Over the past year, Kriss Hunter has renovated her home on Absaroka Street. It was a pretty significant remodel – and the property is prominent on the busy street.
While the work was underway, Hunter said people stopped by almost every day to share memories they had from home. Some people remembered babysitting there, others remembered old friends they had visited at the residence. A man remembered delivering milk to the house, back when delivering milk was one thing.
The house was built in 1915, before electricity and interior plumbing.
“It was just a little farm house,” Hunter said.
When she bought the property there were still old button and tube cables, this is how the houses were first wired. During the renovation, all plumbing and wiring were redone.
Hunter and his sons, Jax, Austin and Kolton, carried out the demolition work.
“We got it down to the crampons,” Hunter said.
In 1915 they made the ceilings low enough, so the family raised the ceilings on the first floor. In the master bedroom, Hunter couldn’t raise his arm all the way without touching the ceiling. Putting up the wall was going to cost too much. So his contractor, Ron Gordon of Gordon Construction Inc., pitched the roof, giving the room a really spacious feel.
She kept a barn door for the main bathroom. It is one of the only original parts of the house that remains.
Hunter also enlarged the north side of the lower level to make a utility room, which at one time was a porch – probably a side entrance.
“It was barely framed on a few steps,” she said.
They tore up the kitchen and the dining room. Where there was a large window in the kitchen facing the backyard, Hunter installed a smaller window to accommodate more cabinet space.
They also removed a wall between the kitchen and the dining room, including the fireplace; an island counter entered where the stove was.
They didn’t do much upstairs, but where the fireplace crossed the second story, Hunter set up a linen closet. She added more storage areas, as homes in the early 1900s did not place a high value on storage space.
During the kitchen redesign, they found an issue of the Powell Tribune from September 1960 in the walls – put there during a renovation 60 years earlier.
The dining room had a glass door that opened to the side. Hunter had a new glass door installed that opened to the back yard and replaced the old door with a window.
They also removed part of the floor from the upstairs bedroom to create more space for climbing the stairs. Before, it was pretty tight.
“I don’t know how they got the furniture in and out of the house,” Hunter said.
During construction, the family lived in a rental and they were eager to move into their new home.
“We did a lot of things in a short period of time, but it felt like a lot longer,” said Hunter.
She hasn’t finished yet: the next big project is the exterior. Hunter had hoped he had done everything by now, but some health issues delayed the renovation for a few months. At least for now, the interior work is complete and she lives in her renovated house.
“It was a trip,” Hunter said.