Monday, November 10, 2014

Back Porch Progress

The back porch is coming along nicely. 
The exterior door has been installed. 
The gable has been sheeted and house wrapped. 
And the Trex decking is just about finished. 
Here's a little snap of my hubby taking time
to teach my oldest how to use the battery drill.
He helped screw several boards to the joists.  

Table and chairs finally make it out of the yard and onto a porch!
For now, we just laid some boards across
the stringers to make a set of stairs.
Eventually the Trex will make it to these stairs
to be just like the front porch steps.

I enjoyed my first cup of coffee on the back porch this afternoon. 
It was such a beautiful, mild day.  The boys were playing in the back yard and I had a chance to call my mom!
Can't ask for anything better!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Front Steps

Hubby is making progress on the front porch.  We chose Trex Composite Decking for the floor and white PVC boards for the risers.  I'm not sure how the PVC boards are going to hold up against two muddy little boys.........but I like the look ... so Que Sera Sera.

I always enjoy starting with a before pic.

And now

We are going to make a porch roof with railing.  But we have some other things to attend to first.
Like finishing up the back porch! 

Here's a little peek of what's going on with the addition and back porch.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Not much to show you in the way of construction.  The hubs is working on shingling the back of the house.  We need to frame in the kitchen expansion.  And then work on the back porch. 

But in the meantime, as promised, I have new car window decals.
Gone is the stick figure family.  In it's place a little peace and love.

I found these decals by Dan Morris.  I am in love with them.  I love the colors and the message. 
With all the terrifying things going on in the world, I just wanted to show some love and peace.
So either people passing by will give me a peace sign or tell me I'm number one!  We'll have to see.

No matter what angle I shot at, I couldn't stop the glare on the left side of my car.

Peace and love to all of you! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Truss(t) me

We are setting trusses on the kitchen expansion
and back porch today. 

You can see that we moved the door up from
ground level to floor level of the house.

This last picture has nothing to do with improvements to our house.
Just improvements to my car.
I bought some new stickers (not a stick figure family this time) for the back of my vehicle.
I like to have something that identifies my vehicle as mine
because there are a lot of cars with the exact year, make, model
and color driving around.
I peeled the old stickers off this evening. 
I will put the new ones on tomorrow!

(Gotta love my expression in the reflection...the sun was really bright and made it hard to see!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

A little progress on the back of the house


Just a quick post to show you the progress we are making on the back of the house. 
My hubby has been working very hard on the expansion of the kitchen and boy's room.
Our neighbors have been a tremendous help with man power and borrowed machinery!

A "before" pic. 
This shows the old concrete slab that, at one time, housed a little screened in porch.

Foundation dug.

Cement poured.

Block laid.

Post holes dug

A little help from a little old furry lady.  Her name is Sheila (affectionately called She She). 
Sheila  loves to be around construction because
that's what her owner does.
She is the sweetest, kindest, most patient dog.

Joists installed.
The door was moved up last night, but I didn't get a picture because it was dark outside.   More pictures to come.  Yippee!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A look at the list

I took a look at our to do list.  I was inspired from my dear friend and writer of The Adventures at the Cat Ranch Blog, Miss T.  She wrote out a list of things that she wanted to have accomplished this week.  It got me to thinking about my own list (lists... I keep multiple lists...why?)

So here is an updated look at our Remodel "To Do" List:

It's nice to see things being crossed off.  We have a long way to go.  Life gets in the way.  We find it hard to strike a balance between wanting to get the stuff done so we can live in a clean and organized space  AND  taking time to do things that make life enjoyable.  Because we all know "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Today I am painting cement blocks with a waterproof coating.  The hubs worked hard to lay the block this weekend.  This is for the foundation to extend the kitchen.  The boy's room will get an extension as well.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Old Oak Tree

I haven't had much to show y'all lately.  We've had several setbacks.  So progress around The Cottage slowed a bit over the summer.
It all started with the big oak tree in the back that was struck by lightning a few years ago and was slowly rotting from the inside.

We had trouble getting a tree service to commit.  Long story short....we had a tree service do an estimate in May.  They scheduled us for July.  July came and went.  No phone calls, no show.  Poor business.  The guy never returned my calls.  Scheduled a couple different tree services to do estimates.  No show, no phone call!  Luckily one of my neighbors spotted a bucket truck, with the name of a tree service on it's side, sitting in the Lowes parking lot.  He jotted down the number, I gave them a call.  Within two weeks, we had the tree down!  By now it was the end of July!
We needed to have the tree down before we could begin the work of extending the back of the house and adding a back porch.


To save some money, we did the cleanup ourselves  (with the help of others)! 
We know some guys that jump to action with the mention of "free firewood"!
So we had some help!

And it's nice to know people that have toys!
Once again our neighbor came to the recue and asked one of his friends if he would help us out!
His friend has a huge farm with space to store huge logs!
He also has a skid loader!
So we said you can have the logs if you come and get them!
Done Deal!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Queen Anne's Lace Color Experiment

I was desperately searching for something for my boys to do today.  They had a bad case of the "I'm bored, I don't feel like playing, there's nothing to do".  I remembered being in the middle of summer when I was a kid and feeling the exact same way.  I then remembered my mum doing an experiment with me during our summers together.  We used to collect Queen Anne's Lace, place it in a vase of colored water and  watch it magically transform. 
So today, we went for a little walk to the end of our road where there was a huge display of Queen Anne's Lace growing wild.  With scissors in hand we each cut a small bouquet and headed home.
We mixed up some colors with gel food coloring and cut our stems to fit the baby food jars. 

Now we wait.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hangover or Overhang?

Isn't it funny how you can switch a couple of words around and totally change the meaning?  Lucky for us we have an overhang and not a hangover!

Check it out!

Overhangs on the front and two sides are done.  And the tar paper and snow and ice guard are in place.  We have a small front porch started.  We are still debating what (if any) kind of porch roof we are going to make. 

  And because I always like to see how far we've come, here is the cottage in early spring of this year.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

All Jacked Up

Wait...what?  Isn't that a Gretchen Wilson song?
Meet Mr. Hammer.  Jack Hammer to be precise. 
Other famous hammers come to mind.
MC Hammer
Arm & Hammer
Rogers & HAMMERstein
Okay, okay I digress......

We are going to expand the kitchen by approximately six feet.  In order to extend the kitchen, we have to remove the concrete pad that was once a screened in porch (the previous owners had already removed the back porch because it was in very poor condition).  Next the hubs can lay block and pour the foundation for the kitchen expansion.  Once we add onto the kitchen, we will build a covered back deck/ porch. 

It's not a huge cement pad, but it takes A LOT of time to "Jack it up"  demolish concrete with a jack hammer.  I didn't realize how slow the work is when one is jackhammering. 

My awesome hubs is almost done.  I think he's going to need a well deserved massage tonight!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Windows Resume in the Bedroom

The hubs and I have been pretending to be bats for the past month.  Well, not really...we just didn't have any windows in the batcave our bedroom.  It was great for the hubs while he was working night shift!  Me, not so much!  I can tell you having no windows makes it REALLY hard to wake up in the morning.  Not an ounce of daylight shines through OSB!

The Before

The After
Eventually all the plaster will be coming out of this room so we can rewire and add insulation.  For now we have this beautiful "trim work" to look at!  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How A-door-able

Three sides of the house have been torn apart and put back together with OSB, foam board, house wrap and new windows. 
The front of the house has a new entry door! 

We still have a window to install on the left side.

The front concrete porch/ stoop had to be demolished to make repairs.  It wasn't attached to the house so there was a gap between the porch and the house that allowed water to seep down inside and damage one of the main support beams.
A little before and "work in progress" shot.

We are removing the window above the door completely.
 There is only a cubby attic space up there.

The hubs and I are still trying to decide on a porch roof.  That steep gable makes it a bit tricky.  We don't want a porch roof to cover up our new door.  We are planning on a deck porch with railing.  But we're not quite sure what we are going to do.  We have a couple of ideas in mind.  We just need to come up with the final plan!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bye Bye Red Cedar Shakes

The men set to work removing the rest of the cedar shakes.  My little superheroes jumped in on the action.  Armed with crow bars and safety goggles, they removed a good portion all by themselves.  I was a nervous wreck.  I mean.. I was sure one brother was going to accidentally clonk the other brother on the head with his crow bar.  Or one of them was going to step on a nail.  Or any other myriad of "what ifs" that could happen to them.  BUT I kept my inner maniac mommy mental madness to myself and just tried to offer some praise as they were doing a really good job. 

Without further delay, here are some pics.

{front of house}

It was a very rainy day.  This helped keep the dust down and kept the wasps away!
We found acorns behind the cedar shakes (pesky mice) and about 125 old wasp nests.  And of course 900 million stink bugs.  The stench of stink bug lingered in the air!

Here's a before and after of the side we worked on too.


We are removing the side porch completely.  There will just be a window there when we are done.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Mother's Day Poem

As I look around my house, all I can see is a jumbled up mess.  It seems that no matter how hard I try, my house is always in a muddle.  This poem is exactly what my house looks like right now.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!
There's a pirate ship in my living room and cowboy boots in the hall. 
Flip flops left where they were kicked and I just tripped on a ball. 
Olaf is under my dining room table. 
Captain America’s shield has been disabled. 
Last night’s jammies still in a rumple.
A basket of laundry sits looking hopeful. 
I can barely keep up with the dishes. 
I’m trying to cook a dinner that’s halfway nutritious.
My countertops are a jumbled mess. 
But Jesus, our home, has truly blessed. 
For I have two little boys that are growing up fast. 
These moments will soon be in the past. 
So I pray dear Lord, let me slow down. 
Take in this mess that’s all around. 
Let me handle each moment with love and grace. 
And share lots of kisses on each one’s sweet face.

Monday, May 5, 2014

On One Side....

The hubby was on vacation last week.  He got quite a lot accomplished.  Here's a little of the progress he made. 

Our house has three layers of siding.  There are red cedar shakes on the majority of the outside then a layer of wooden siding.  Some parts of the house have white textured boards.  And under that is some kind of crazy sheet rock stuff.  The shakes, white boards and wooden siding are coming off.  The sheet rock stuff is staying on because we are pretty sure it contains asbestos. 

This is the back of the house.  Check out all the moss growing on the shingles!


And I wonder where all the stink bugs are coming from!
This is the view from our back yard. 
Even though it rained all week, we did have some beautiful skies.

We did most of the work on one side.  All the windows are being replaced.  None of the windows in the joint have headers, so hubs had to make some headers and prepare smaller holes for the new windows.


Two more windows will be installed on this side.  But they will have to wait until another day.