This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
While others look at old, dilapidated houses as an eyesore, Payson residents Andy and Candis Meredith see them as possibilities.
"There's a negative perception of old houses," Candis said. "They may look like they are falling apart and are in bad shape, but they are usually more structurally sound and strong than anything we can get today."
Added Andy: "These old houses took a long time to build, sometimes years. The material is quality, and the craftsmanship you can't get anymore. For it to be sold and demolished for land is a huge waste to us."
That old-home love, which the couple chronicled on their blog and social media, caught the attention of a television production company and resulted in a four-episode miniseries, "Old Home Love," which aired in October on HGTV and DIY Network. Now the Utah natives, who have more than 32,000 Instagram followers at @oldhomelove, are waiting to hear whether the show gets renewed.
Until then, they will share their remodeling philosophies and tips at The Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Festival, which runs through Sunday at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy. Participants will find the Merediths on the design stage Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The show also offers ideas for landscaping, gardening and cooking.
Candis, who was born and reared in American Fork, has been restoring old homes for several years, buying her grandmother's home when she was 21. Andy, originally from Bluffdale, got involved when he married Candis about three years ago. Their blended family includes seven children they each had three boys from previous marriages, now ages 6 to 12, and they have a 1-year-old daughter together.
While they love all old homes, the Merediths focus mostly on Victorian-style houses built around 1900. Their first remodeling project together was an American Fork home originally owned by the daughter of Heber C. Kimball, an early Mormon leader. The "love house," as it was dubbed, was just days away from demolition when they purchased it, they said. They were married on the front porch and lived for several years in the house with their children during the remodel.
They recently moved to a house in Payson, which they featured on "Old Home Love."
The Merediths say their restoration projects shouldn't be confused with the practice of "flipping," in which people buy a house that needs repair, update it as cheaply as possible and then attempt to sell it for profit.
When the couple buy a century-old home, they always update the electrical and plumbing systems, install a new roof and add insulation. Bathrooms, kitchens and heating and cooling systems are brought up to modern standards, but with an eye to vintage design.
The couple also work diligently to save original details of the home, from refinishing old wood floors to removing years of paint from trim and exposing historic beams and lumber.
"Even though we do try to make money on the houses we renovate, we put a lot of love and attention to details," Andy said. "We know someone is going to live and love in the houses we do, and it's an honor to do that."
Added Candis: "It's hard for us to sell these houses. We make sure the buyers love the house as much as we do. That really matters, because it's more than just a job for us."
Tribune Home and Garden Show
Payson residents Andy and Candis Meredith stars of "Old Home Love" on HGTV and DIY Network are part of the celebrity lineup for the 2016 Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Festival. The three-day show offers home improvement tips, landscape and gardening ideas, and cooking classes.
When • Friday, March 11, noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, March 13, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where • South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State, Sandy
Tickets • $11 at the door or $9 online; seniors, $8; children (12 and younger), free; free admission on Friday, March 11, for all active and retired military, fire, police and teachers. To receive one complimentary ticket, show valid ID at Will Call.
Details • SaltLakeTribuneHomeShow.com