When Joe Lobert first walked into his renovation project at 63 Radcliffe St., rats, bats and fleas had full run of the home. Termites feasted on the old pine walls, floors and siding of the two-story Charleston single. The floor was falling in, crumbling from two centuries of use and neglect, and much of the wood was rotting.
The home leaned heavily to one side, embodying the “Charleston slant” often found in old homes on the peninsula. Parts of the interior walls were charred from a fire.
The 1840s-era home showed the structure’s age through its scars, secrets and demands for renovators.
“It was very dilapidated and had been neglected. It was probably the second-worst house I have ever worked on,” said Lobert, who has been renovating homes on the peninsula for 15 years. “It would be easier to knock it down, but from a preservation perspective, that’s not the way to go.”