The Forever Cottage: Demo and Where We Are Currently

Today I thought I'd bring everything up to date on our progress with our new home. It seems crazy that we've already lived here for almost four months! But while it seems like it's been slow going, a lot has actually been accomplished. But, first we had to come across some major changes to the plans. So here are some progress pictures of what we've done so far.

Right off the bat after we moved onto the property, we started on demo. Things were going along pretty well, and most of the stuff we came across was pretty much expected. There was wood panelling in every room, and cardboard ceiling tiles, and it all had to come down. We found lots of bug nests in the walls and ceilings, which is what all of that grey dirt looking stuff is! We knew whole place needed re-wiring and new plumbing, and while trying to maybe salvage the kitchen, it became obvious pretty quickly that we would need to get all new cabinetry (which was fine by me!).

One fun thing we came across that we weren't expecting were the stacked 2x4 walls! I guess that's pretty common with older houses in timber products areas, because of all of the lumber mills. Mill workers could get free scraps and seconds, but they were so short that the only way to use them in building was to stack and nail them, one on top of the other! All in all, it wouldn't have been too bad to keep that, and we were planning on keeping some exposed as a statement wall.

We had the place pretty much completely gutted in a few weeks, and since so much of what we were tearing out was wood based products, we just chucked them out of the living room window and eventually got it all burned before fire season started in our area. The pile was huge! It was pretty validating to see that proof of what we were accomplishing.

Then we got to the foundation. Like I said in my last post, we knew it was bad. We just weren't sure how bad. When we figured it out, after the house was almost completely gutted, we knew it needed a new one. It became a matter of either jacking the house up and pouring a new foundation, or tearing the older, original half (built in the 40s) down and starting from scratch there.

What it came down to was the fact that besides the roof (which was still in great shape, and only about 10 years old), we were literally replacing everything of value in that part of the house. The stacked walls were ok, but they weren't really worth salvaging or trying to work around. So when it came down to it, we decided to tear the front down and start fresh, with a new foundation and traditionally framed walls.

So, down she came. My father-in-law is an excavator, and he brought his equipment over and went to work! There was a quick, scary moment when the house started twisting away, and almost hit our trailer! I was live streaming on instagram stories, so if you tuned in, you got to see us all collectively almost have a heart attack, haha.

But, my father-in-law's a pro and he got a hold of it at the last second, and it came down without any more drama :) It was a very exciting day, especially after weeks of slow going, then BOOM! Big progress!

The front came down about a month ago, and we just finished up our new foundation. Things seemed to drag on for a while waiting on our permits, but now we're finally on a roll. My parents were here a couple of weeks ago, and my dad helped cut down and remove a couple of trees that were planted awkwardly close to the house. And then we had both of our dads and a couple of friends come help pour our foundation footing. Then came the block (that my f-i-l also helped with), and it's slowly but surely been moving along.

The next step is framing and rough plumbing. It's just so exciting to be in the process of building it back up instead of tearing things apart! The updates will probably be a little slower coming at this point, because now we're caught up, but in the meantime I'll be sharing some inspiration and plans for the design that I've been coming up with over the last few months. My goal is to be better about sharing things during this renovation in real time than with our last one, haha!

Thanks for stopping by!

The Forever Cottage: Where We Started

In my last update on our new home, I shared some of the exterior photos of the house and the surrounding property. Today I thought I'd share the interior before pictures, fresh from when we first looked at it. As a warning, these pictures are very raw and not pretty at all. This is what a screaming real estate deal looks like in our area!

Entering the house, you walk into the dining room and kitchen from the front door, which is so British. Check out Escape to the Country on Netflix if you don't know what I'm referring to, haha!

Off of that is the spare room and laundry, which at one point were separate rooms but had been opened up into one. We knew that we would be putting that wall back up and separating the two.

Through the kitchen was a big selling point, and that was the large living room. Large for the house anyway, and large enough to have friends and family over. It also had nice big windows with a great view of the back property! Obviously, when I took these, the owners still hadn't removed all of the stuff, so it seems a little smaller than it really is in these pictures.

Off the hall is the bathroom, and what will be the master bedroom. Not big by any means, but we've had tiny bedrooms and we've had huge bedrooms (our Idaho house had a massive master suite!) and this seemed like a good size for us.

There is also a deck off of the living room, and while it's not the worst, it needs a fair amount of work, like everything else.

We knew going in that this place needed so much tlc (aka, a complete gut job!) and we knew that we were going to be running into some electrical and foundation issues with it. Just so you know that we had no illusions this was going to be an easy job! We were working with an original half of the house that was built in the 40s, and that had been added onto in the 60s.

Plus, whoever built it initially had to have been pretty small. The ceilings were only 6'11"! Now, we aren't the tallest people, so it wasn't all that bad to us, but we knew that raising the ceilings was going to be on the list, at least for part of the house.

On top of that, it was very, very dirty and hadn't been maintained very well at all. The owner who did the addition lived (and smoked inside!) for the last 50 years, and there had been some animals in and out of the place in the last decade. Mmmm, smell that??.....

But the bones seemed good (and in parts of it they were), it was cute, and overall it checked most of the boxes we were looking for.

Then we started demo. But I'll get to that later :) We ended up having to make some pretty major changes to the plan after we really got into it, so I figured it warranted it's own post, and that will bring us up to it's current stage. So stay tuned for that!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Bedroom Refresh: Transitioning to an Adult Room

A couple months ago I went to Idaho on for a little trip after my best friend had her baby :) I was there for almost two weeks, and while I was there, I got bit by the project bug HARD!

Some of you might have seen on instagram stories or snapchat that I helped my little sister Amber re-do her bedroom. She's turning 21 this week, and I thought her room looked like it could use a little transition to a more adult space.

Now, I should start this by saying that home decor and organizing are not her thing. And that alright. She's into a lot of other things, but those aren't it haha. And this has been her room for years, and she had never really had an excuse to go through and get rid of things. Let's just say that all of those years had amounted to a lot of stuff that never got used and wasn't serving any purpose other than taking up space!

The room also hadn't been re-painted in the almost 14 years since my parents built the house, and it was one of the last rooms to be re-done. There were holes in the walls from when it used to be my room and I had posters hanging up! 

With just a little convincing, she decided to let me help her and we tackled it all in a long weekend.

One of the first things we did on was go through her stuff. This was mostly her job, but I helped out a little. She had a massive collection of movies and books, as well as a lot of crafting supplies. We were able to get rid of so much, and that was honestly one of the biggest improvements to the space that we made!

The things she wanted out of the space were a nicer work space/desk area, a reading nook, and to keep her bed (she loved how comfortable her mattress was, even though the bed was a twin).  I wanted to pull the decor into something more co-hesive, paint the walls, and give her more organization. 

We found a bought several things for her room, some thrifted, some from craigslist, and some from Ross and Target. 

Thursday we spent the day in town shopping and we picked up:

  • Paint and supplies
  • A thrifted desk chair
  • Curtains and rod
  • A new laundry hamper
  • A desk off of Craigslist
  • Organizing baskets
  • A thrifted headboard
  • A bed frame off of Craigslist
  • Wall art 
  • A blanket basket
  • A new lampshade
  • Rug
  • New sheets
  • A new bed comforter
Later on Saturday, I also picked up some supplies for hanging some faux floating shelves above her desk.

Friday, she painted her walls and Saturday I cut in and we spray painted her head board and her desk chair. In that time we also continued to go through her stuff and the amount we got rid of was crazy!

Sunday, I finished cutting in and some touch ups on her wall paint, and I organized all of her things, including her closet. I cut the wood and we hung up her shelves, and then I painted them. It was all a joint effort, but we got this hilarious picture of me working while she's laying on her bed doing nothing, haha!

I think there was a little more passion for the project on my end!

Monday, I put the finishing touches on the organization and put everything on her shelves. It was so exciting and it quickly became the favorite room in the house! My mom and sisters and I would go back and hang out in there chatting, and Amber just wanted us all to get out so she could enjoy her new space in peace ;)

She was really happy to have a nice, organized space and I'm glad she let me help her. It's nice that she has a fresh, relaxing room since she spends a lot of time in there.  

The one big mistake I made though, was with her headboard! I bought it thinking it was a twin, and it turned out to be a full, ha! That's why you bring a measuring tape folks! But it worked out ok. The bed frame we got is adjustable and she says she may upgrade her mattress in a few months, so we decided to keep it and for now it stays in place between her bed and the wall.

So what do you guys think? Suitable for a young adult who still lives at home? And do you ever get bit so hard by the project bug that you knock out a big one in a weekend? Let me know! 

Thanks for stopping by!

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