Close this search box.

The House at 1207 7th Street

(This feature is a follow-up to a story Marlys Barker first wrote for the Nevada Journal in October of 2015.)
The house at 1207 7th Street (behind and across the street from City Hall) continues to be a “work in progress.”
Ken Heid, a native of southern California and a longtime construction worker with licenses in electrical and plumbing, has been working on improvements to the house since he purchased it in November of 2014. In recent years, he’s completed most of the work on the exterior of the house that many Nevadans have always called “the old Smalldridge House.” Smalldridge was a chiropractor who lived and saw patients in the house years ago.
When Ken bought the structure, it was in a considerable state of disrepair. It had been cut up into nine apartments for a number of years, and was eventually condemned due to safety concerns brought about by the City’s fire chief. While sitting empty, it had become home to various critters. A neighbor at the time said squirrels, cats and other rodents had gotten into the house, chewing holes into soffits and creating messes. Many in the community felt it should be taken down.
But where others saw nothing of value, Ken saw considerable potential. He’d purchased the home off the online auction site, eBay, for $25,500 after touring the house just one time. He’d come through Iowa while traveling to properties he owns and rents in Indiana and Ohio, and he fell in-love with the old house.
His goal is today what it was in 2015 — to make the home into a single-family residence and to live in it. He’s had some health setbacks over the past nine years, but he’s never lost sight of the dream.
Working on the house as a retiree is “a blast,” he said. “It’s like a puzzle,” something he’s focused on one piece at a time.
The exterior was his first focus. It needed to be repainted and have new windows installed. Ken also rebuilt the back porch, where a previous owner had added a rental addition that Ken described as a poorly constructed, two-story “box.” He took that off and resurrected a beautiful porch with artistic details to match the rest of the house. All of the exterior work has made a visual difference and has not gone unnoticed. “People will come by and tell me, ‘It looks so good.’”
For Ken, paying attention to the architectural, artistic elements of the house is important. “I love them,” Ken said.
When he added a shed in the back yard and a post for his mailbox out front, he paid attention to the smallest artistic elements.
Now, he’s moving to the interior, where thus far the work has been to “demo” and start to rebuild.
Looking at the south part of the house, which is where he’s working now, he fixed a staircase, and is working on plumbing, electrical and repairing joists.
He pulls out the plans for the south end of the home, which show a spacious kitchen and family room area and where all the appliances and counters will be. “I’ve given the City all these drawings and plans. I’m too close (to City Hall) to try to cheat,” he laughed.
He’s stripped the entire area and loves to talk about how things will look when it’s completed. He also points out that he’ll have a unique feature on this house, an exterior entry bathroom for the back porch, which is right outside of the kitchen.
Just as he described back in 2015, he’s keeping three historic pocket doors on the main level, which will, in addition to the kitchen/family room area, have a formal dining room, an office space/bedroom, one bathroom and a front room and entryway. The upstairs will have at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms with an additional bedroom or office space.
The attic, which at one time included two apartment dwellings, will be strictly storage space when he finishes. The basement has already been cleaned out for storage, he noted.
Ken never knows exactly where a day’s work will take him, and he always has to fit in a bike ride. But his hope is that the coming days will be productive enough that he can complete soffit and plumbing work soon and have a livable kitchen, family room, bedroom and bathroom on the main floor by the end of this year.
With exterior work done and new windows keeping out the drafts, he can focus on working indoors no matter what the conditions are outdoors.
And, he made a promise to Marlys at the end of the interview when she noted she may retire in seven years. “I’ll have it done by then, and I’ll invite you back in to see the completion,” he promised. Therefore, stay tuned for a third installment of “The House at 1207 7th Street!”

–Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

No major news alerts at this time

This alert area will be used to notify residents of major news alerts in the City. Please sign up to receive text or email emergency alerts.

Emergency Alert Sign Up →
Skip to content