Home renovation updates

Since it’s been a little while since I’ve showed any updates of our ongoing refurbishing project, I wanted to take some time to share the goings-on of the summer over at the house. We (and by we I mean mostly Robin and our neighbor, Steve) have been working hard throughout the summer and giving a lot of love to the place. Here’s a little summary of what all has been happening.


Our metal roof is all completed, except for the carport, which will be done later. I think the roof looks marvelous. Robin and Steve spent most of the summer on this project, and we had some much-appreciated help from family and friends as well. See this post: https://simplyactualized.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/354/ for an earlier look at the roofing project. It only took one day for me, watching from my perch on the top peak as my husband maneuvered his way across the roof clinging to the ridgeline, to decide that roofing is no fun at all. I have a new respect for those who do it for a living.

IMG_20140624_201135496_HDRIMG_20140724_135301615 IMG_20140811_133542134_HDR


These pictures give you a little bit of an idea of how the backyard looked earlier in the summer. Everything was/is very overgrown.


We cut down a lot of brush, which left the yard looking more like this:


We rented a brush chipper for a Saturday (you can see it in the left-hand picture above, and fed it all day. This is the current state of affairs, after clearing out most of the bigger piles. Goodbye secret garden; hello wasteland.


Here’s our ending pile of mulch:


Robin and friends also cut down 2 dead/unhealthy trees along the back alley. We had to fell them along the alley and into the street, but my husband is a talented tree-feller and all went well.


I guarded the street to make sure no cars came through…


2nd floor deck:

Here are the after shots of the deck I had promised in an earlier post, but this the 2nd floor view. Robin and Steve had to replace a lot of the wood in the kitchen underneath the deck, and all of the flooring. It looks great now.



The kitchen had to be gutted. I look on as something of a bystander and think it progressively looks worse and worse. That’s the way home renovation is. It gets worse before it gets better.

Here’s the original:

kitchenkitchen 2

And here it is now:


I am so excited to see the finished product. We did get to see the original house siding in the process, because the kitchen  was added on to where the original back porch used to be. I loved being able to have that small connection to the way the house used to be, back in the day.


I also got to see the old cistern under the house when we pulled up the kitchen flooring. I love it! How cool would it be to make this into a root cellar and have a dumbwaiter/trapdoor/elevator that goes from the kitchen down into it? My practical husband convinces me this is not a great idea and that I wouldn’t like it very much in the end. But still… pretty interesting concept, right? We may be able to use it as a root cellar and access it from the basement, however. I hope so.


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While Steve and Robin pulled down sheet rock and old siding, I took doors and hardware off cabinets to begin to prep them for painting. So fun!


Some kitchen inspiration: http://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=90610

Sally Wheat Interiors - kitchens - brick, floors, seagrass, counter stools, light gray, kitchen cabinets, farmhouse sink, farmhouse, dining table, Windsor, chairs, seagrass barstools, seagrass counter stools, gray seagrass bar stools, gray seagrass barstools, gray seagrass counter stools, brick floor, brick kitchen floor, gray cabinets, gray kitchen cabinets,


We picked them up last weekend! 20 Simonton windows, made in Parkersburg, WV. Who knew there were so, so many types of windows to choose from? These seem like a good mix of quality/affordability, and we are happy with them. Getting them home from Hagerstown was a bit tricky…

IMG_20140912_162722648_HDR IMG_20140912_162749217 IMG_20140912_163336173 IMG_20140912_163427797        On the right-hand picture above you can see Robin’s arm through the back window steadying the load.

That’s all for now. We are doing a lot of kitchen planning/dreaming/drawing/testing right now, and I’ll try to share a post about that soon. Until then…


About simplyactualized

I want to share my thoughts. Specifically, I want to share my thoughts about the adventures of knitting, cooking, and care-taking a large, beautiful house.
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One Response to Home renovation updates

  1. Janine says:

    Wow , Mel, you guys have quite the project going on! I knew it was big but these pictures help me picture it better. Keep up the good work! I wish we could see it in person.

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