DIY hero to share his story

Ron and Jill Tanner’s Victorian fixer-upper in Baltimore.

Preservationist and do-it-yourself guru Ron Tanner wants you to know that the impossible is possible.

A decade ago, Tanner took a deep breath and bought a wrecked Baltimore Victorian home because his girlfriend, Jill, fell in love with the place.

Nevermind that it was condemned property. Or a former frat house with ghosts of antics past.

The crumbling brownstone was so terribly trashed, packed with garbage and frat-boy furniture, that nobody else would consider buying it. The bank was selling it “as is.”

That was the beginning of an adventure chronicled in Tanner’s new book, “From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story.” And the genesis of a comic monologue and slideshow Tanner brings to the Charleston County Public Library main branch at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The program is free.

Neither Tanner nor his lady knew beans about fixer-uppers. But everything turned out fabulous. So much so that they got married in the house and in 2008 were featured in This Old House magazine.

Now, Tanner is a licensed house inspector and he and Jill run a website about old house renovation, called