Readers of this site last met Paul Dykast in March 2017, when he had just finished renovating a dilapidated Albany house in the Willamette Neighborhood and turned it into a showplace. Now he’s at it again.
This time, he invited me to see what he’s starting with, and I went by Tuesday afternoon.
The house he bought to fix up is at 830 Fourth Ave. S.E. Part of it was built in 1900, and there’s a recent but unfinished addition in the back. Even disregarding the damage done by a fire this summer, the place is a complete and utter mess inside and out. The odor of charred timbers competes with the stench of whatever a former tenant left in the refrigerator.
The first task is mucking out the place. Dykast will have some help with that. Then he’ll take the inside down to the bare wood and spend the winter rebuilding, doing most of the work himself. He’s a grass-seed farmer in the Crabtree area, and as he told me last year, when he was 58, he finds houses to renovate because in winter there’s little farming to be done.
The 1,280-square-foot house on Fourth, in the Central Albany Neighborhood, will get a new roof and new insides, including two bathrooms and a modern kitchen. By next spring or summer, he hopes to finish up by repairing the siding and putting a virtually brand new home up for sale.
To look at the place now, it seems like a monumental challenge, if not a hopeless cause. But not to Paul Dykast. He has done this before, not once or twice or three times. This will be the 20th house he has rescued. The last one, No. 19, was in Lebanon
He tells me he wouldn’t do it if he couldn’t make it pay. “I know what can be done,” he says. (For proof, check the story from 2017.)
And when he’s finished, next year, you can be sure that 830 Fourth Ave S.E. will be a handsome, cozy home that may last another hundred years. (hh)