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Woman Takes Dilapidated Lighthouse And Transforms It Into Beautiful Historic Home.

white and red lighthouse

Although owning a lighthouse in the modern era might sound like a romantic notion, in 2000, the federal government passed the National Historic Lighthouse Act, making it possible for folks to purchase lighthouses that had been abandoned. This opportunity spoke directly to Sheila Consaul. She is a lifetime-lover of historical preservation, and conveniently, she was seeking a summer home in a cooler spot than her Virginia residence offers.

After two years of bidding and a final offer of $71,000, Sheila won the Fairfront Harbor West Lighthouse, located in Fairfront Harbor, Ohio.

Sheila Consual
This image is from YouTube.

She developed a long list of projects to tackle once the house was hers. Her initial budget was $200,000 for renovations, but she has since turned the corner on over $300,000 of costs.

“Like any project, this costs more and took longer than I ever imagined,” she said. “I am a little over what I anticipated but it’s well worth it.”

Her first project was replacing the windows, which were shattered and broken. Ultimately, a lot of the money went to the not-so-glamorous parts of a renovation: plumbing and electric. She uses a generator and in-house water treatment to provide her utilities, and she put all that in herself. But her windows were sealed and now she has power, so she could get to the fun part!

As a historic preservation advocate, Sheila poured resources into restoring the natural floors. She also hit the house with a fresh coat of paint. A lot of her funds went to a full kitchen renovation, which was not cheap. But the kitchen looks fantastic and is totally usable now!

a wooden compass emblazoned on the floor
This image is from YouTube.

Purchasing a lighthouse from the Federal Government comes with some stipulations. For example, the lighthouse remains active, and the U.S. Coast Guard regularly comes in to upkeep it. She also has to pay $2,500 to the government every 25 years to lease the spot her home is on.

Sheila is passionate about sharing history with the community. Yearly, she hosts an open house where community members can stroll the home and see the new renovations. She also offers private tours of the lighthouse for folks looking to dive deeper.

While it’s not easy to own and maintain a lighthouse, Sheila makes it look like light work. Her passion for preservation, coupled with her talent for renovation, have made this lighthouse come back to life.

Watch the whole video here!

The featured image for this post is from YouTube.

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