SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) -- A major home renovation is underway in South Portland and it's presenting some surprises and challenges.
SoPo Cottage's Laurel LaBauve has a passion for giving older homes new life.
"I was in the corporate world for 30 years and loved doing that but as sort of a side hobby my husband and I renovated all of our old house, whenever we would move and we really loved it," says LaBauve, "And we said one of these days, wouldn't it be really cool to do this full time?"
11 years ago, she quit her corporate job to do just that. A dozen or so flips later, her SoPo Cottage Facebook and Instagram pages have gained quite the following.
"I'm always amazed that people who aren't related to me actually still want to watch and kind of just see what we're up to and what we go through with every one of these houses," LaBauve says.
This project is personal, for LaBauve and her husband, not a typical SoPo Cottage project. But like any home with a past, this one has some challenges, especially with the structure.
"As we've started opening up we realize the dormer was built correctly but at some point someone cut out all of those supports, they tried to cantilever and re-support it a little bit farther back and that is failing," says LaBauve.
But she's also discovered some unique gems, like an old temperature regulator.
"It's funny 'cause as soon as I show something like that, people are like, if you don't want that, can I have it?"
And despite COVID-19 delays and price creases, Labauve is staying positive and encourages others interested in taking on a home project.
"Don't go in afraid," she says, "Go in and try to learn some of this stuff, see what you can learn online. But if you get in over your head, call in the expert, do not cut off structural support posts and say, oh, it'll be okay, 'cause it may not be."