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1927 Cottage Style Home: Remodeling Update

Before and after of the craftsman fireplace

We have been awfully quite here on the website mostly due to a incredible amount of work that is taking place on the remodel of our 1927 cottage style combined duplex.  Man, that is a mouthful.  We have heard it described as traditional, craftsman, cottage style, etc.  In reality it is a spacious brick home from the 20’s that really does not fit a typical style of the time.  The design feels traditional and almost classical with the mirrored sides, but has eaves and shingles that give it a cottage craftsman feel.  I guess we will go with unique brick?  We gave you a before tour of the home and highlighted some of the good bones.  However, in reality it is taking a ton of work and has some significant challenges.  Of course anytime you work on remodeling an older home you better plan on significant challenges!

Painting. Oh Lord the Painting..

Let us start with the painting…  We have purchased over 40 gallons of paint.  I’d like to thank Lowe’s rebates for making that possible.  (You can read some of my other ways to save money at Lowe’s here).  Each piece of trim is taking not one, not two, but three coats of paint to cover the chipped and yellowed paint.  Of course that is after Adam has gone to the trouble to clean it, nail any loose pieces, caulk and putty all the gaps.  Then there is the ceiling, doors, and walls to paint; the list goes on and on.  I would estimate we are about halfway through.  I would think we were further but I have one room that will require a lot of plaster work so that is going to slow the entire process.

Before and after of the cottage style kitchen
What a coat of paint, and a couple hours of de-greasing, will do for a kitchen.

Some of the hardest parts of the painting have been prep work.  You can’t tell from this next photo but this craftsman style mantel and surround was pulled a good inch away from the wall, had about 20 (not hyperbole) nails, and tons of holes and scratches to sand and fill.  Turned out lovely in the end!

Before and after of the craftsman fireplace
As you can see the paint isn’t even dry in this photo!

We have ripped out a bathroom vanity (two more to go), updated closet storage, hung fans, lights, and blinds.  Blinds were a biggy!  Because guess how many windows this house has?  54…  54 windows…  That’s a lot of curtains and blinds.  Speaking of windows?!  We just placed an order for 52 brand new ones (the missing two windows are in the kitchen that we plan on gutting in the next couple of years).  The replacement window process is worthy of a few posts itself.  As much as we are avid DIYers we have windows on 4 stories and did I mentioned there are FIFTY-TWO of these godforsaken things to replace?  We are contracting out the whole process; which is daunting too.  I think the big lesson here is that when remodeling an older home you have to know when to bring in professionals.

Before and after of the cottage style closet
As soon as the paint was dry we hung new shelving and racks. It was absolutely fabulous to not live out of a box anymore!

Oh and in the meantime we took out 7 trees, hired a wonderful landscaper to basically come bush-hog the whole yard, discovered a hidden gazing pond in the process, and placed 104 bags of mulch already.  Did I mention we have done all that in the span of about three and a half months?  With working full time, teaching in the evenings (Adam), getting promoted (Brianna), starting a new preschool, first grade beginning, and trying to rock out the whole parenting thing, I’d say we have been done in!

We found a pond underneath all of the overgrowth and brush
Yeah… There was a pond under there…

Craft Thyme (and sleep) have suffered BUT I think it has already proven to be worth it.  Peppered through this post are some before and afters of the the progress we have already made.  Plus we have some awesome posts forthcoming, in case you ever want to learn how to remove virginia creeper vines from a house, work with galvanized pipe to make awesome curtain rods (very different than the previous black iron pipe fixtures), purchase replacement windows, eradicate english ivy, properly paint an old door, or plant about 100 bulbs then stay tuned because we’ve got your back!

Junked up garage is now all clean
I don’t think I even mentioned the garage… At least there were some cool tools in there.


10 thoughts on “1927 Cottage Style Home: Remodeling Update

  1. Okay, I am motivated to handle the very few projects our house needs now after looking at the big chunk of work you are undertaking. Looks great!

    1. Thanks! I should be more motivated! Taking on work is stressful but worth it in the end.

  2. Can’t wait to see full before and afters, because all the shots of the sections oof the rooms I saw, I loved! I imagine it will be very beautiful.. my dream is to own and renovate a really old home some day. Good luck! You are busy bees!!!

    1. Thanks so much! If we can ever get a room done enough to stage I’ll start posting!

  3. Oh my word, you’ve done so much already Brianna. I can’t believe it’s 3 1/2 months ago that you moved in and all those windows, wow, that’s a lot. With removing the trees you must get so much light streaming in. Can’t wait to see everything.

    1. Thanks so much! It has been a whirlwind of activity.

  4. Wow you guys have been busy – what a project! Can’t wait to see more of your renovation posts when you get a chance to share :)

  5. Wow we can already see that you have made a major difference in the house. Looking forward to seeing you work your magic. And yes I can see that the mantel was pulled out, but the question is why? What is the story behind that?

  6. Love doing this kind of stuff. Imagine the incredible transformation going on around you and how it will affect you lifestyle for the better in the future.

    Congratulations, I look forward to seeing it finished. So much work but worth it I bet.

    1. Thanks so much! I truly hope it will be worth all the work in the end.

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