February 1, 2015 – Winter Arrives

Well, it first started out to be a 3-5 inch snowfall, then less than one inch, then back to 3-5, and when it finally arrived, 12-14 inches of snow.

The house nestled in the new fallen snow.

Along with the fresh snow, the moon was full, making for brilliant light-filled nights. Can you find the cat in this photo?

The cat abides, and follows me in the night, hoping for a treat.

Finally one more shot in the moonlight.

October 13, 2013 – The Deck/Pergola Addition

It was time to rip the 30-yr old entry deck off the front of the house. In addition to its age, it was too small to allow comfortable seating and entry into the house.  Sooooo… the newest addition to the house – a deck/pergola conbination.

I didn’t want to make a normal suburban deck on the house. Why be normal?

I wanted to tie in both the farm and the prairie style, mission-lite features inside of the house into the deck.

Cattle panel railings tie in the farm with a few cross-bars cut out for some additional creative style.

The ceiling of the pergola was a labor of love – ripping cedar deck boards into one inch strips and then staining all four sides.

Leaving the house, here’s the view from the front door.  It’s nice to leave the house in stockings and take a seat outside.  All this work has taken up all the recent weekends, thus the dearth of postings lately.

July 5, 2013 – Martin’s “New” Room

With Emma gone out of the house, it’s time for some re-arranging. First order of business is to update Martin’s room from the baby blue he’s lived with for 12 years.

The room while getting prepped.

We decided to go for the two-tone look and add a chair rail for a bit more visual interest.

The freshly painted room. The bottom color is green giggle and the top is orange bouquet. Now, he gets to move in his sister’s bunk bed and have a room suitable for a12-yr old!

September 10, 2012 – Another House Project Commences

The 90 year-old cedar siding has met its lifespan.  The east side was resided when we tore off the garage, the new soffits were put on when we redid the roof, so the siding is all that’s left for the outside. I hate it when new siding is just put over the old, sinking the windows into the house.  This also gives me a chance to insulate in the gap where the old ropes and weights from the previous generation double-hung windows reside, tightening up the house even more.

The cedar siding is all tucked in the trailer, ready for a trip to the landfill (I chose not to burn it, fearing the release of lead into the soil and air).  My legs feel the results of up and down the ladders over a couple of days this weekend.  Early in the week, the contractor will put up the Ty-Vek.  Only two more sides to rip off.


July 16, 2012 – Another Room Remodel Almost Complete

The remodel of the back room is looking a bit more complete.

Here’s the remodeled view of the south wall.

Here’s what it looked like before we started.

All of the wood was reclaimed from old farm buildings – on this farm and the neighboring farm that was recently torn down and burned. It takes a bit of work to plane the boards to get rid of the old grey weathered rind, but the wood itself is gorgeous and I left it imperfect on purpose for a bit of a rustic look.

Here’s the new coat closet.

The old closet had the irritating sliding doors that detached from the runners about every other time they were opened. I like the open design better as you can see everything at a glance and grab or hang up a coat quicker. I even built a box in the back to store out of season footwear to keep it out of sight and baskets for hats, mittens, and the like.

The room was pretty much a do-over – when we tore off the paneling there were old covered up windows, old doorframes, some plaster walls, the ceilings were partially beadboard, partially nothing. New wiring, new insulation, new windows, new ceiling and walls. I’ve yet to decide what to do with the wall adjoining the kitchen. Most likely I’ll put in shelving for kitchen overflow and canning jars and storage, made of the same reclaimed wood.

May 23, 2012 – Home Improvement

Sometimes you have to live with bad decisions made by those before you. I’m trying to rectify some mistakes by the previous owner without wholesale structural changes that wouldn’t be worth the space gained. The original foursquare house has been added onto a number of times.

To the left is a mud room add-on. To the right of the door is a single-story add-on bedroom. There used to be a garage attached to the mud room.

The best thing I ever did was tear off the attached garage. It was an attachment on an attachment and most irritatingly, it was built below grade, so every time it rained, the side of the garage attached to the house filled with water. An unforeseen bonus is the nice patio space that remains, shaded in the evening.

The siding on this side of the house was new last year after tearing off the garage, a new wall needed to be built, so it was a good time to reside the whole side of the house. However, there is this rather crappy space between the two additions leading to the basement stairs.

It gets muddy in the rain, I’ve put some random stepping blocks in to keep the mud outside. The garbage cans blow away in a strong wind, and it isn’t very attractive when sitting on the patio. A few days ago, I started building a small deck and fence to contain and conceal the garbage cans

I’m very happy with the results!

October 18, 2011 – Fall Color

Here’s the little tree we planted in the front yard – growing up quite nicely.

We planted an ash, maple, and oak along the north side of the driveway many years ago to grow up to replace the old spruce, and two maples.  With age and all the wind of late, the spruce tree blew down this summer, and one maple is down to about 25% of its original branches from storm damage.  So, it looks like these trees might add some meaningful shade on the south side of the house by the time the other trees are gone.

one year ago…”Mini-van Driver No More”

October 4, 2011 – It Always Takes Longer

I’m redoing the back room of the house (yeah, the last room to redo on the first three floors of the house!).  I’ve got the old stuff ripped out, insulation in, walls drywalled and about 3/4 finished.

These are some of the wainscoat boards drying in the garage.  The extremely warm October days have been great for this kind of work.  Once this stage is done, I think the rest might take as long as I’m planning all kinds of built-ins in the room.

one year ago…”Linda in the Flower Garden”

June 13, 2011 – Back Room

It’s time to remodel the final unremodeled room in the house – the back entry way.  When we moved in, it was a laundry room, we turned it into an office of sort and just did some painting to spiff it up.

Here, I’m debating more about pounding out the plaster ceiling.  Part of the room had a plaster ceiling, part had a beadboard ceiling, and nowhere was there insulation to be found in the original part of the house.

one year ago…”Dominoes”

August 24, 2010 – East Side of House Done (well, almost)

The late summer project to remove the old garage and reside and reroof the east side of the house is complete, except for some door frame painting, caulking, screen door and window screen installation.

We’ll get around to the rest of the hose at a later date. An added bonus is the new patio where the garage used to be. We still have another garage and shed for the cars, so the patio seems like a good idea!

one year ago…”Worst of the North Side Barn Staining”

August 8, 2010 – House Progress

Slow but steady progress is being made on the cascading garage tear-off project. It has spread to putting new siding on the entire east side and both the additions to the original house.

Although with dew points in the 70’s and even in the 80’s some days, and rain every other day or so leaves much to complain about, slow but steady progress is being made.  Today I ripped off the old siding off the second floor and removed the old storm windows and frames.

one year ago…”Hazelnuts”