A one-bedroom German Village cottage built before the Civil War has been listed for $1.175 million after being gutted and expanded.
The rebuilt home received the German Village Society’s “Caretakers of the Legacy” award in 2021, but the award was hard-earned for owners Jim and Tammie Fisher.
The couple’s plan to merely update the home when they bought it in 2019 proved to be naïve, Jim Fisher said.
“As we got into it, we found out there were things that needed more attention than we thought,” he said.
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“We hoped to save the hardwood floors, for example, and found out there wasn’t enough good material to do that, so we took the floor material and repurposed it for the range hood, the bathroom ceiling and other uses. The home also had an original slate roof that leaked. As we tried to fix the leaks, we discovered it was making it worse. It got to the point we needed to replace the slate. As we took the old slate off, we discovered we had to replace the roof trusses as well …
“At one point, we had no roof. Only the brick walls were left. We stood across the street, and said we successfully bought an Irish ruin, and there goes our retirement.”
The couple persevered and, in effect, built a new house in the shell of the old.
The home features all new mechanicals, electrical work and plumbing, along with foam insulation in the walls and new insulation in the vaulted ceilings. A new slate roof caps the home, which also includes new electronics.
“It’s a smart home. Everything is automated, lighting, sound, security and audio-visual,” said Carie Igel, a Cutler Real Estate agent listing the home for $1.175 million.
Structurally, the biggest change is an owner’s suite above the attached two-car garage (a rarity in German Village). The Fishers also expanded and updated the home’s outdoor space to include a rear patio in addition to a front terrace.
Now, in the place of a modest brick cottage stands an 1,820-square-foot showcase, with two bedrooms and a loft that can serve as a third bedroom or office.
The overhaul is the third time the home was remodeled, following renovations in 1900 and 1965. After the second renovation, the home was featured on the 1965 German Village Haus und Garten Tour. It was also showcased on the 2022 tour.
While the couple is moving to Upper Arlington, they are taking with them a souvenir of their remodeling adventure.
“After they had taken the floors out, there were dirt floors below,” Fisher said. “In the dirt, my wife spotted an old silver necklace with a small St. Christopher’s cross to it. … Maybe it was a sign: May God help you with this house project.”