QUINCY -- When Morgan White decided this spring to stay in Quincy, she didn't want to stay in the house the way it looked.
"If we're not going to move, we'll turn the house into an actual home, not such an eyesore," White said. "It's something I wish we'd done 10 years ago."
The end result was enough to make White the Week 4 winner in the annual Lookin' Good contest, sponsored by First Bankers Trust Co. and The Herald-Whig.
A winner will be announced each week, through Aug. 19, for home improvement projects started, under way or completed between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 10, 2018.
Weekly winners get a $100 prize, and an overall winner -- chosen from the weekly recipients -- will get a $1,000 grand prize, determined by a vote of The Herald-Whig readers. The grand prize winner will be announced Sept. 9.
White and her husband, Alex, focused on exterior renovations to their home at 816 N. Third -- and met her self-imposed deadline.
"We started out in mid- to (late-) April. I wanted it done before June," she said. "I didn't want to spend all summer redoing the house, and we managed to get it done."
The couple, with help from their three kids, started with taking off the old siding on the home and replacing it, along with four windows.
"It was definitely a learning experience. Now we both know all there is to know about siding. We were out there every day working on it," White said. "Once we were done redoing the siding, we tore down the deck and rebuilt it."
They replaced a privacy fence and added some landscaping. He made planter boxes for bushes, and she planted flowers.
"We just kept going," White said. "There was really no plan, but we both agreed this has got to be done. We did it all ourselves."
The Whites had been planning to move to Alabama to be closer to her mom and sister, but her mother's death in March motivated them not only to stay in Quincy but to improve the house.
"I wish she could have lived to see it. I know she'd be proud," White said. "If I wouldn't have lived here before, I wouldn't recognize it."
More information about the Lookin' Good contest is available online at whig.com/contests or by calling 217-221-3335.