House face lift

There was a second reason we were trying to get the little chicken fatties out of our house, besides all the racket they were making.

We needed the space they were in so we could start staining and spar varnishing our new front door.

We need to get the door finished because the front of our house is in the process of having a face lift. The front three windows will be replaced, the porch leveled and re-decked, new corbels installed, a new door will be hung, and everything will be re-shingled.

Besides the house updates, we are also getting a new garden shed built. This building will act as a tool shed and provide a cover for the tractor. The cement piers were poured Thursday.

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16 Responses to House face lift

  1. Ann says:

    Oooohhh…your front door is so pretty! It looks custom-built, very nice! And wow, a new shed for your tools and tractor. I hope this means less extension cords to trip over in the house, LOL.

    Looks like things are moving right along, Robin. Nice job. Can’t wait to see the new façade when you get the windows in. The main part of the house looks like it was re-shingled already?

    I’m living vicariously through your chicken stories. The new chicken housing looks great, too. Well done.

    Keep up the hard work – can’t wait to see the new shed, also!

    Take care,


    • robin says:

      We really wanted a fiberglass door but we couldn’t find one small enough. We can’t make the doorway any bigger due to the porch and wall layout so we had restrictions placed on us. We would have gone with a steel door but there weren’t any that looked period appropriate. So that left us with getting custom wood door. Let me just say that I am HATING the staining and varnishing process as I am finding it very frustrating!!

      All the shingles on the house are from 1937 and at least two walls need a complete re-shingle job. We are just re-shingling the front of the house as the second wall we want to re-shingle doesn’t have all the windows replaced yet.

      I am sooooooo beyond excited about getting this new shed built. Not having a lawn mower in my living room is going to be marvelous. 🙂

      • Ann says:

        Hi Robin,

        I have a DRILL PRESS in my living room, and it ain’t small! When I told Eric you have a lawn mower, he said, “see, other people have it worse!” LOL…laughing tears over here!

        OK, I understand regarding the shingles, such a west-coast thing, (I think), I was referring to your roof shingles, but of course the front of the house is shingled, too. I imagine you’re using cedar shakes? We are looking at James Hardie fiber cement shingles when we do our exterior, simply for their fire-proof quality. We’re always worried about fire, with our little barn (where we keep our cars) being about 3 feet from our house. That’s a French-Canadian thing, the barn stuck beside the house, stuck beside the woodshed, stuck beside the chicken coop…

        Your house has such pretty details, it’ll be nice to see the front door installed. Hope the staining and varnishing is going OK. Have you heard of Cetol? It would be great for an application such as your front door. It’s a bit more user-friendly than varnish. Just throwing that out there for future reference, since the job’s (hopefully!) already done.

        How’s the shed construction going? Keeping tabs on your progress, and hope all’s well your way!



        • lee says:

          Wow, a drill press? I’m going to have to make sure Robin re-reads your comment. Then again, she’ll point out that we have a full size table saw in the living room … 🙂

          Yes, we had the roof replaced about two years ago during the first big remodeling push. The cedar shingle siding is pretty common on old homes. Some of the nicer houses having decorative patterns in the shingles. You’ll also find houses in cedar shake, but they are less common. In West coast terminology, “shingles” are sawn and thin, while “shake” are split and are much thicker.

          The fiber-cement siding is popular out here for new construction, probably because it’s so durable. Cedar roofs are banned because of forest fires (our house originally had an untreated cedar shingle roof too). I don’t spend too much time worrying about fire. We are surrounded by large cedar trees, so if those caught fire our house would be toast regardless.

          I’ll have to look into Cetol. The advertising literature sounds promising. For the door, we are limited to following the manufacturer’s instructions or it’s not warrantied against warping. After the first coat, spar varnish has proved easier to work with. We still have several coats to go.

          • Ann says:

            Well, you can always drape a table cloth over a table saw! I can only dress the drill press up with Christmas garland – LOL.

            Thanks for your explanation re: shakes vs. shingles. Makes sense. Your house is already looking fabulous, but I know all these details are long, drawn-out affairs. Things do seem to be coming together, though! Keep up the good work.

  2. Pheobe says:

    OOOHHH, a tractor shed. You mean tractors aren’t supposed to just sit in the field where they broke down and have trees grow up through them?
    Your house is going to look so sweet when you get done. As I said before – nothing makes you feel better than a new front door!
    Those chicks got big fast.

    • robin says:

      HA!! I don’t know why Lee needs something to park his tractor under besides a tree. It already has rust all over it so whats a little more going to do? hehe I can’t wait for the new front door that I can actually open by myself.

  3. Lynn says:

    Yeah, renovation on the house!!!!! It will be SOOO pretty!!!! I am excited for you. I wish my house was undergoing renovation!!! It all takes time and money…

    • robin says:

      Yeah, time and money are always the two biggest hurdles it seems. I wish I had a crew of workers that just lived here. That would get stuff done in a hurry. 🙂

  4. Benita says:

    Wow! Things are happening there. Can’t wait to see what everything looks like when it’s done. Something tells me you feel the same way. 🙂

    • robin says:

      I am so excited to be getting some house stuff done. It always seems to stagnate and then go in bursts.

  5. Leigh says:

    Looking good! It’s amazing what a difference upgrading the front of a house can make. Seems like it’ll be forever before we get to ours, so I’ll just have to be excited about yours for now.

    • lee says:

      I’m really excited to see it painted as it will be the first truly “finished” part of the house. Everything does take time …

  6. very nice..I know what you mean about being short on time from your BCS post too..too many projects! Do you pour your own concrete and dig it out? Never have done it myself but I need several locations. I already think I am going to run out of time..and motivation.

    • lee says:

      For this building project I’ve hired a framer friend to do most of the work. They dug the holes with post hole diggers and mixed sakcrete in a wheel barrow for each. There are metal anchors mounted in each concrete pier, and the anchors hold short posts that are cut to provide a level platform for the shed floor.

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