The past year has been very exciting for me. I've not been able to complete all the work on my farmhouse at one time but I've been working with some really great people who have helped me according to my budget. I skip around trying to complete projects based on their importance. This blog features the sag in the front porch, the new window and vents on the gable and the new soffit.
The sag didn't seem noticeable to many but it was very noticeable to me. I didn't realize the repairs would be as extensive as they would be.
When I asked my Facebook friends to refer a great and meticulous carpenter, my friend Kendrick quickly asked me what I needed work on. He came over, looked at the job and wasted no time in getting it done.
It's not easy finding someone that is willing to work on small projects with a lot of rotten wood and masses of spider webs...
...especially on old houses.
But after a few days he had reinforced the attic wood, replaced all the rotten wood...
...and added new support posts. The work didn't help with the aesthetics of the house but I was just as happy knowing the saggy porch and all that rotten wood had been replaced.
It was several weeks before I found the greatest vinyl guy to install the soffit on my house. Mr. Larry and his team did an amazing job on the soffit. Mr. Larry did not cut corners. He takes great pride in his work and took the time to level and straighten out the uneven sections. When finished the entire house was level and the soffit looked great. Adding the soffit was a total transformation and I couldn't believe how stunning it looked when it was all finished.
Vinyl Siding, Attic Window & Vents on a Craftsman Bungalow
I debated several months on whether to install Hardy board or vinyl siding. My old house absolutely deserved Hardy board but with so much work that had to be done on the house I simply couldn't afford it. I had to quickly get something on the gable to prevent the wood from rotting. The house had lap siding that was in good condition and I knew I would be painting the rest of the house to match the gable. I had other damage that required my attention so I didn't need to worry with the rest of the vinyl at that time.
Craftsman Bungalow Gable Window
Absolutely thrilled was an understatement when they finished the gable. I got my inspiration for the vents and window from "The Cottages at Southport." A friend had told me about them and my family and I drove there just to see all of them in person. They have built brand new homes identical to my 100+ year old bungalow. I chose a three light window that matched all the others in the house. Now it's time to paint!
There were three different styles of windows in my old house. They were all basically the same size, give or take an inch or so, and they all used the same pulley system. The house is over a hundred years old and the pulleys have been broken for at least half that long. As far back as I can remember they were always propped open with tobacco sticks. They were drafty, broken and always sweating when the heat was on. Sometime in the seventies storm windows were added but I removed them when I painted the house this lovely yellow color!
Fast forward to June of 2015. It had been several years since I had done any major work on my house. I met a contractor through my husband and I asked if he'd replace a rotten window sill in one of the bedroom windows.
After looking at the rotted window sill he talked to me about replacing the window too. He gave me a good price on the job and within a day or so he'd put in my first Pella craftsman style window. I didn't have any intention of replacing all the windows at the time but it looked so nice when he finished he told me he was willing to work with me in putting all new windows in my craftsman bungalow. It took eight long months to get them all installed. I was so happy, thankful and excited about all the new Pella windows in my old house...they looked amazing!
All of the windows are this craftsman style. They are double insulated and energy efficient. Gone are the drafts and tobacco sticks! After 100 years my old house has windows that open and close with ease.
Craftsman Kitchen Renovation- Before Picture
This was the saddest kitchen I'd ever been in. The entire floor was spongy, the 1970's cabinets were an inch thick in grease, the paneling had seen better days, the textured sheet rock ceiling was dingy and there were many pipe holes with large gaps in the floor and walls. It could've easily won an award for "America's Ugliest Kitchen".
Craftsman Bungalow Kitchen Demolition
This is the spongy floor that came out of the kitchen. The cabinets had already been removed and hauled away.
Original Wooden Ceiling Revealed
This was a very tiresome demolition. Thankfully, my son helped in tearing down the old wall paneling. The ceiling had been lowered to 8 foot and I'm afraid had he not helped me that day I could've have taken down the studs, plywood and sheet rock from the ceiling by myself. The kitchen was a sight but I was thrilled to discover this beautiful wooden ceiling.
Hanging the Drywall in a Craftsman Bungalow
The kitchen was finally beginning to look a little nicer. Again, my son came over to help hang the drywall and I was more than happy to be on clean up duty.
My daughter took a break from the fireplace project just in time for a photo op.
Adding Window Trim
After finishing and painting the drywall I started thinking about window trim.
I wanted to duplicate the trim like the other windows in the house by giving them a craftsman flair. These windows were original to the house but were not alike.
Hanging the Lights in My Craftsman Kitchen
I was so excited to finally get to the point to purchase and hang some light fixtures. I chose simple lighting that I thought would add personality and charm to my new kitchen. I especially loved hanging the smaller three light fixture with the chain swag over the table.
I found some old valances to temporarily add to the newly trimmed windows until I found the perfect color and style of curtain I wanted. The refrigerator will be moved to a new location in the kitchen after the flooring is added.
Unfortunately, my kitchen is a work in progress. I hired a contractor to replace the kitchen floor and found out after I had everything finished that the floor wasn't level. I cannot install the cabinets, counter tops or anything else until it has been redone. The house has other more pressing issues, so those projects have taken precedence over the kitchen. Stay tuned for upcoming news on our kitchen beautification.
Rebuild an Awning
Wooden Awning for Back Door
Like most of the house the back door awning was also in terrible condition and had to be rebuilt. For me, I find it very difficult to get anyone to work on an old house let alone a small project like this. So, I was very thankful when my carpenter savvy cousin, David said he would rebuild the awning. My daddy's old and rusty sheet rock scaffold came in handy for the project.
There was so much work to be done on the old farmhouse, but with each small or large project I was beyond thrilled and excited knowing the old house was coming back to life! I think my great-grandparents would be very happy with all the hard work and excitement that was being put into their home.
As my cousin, David worked on the awning, my son, Joshua is getting ready to cut down a small tree to make way for a new shed.
Since I inherited this old house it's become the hub for the whole family. Everyone gathers at the house to hang out, cook out or just enjoy the breeze under the pecan trees. A lot of activities were happening during this weekend...the back door was getting a new wooden awning, a tree was cut down and my sister and I were getting ready to assemble a trampoline for the children.
The trees been cut down and the awning is finished. What a great day at the old house...just a little yard debris to haul to the fire pit and clean up at the back door. Farmhouse beautification is in full swing...on to the next project!
Painting An Old House
When I inherited this old house it truly was in "barn" status. Squirrels in the attic, bird nest in the bedroom and a snake skin in the kitchen. It had been rental property and neglected for years. I was thrilled to be able to start bringing her back to life!
With some major work on the old house already completed it was time to focus on getting the house painted. It hadn't been painted in a long time and most of the paint had chipped off. I knew down the road I would be putting vinyl siding on it but at this point it just was not in the budget.
Prep Old House Wood
Scrape - Prime - Paint
Before you begin painting an old house there's always prep work to consider...scrape, prime and paint. A good paint job lasts around 10 years so make sure all chipped paint is removed. While most people think priming is an unnecessary step it allows for better adhesion and extends paint durability. I purchased top quality paint and primer and used a hand scraper to remove all the chipped paint.
If you are wondering about pressure washing your old wood...DON'T! Pressure washing old wood is not a good idea. It will raise the wood and make it fuzzy like animal fur.
Prime Old House Wood
I used white primer and sprayed most of the house but on certain sections and around the windows I used a roller to get better coverage.
I didn't feel comfortable on the ladder but my son was happy to lend a hand and help paint that day.
My daddy was not in good health during these years...but he was always there whenever I came to work and would always ask me, "What are we doing today, Terp?" He wasn't able to do any physical labor but he was always carrying my tool box and wrapping my extension cords. I snapped this pic of him because on this particular day he used a brush and helped me paint around the window.
I painted the back of the house last and by the time I got to this section I was over my "ladder anxieties." The back of the house turned out to be the prettiest of all...but I was so happy to be finished! This was a huge once-a-week project and since I worked on it alone the majority of the time, it took me over two years to finish. Painting an old house can be quite a task, but if you take your time and plan each work session you'll be more than happy with the end results.
I Love This Old House!
Fast forward 25+ years to the house I inherited in 2003. Little did I know when I took on the challenge of remodeling this house it would be a labor of love. This is my story of how I was blessed to become caretaker of "the old house" and how I've been restoring her back to her glory days.
Caretaker Of An Old House
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