'll just become walls to help separate that apartment. Because the last family that had it broken up into multifamily. They lived on the first floor, rented the second floor, and then use the third floors attic space. Yeah. And so the like the original staircase in the house had been closed up for years, I took all those walls down. I love that staircase, it's my baby. And I will never hide it again. Interesting. The only update I'm really making is on the third floor, one of the bedrooms will get split in half. So that I can have a bathroom on that floor and a walk in closet to attach to one of the bedrooms. There's nine bedrooms total in the house, and I don't need eight for myself. So I think I can spare one.
Jeremy Perkins 23:32
When you have it all built out. A lot of people don't know this is actually a little known fact about vacation land. So through the pandemic, a lot of the rental properties flipped to Airbnb. So for people that were trying to rent in Maine as just normal renters couldn't rent because they were priced out for vacationers or people that were going to ski or people that were going to work remotely and and essentially be in vacation land all year round to add more rental properties is definitely needed it at least in the state of Maine.
Yeah, I live in apartment now. And I went through that process. Just a few months ago, I was living with my parents while renovating and it just got to a point where I needed my own space again. But yeah, I ran into that issue where there were limited options and the ones that were out there were just crazy
Jeremy Perkins 24:26
passionate. Yeah, I mean, you can't rent reasonably in Maine anymore, unless you're gonna go up into the North Country. I was surprised, especially when I that was one of the reasons why my parents came back they ended up in up north like Presque Isle essentially, because that was the only place they could they could rent at the time and with their fixed income. And I was like, Holy crap. I was I had no idea that that was the case in Maine.
Yeah, there's a huge need for rental spaces right now. Huge.
Jeremy Perkins 24:58
Awesome. So bring me through One challenge one like something, I mean, obviously, the whole house is a challenge. But like, there has to have been like one thing that you lost sleep over that, you know, maybe shed a tear, or this is I'm done, I'm done. And then, like, walk me through something that somebody who's going to be tackling us a project like this in the future, should just be aware of or understand that there are going to be hurdles that you need to overcome.
Yeah, so, I mean, my mind goes back to plaster but at a different point. So I had that first frustrating day where I did the first room, and I was like, how am I ever gonna get through this. And then I put a plan together. And I had like a little checklist. And I'm like, Okay, this is how many surfaces I have left to scrape plaster off of, as long as I know how many there aren't how many I have left, I can get through it. And for a while, that worked well, to motivate me until I was about halfway through. And I had a particularly tough day at the house, I was scraping plaster into bins, and both of my bins broke. And so then I was just like, Fine, I'll just scrape plaster onto the floor. And then I was doing that and I hurt myself and like scrape my finger all up. And I remember going home after that day and looking at where I was in my plan. And realizing, one I was behind. Two things were not really going according to my plan. And even after like a super trying day, my my patience was shot, I was over doing the same thing over and over, and I still had months of it left. Knowing that I had to go back and do that, again, the next weekend was that whole week I love you're talking about losing sleep, I lost sleep over that, because I'm like, it really tries your perseverance for one to try to push through those kinds of things, you also have to be like, kind of flexible in a way, you have to understand that you can put a plan together all day, but I'm gonna say 5% of the time that plan works out. And so you have to be able to pivot, you have to not let those mental blocks, get in your way and somehow find the motivation to pick it back up again, and go back at that same problem to try to find a solution. And then every stage of the project has kind of been like that. I'm sure you've experienced that too. With an old house, you run into just times where it feels hopeless. And you somehow have to find a way out of that hopelessness.
Jeremy Perkins 27:44
That's actually a good point. I mean, it seems like you're detail and plan oriented, I'm chaos and kind of handle it as it as it comes. I think, to some degree, having the skill set for me is good. But for others, I think that, you know, having a detailed plan following that what your original plan is, and just really sticking to it is really what's going to get you through the day. One of the things that I wanted to touch on because I think that it opens a I don't know it, it kind of bugs me, I spent time watching HGTV prior to this house, right? I'm not, you know, dissing any of these outlets, or Instagram or YouTube. But everybody makes it look really easy. And it really, it really makes it so that people think that they can do it or that it's going to be like I'm going to flip this house in 30 days, right? Well, I'm gonna, I'm gonna have my dream home in in under, you know, six months, what would you tell somebody that thinks that that's what they want to do?
That's a good question. Because I don't want to discourage anybody from following that. But you also have to understand, you're only seeing 3060 minutes of what is likely a weeks or month long process depending on the show you're watching. And you are not going to get that same instant gratification that you do when watching one of those shows like they are you get to see the befores all the way through the Afters in one sitting. And when you're doing it yourself. Even if you have a whole crew, even if you're working with like a contractor that's handling all of that it is not going to go as quickly. Obviously, you're not going to get it done in an hour, but you'll also hit way more snags than they make you realize on that show. Like I feel like in those episodes, they always have one big Oh, this is gonna break our budget. This is going to set things back and that's something that happens all the time like that is a constant and they make it seem like every project will have Have one issue, and then it's going to be great from there on smooth sailing, everything falls into place. But it really it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. And you have to have a long term vision that you can, you can have that vision and be willing to work for. And I think you'll get there no matter how long it takes. But if you just have that vision, and you want it right away, this is not for you that it's don't find a fixer upper. You know, you can't really have both of those things.
Jeremy Perkins 30:33
I think there's other outliers to like, doing your due diligence. I mean, one thing that we we learned from looking in an area that had Historic Preservation like, so when we were looking, we were looking in Massachusetts, originally. And Massachusetts is heavy with preserving historic properties. So there was a ton of limitations. And as we went from house to house, we realized that like, it doesn't matter what you want to do, the state wasn't going to allow you to do any, right. Or if they were going to allow you to do it, there was a an approval process between the town and the state, right. And then on top of that, it was going to cost you a lot more than you anticipated. To restore that. So then we looked outside of Massachusetts, and, and Maine's a little, a little more lenient. I'm a nationally recognized historic property. But there's zero protection for the property. However, if I was to demolish this house, I get the biggest uprising from the community. I think people need to also realize too, like if I have the ability to bulldoze this house. And I'm not going to because I'm in the pain Historic District. I literally live in the pain house. So it's like,
yeah, you got it, you got to keep things standing. Exactly.
Jeremy Perkins 31:57
So I do think like, at least with older houses, you got to come into it with with an open mind. And then there's a lot of things that I didn't realize, so I want to build a house next to it, I have the property the frontage everything to do. But then I realized that since I'm on a state road, I now have to appeal to the state where I put my driveway. I didn't even know about this until like, two days ago. So the state can can essentially tell me where I'm going to put the driveway to my house. I was like, This is what I want the driveway. Well, the state is gonna say, Well, you need X amount of visibility on the right and X amount of visibility on the left. This is where your driveway is going to be. And I was like, Huh, interesting. So you always got to be prepared for well, I shouldn't say be prepared. You got to expect more hurdles, then.
Right, then you're ready to roll with them. Exactly.
Jeremy Perkins 32:49
Yeah. Great. So yeah, no, I agree. It's definitely not all it's cracked up to be. But at the end of the day, when you when you get your hands dirty, and do it yourself and roll up your sleeves, I think the better there's a lot more ownership in what you're doing.
I agree. I already love the house. And I know that my literal blood sweat and tears are going into this house on the days where I'm feeling particularly discouraged. I just picture like there's a little spot I want a reading book. And I think about when the house is finished, and I'm sitting there finally enjoying a book, like how good and accomplished I'll feel at that point. And then I just get back to work to kind of build towards that little dream.
Jeremy Perkins 33:30
Awesome, awesome. So outside of everything, right? You have your your normal daily hustle, and then you have the house on the weekends and nights and it's a never ending grind. What does Lily do to unwind?
So I've actually been doing quite a bit of this this summer, I've been trying to consciously take more time to do things again, because all of fall and winter last year was consumed by work and the house and that was all I did. I've always loved spending time with friends and family and now that I'm closer to my family, I see a lot of them. And even though I don't live in my parents anymore, I go visit I go over have dinner with them. My mom and I will run little errands. I love being outside. I've been doing some hiking with my boyfriend these past couple of months trying to get back into that I I thought I was in good shape from the house and then he took me on a hike that I felt like my lungs were burning by the end. So I'm like Okay, gotta get my cardio back up noted. So trying to get better at that. I have a dog he's my little furry baby and so take him on our hikes, get him out in the world but really do a lot of different things. As long as I'm hanging out with somebody. I'm pretty happy.
Jeremy Perkins 34:45
That's awesome. You know, I've also got a new respect for everybody comes to New England for leaf peeping. I actually hate leaves falling right now because I I have a massive property. Now I have to clean. And it's I'm not going to be the person that says like, I hate snow or I hate fall or whatever. I absolutely enjoy the ambiance that New England brings. However, I have a new respect for the fact that now I have to do four weekends of leaf cleanup.
So you're not kidding. I know last year, I didn't do a good job of cleaning up my leaves before the first now and I was like, and I'll probably be fine. Oh, right. Shoveling your driveway when there's a layer of leaves underneath the pavement. It doesn't work. Well.
Jeremy Perkins 35:38
They're in the spring.
Yeah. Oh, they they're still there. Now to be honest with you. They're in a pile at the bottom of my driveway right now. So Thanks for the reminder.
Jeremy Perkins 35:50
Well, that's why you need a plow truck and just like plow them in the car,
it might be worth it. I live a little further from the house now. So the thought of like, shoveling this driveway the apartment and then shoveling the house just It doesn't sound like the best way to spend my winter days.
Jeremy Perkins 36:06
That's the other side of it. It's a never ending job. Yeah, no matter if it's inside the house or outside the house, it's really got to be something that you want to do that you have 100% focus and, and
always something to do. Exactly.
Jeremy Perkins 36:21
So, Lily, this is the end of the show. And I just wanted to give you the opportunity to say that if somebody really wants to get down to brass tacks, where could they find you? Where could they ask questions website, Instagram handle tick tock. Where can they find Lily and interact with you?
Yeah, so the best places to find me I'm on Tik Tok and Instagram at the Elm Street house. And my you can also email me I check it probably once a week but the Elm Street firstname.lastname@example.org I do try to answer any questions that people send. I've had some fun. Some followers, they're doing their own projects that reach out for advice or just to share their progress pictures. I love all of it. And then I also have a website, which is Elm Street house dot shop. And on there I have different pieces of wallpaper and the newspapers found in the house that I've turned into keychains and pendants that I sell through there, but there's a contact form on there as well. In case you forget any of the handles or might you know, awesome, awesome.
Jeremy Perkins 37:29
Well, Lily, thank you for coming on the show and giving us a glimpse into the day of the life of a person who's rehabbing a historic house.
Well, thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun. Awesome, thank
Jeremy Perkins 37:43
you. And remember to use code elm 10 at checkout on your next purchase of $60
Originally hailing from Maine, Lilly decided to spend her college years in Florida, just to get out of town for a while and experience something new. There she got a degree in marketing, an industry where she imagined she’d be able to combine all of her skills to really thrive. While she was successful there and continues to love her work, she was looking for something more, so she decided to make the move back home when the pandemic started.
“I'm from Maine, born and raised Mainer over here. I went away for college just to experience a new place, [to] rebel a little bit [and] be in a bigger city. But I was ready to come home.”
As a self-proclaimed personal finance geek, Lilly knew she wanted to capitalize on the benefits of owning a multi-family home. While the process of buying was tedious, she managed to get her hands on a fixer upper that ended up being a much larger undertaking than she expected. She took the challenges in stride, knowing it was what she really wanted.
“It was a daunting thing and an intimidating thing. But I couldn't shake the feeling that, like, this is my house. I just, I loved it too much. And before I could talk myself out of it, I went right home and called the realtor and got to work on buying it.”
While there are a number of challenges she’s facing, such as delayed plumbing and electrical support along with the frustrations of getting through a successful demo, she’s pushing forward, learning a ton on the way. She’s taking on this endeavor single handedly, albeit with some support from family and friends — but not too much support. At some point, she knows she has to be tactical in her requests to loved ones for help.
“There were like nine people at my house who came to help. And so from that point, I got a little more comfortable asking for help. But to your point, I don't want to overdo it. I have not found that line yet. And I'm happy about that. But I know it exists.”
Renovating this house is a huge task — she’s taking it from borderline haunted back to its former glory — but when things get tough, she just looks at adversity as a positive thing. One day, the home will be finished, she’ll have a little reading nook for herself and things will be just fine.
BUCKET TALK | EP 47
Kaila Cumings@kailacumingsThis week on Bucket Talk, Eric and Jeremy talk with custom knifemaker, hunter and survivalist Kaila Cummings. Hailing from New Hampshire, Cummings is a self-taught knife maker who you may have seen on Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid and Naked and Afraid XL.PLAY EPISODE