First, we took out the side
window closest to the neighbor.
Next came framing in the new storage
The new storage room ended up housing
our new 125 gallon solar hot water heater.
Redesigning and rebuilding the Laundry Room and lower-level Kitchen
The Laundry and Storage Room Before renovating.
Framing the new walls.
Exterior framing completed.
We ripped out the Storage
Room walls, added new
wiring and installed new
sheet rock.
Installing the floor.
Adding cabinets.
Inbetween the building projects, I worked on the landscaping
The Front Yard Before
And one year later!
Larry and I having some fun!
Finishing up the lower-level one bedroom Apartment
Installing a new ceiling in
the bathroom.
Installing new lighting.
Installing new flooring
in the closet.
The lower-level apartment completed.
I installed new outside lighting.
Rebuilding the Stairs and adding a new Entrance
Dad rebuilt the landing for me,
moving the door out 2 feet.
I tiled it and did a Venetian Plaster wall.
We also replaced the exterior door and
moved it out by two feet.
The new entrance from outside,
with a new glass door.
Painting the walls.
Installing a wall sconce.
Installing a recessed light.
New Kitchen Appliances Upstairs
My plans for the new garage were all approved. The
engineer had been out and taken measurements and
elevations. We were ready to go when...
... on December 21st, 2003, just four days before Christmas, I receive that
call that no one ever wants to receive, from the ER down at the Hospital.
"Would you please come down to the ER?" the woman said on the other end
of the line.

Larry had literally dropped dead in the parking lot of his favorite grocery
store. This being just one hour after I had waved "Goodbye" to him at the
house, only this time it really was "Goodbye"!
The New Garage
New Roof and Solar Hot Water Heater
Hilo, Hawai'i
In 1994, an attempt on my life was made by a coworker
who wrongly believed that I was being considered to
replace her. Because I was denied medical care by my
employer and was unable to work because of my
injuries, I was without an income. I kept myself afloat
by selling my artwork.

Between the time of the incident and 2001, I really
struggled. My recovery had stalled and I was hurting
financially. I had to get more creative if I was going to

Between my parents, my best friend and myself, I
noticed that when combined, we were paying other
people over $2,200.00 in rent each month. I asked the
three of them, "If I could find a house large enough for
all of us to live in, would you let me lower your
monthly rent and allow me to be your landlady?"
Much to my surprise and delight, they all agreed.

It was on my birthday, in 2001, when, with no money
down, I opened escrow on the house I had been
dreaming of owning since I was a little girl, a 3,000
square foot, 16 room Lindal Cedar Post and Beam
house! And this one was in Hawaii!

We would cut the amount of our rents in half.  Larry,
my best friend and "better half", would have the one
bedroom apartment downstairs, my parents the three
bedroom/two bath house above, and I would have a
separate art studio space all to myself. Once we signed
the papers I was living my dream, I was really happy
and my health began once again to return!

"Let the renovating begin!"
New Windows and Storage Room
In place of the side window, we
added two new, larger windows to
the back.
3rd Bath
Three Vehicle Carport
Inside the storage room which
became part of the new lower
level kitchen.
Installed new stove and
We had a plumber run the pipes for us, had a solid surface counter top
installed, and I finished the rest.
Building a rock wall.
Installing the drywall.
During Demolition!
Fixing the Cupola.
Having a new roof and solar panels
Priming for new paint.
The exterior of the house completed.
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Ainako Terrace
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Back to Menu
December 16th, 2001 - The closing on the house
wasn't for another two weeks, but my parents,
along with my best friend Larry, who co-signed
my loan, celebrated my birthday and what would
turn out to be a very short future together, on
our new carport.
With unfulfilled plans of visiting the Southwest together, three months
after losing him, I sold the house and moved to Tucson, Arizona.

I made back what we had saved in labor costs by renovating ourselves,
which gave me a good downpayment for the next house.
In Loving Memory of Larry
1937 - 2003
2004 - 2010
Karrie J. Butler
W i l d l i f e   A r t i s t   a n d   H o m e   R e n o v a t o r
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Caulking and priming around new windows.
No need for insulation in Hawaii!
Moku Place had been a rental for eight years. It
was the ugliest house on the block in the best
neighborhood in Hilo.
We reused all of the original siding!
The Kitchen upstairs