First time house flippers Jonathan and Andi show off the living room and kitchen in their first renovation project

First Time House Flippers Accept the Challenge

If you’re like me, you’ve spent more than a reasonable amount of time watching home renovation and restoration TV shows on popular home improvement networks. When you hear the words, “Are you afraid of a fixer-upper?” it’s hard not to be inspired.

In the fall of 2015, a neglected 1928 historic home in Pella, Iowa turned up on the market as part of an estate. First time house flippers Jonathan and Andi Dykstra, decided that this house was a perfect opportunity to channel their inspiration into a real renovation project of their own. I recently had a chance to talk with Jonathan and Andi and get a peek at the completed project. Check it out.  

Keeping the Character

Even before you enter the home it’s clear that the historic features have been restored to their former glory. A welcoming large front porch boasts the home’s original French doors, perfect for letting in the fresh air during warm weather months. In the living room Andi and Jonathan made a decision to restore the original hard wood floors rather than replace them. Throughout the house you’ll find more original features like the windows, trim, entry door and claw foot tub.

Andi shared with me why they chose to restore the original features rather than replace them. “This house has a story to tell, and I wanted to keep as much original character as we could for the next owners to enjoy.”

Original Hardwood floors were refinished and repaired to maintain the character of the home.


To replace the windows or not to replace the windows? As we walked and talked Andi pointed out that the master bedroom still features the original Pella Windows with the signature Rolscreen inside. It’s not every day you see an original Pella Rolscreen in a home and I was intrigued.

The original Pella Rolscreens are still intact in the master bedroom.

It’s no secret that windows have come a long way since 1928 and many home buyers today include energy efficiency at the top of their must have list.

I asked Andi how they came to the decision to keep the original windows, instead of replacing them to increase energy efficiency. “We want the next owner to be able to make that decision,” said Andi.  “The beauty of the original windows is part of the story that we tried to preserve.”

Although many original features remain, Andi and Jonathan have included plenty of updates to accommodate a modern lifestyle. For starters, walls were removed to create an open concept on the first floor, a master bathroom was added, and the kitchen has been completely renovated for an updated design.

Ensuring structural integrity of a home is always important when working on an older home. Andi and Jonathan knew it was also important to leverage experienced renovation experts for the biggest parts of this project, especially since it was their first flip. They asked me to shine a light on their builder, Joe Braafhart, for all of his hard work and expertise in guiding this project.

Time to sell

At the time of this post, the home is ready and waiting to welcome its next owner. I have a feeling this won’t be the last renovation project Jonathan and Andi will take on and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Browse the photo gallery below for more photos of the completed project.

 Have you completed a house flip? We’d love to hear about it, share your thoughts in the comments below.

The first time house flippers restored an original clawfoot tub in this small bathroom
The front of a restored 1920
Updated stainless steel stove/oven and microwave with modern finished cabinets
A bay window behind the sink in an open concept kitchen

This article was written by

Nicolle Picray, Content Marketing & Social Media, Pella Windows & Doors

A self-proclaimed Social Media Geek and DIY aficionado, Nicolle is a member of the Pella Marketing team, focused on content creation and curation. In her free time she can be found pillaging thrift shops for furniture projects, attempting to rationalize with her 4 year old daughter, and editing her husband’s honey-do list.

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