Not Moving the Tree

The oak tree (on the left in the spotlight) near the Cottage can be easily seen in this photo taken last fall.

Just to the left of the Cottage (facing it) is a large oak tree.

The oak tree near the Cottage.

We’ve had trouble with other oaks in the yard but this one seems to be growing straight and healthy.

Each autumn the entire area is covered with fallen leaves.
We’ll get rid of the rotten wood that was holding the dirt back.

The area underneath had been stabilized with railroad ties which over the decades have rotted out.

Putting sides at right angles helps stabilize the wall as does inserting rebar.

Instead of removing the tree and leveling the dirt, my Cottage friend decided to have the small retaining wall rebuilt with new pressure-treated lumber.

The area in front of the new wall had been built up with bricks which might be a future project.

The contractor cleared up the area on the side of the Cottage to reveal a paved walkway and indications that water is directed around the Cottage via this sloping passage.

The view from the back of the Cottage. The wall tapers toward the back.

The new wall looks neat and practical.

Plants will help maintain the unrestrained dirt.

I’m wondering if there are any planting plans for this heavily-shaded area.

The wall is tall at the front.

We have azaleas, box, hostas, iris, and ferns available on the property to plant.

Do you have a go-to shade plant?

Before and After: Cottage Gable

All week the carpenter has been working on adding a gable over the entrance door to Glade Cottage.

The Cottage before the new windows, doors, and gable.

He made the support brackets in his home shop and then bolted them to the front of the Cottage being sure to tie them into the original framing of the building.

The front of the building was not altered to accommodate the new roof.

Working alone on this project the carpenter then built the framework centered over the door.

The little roof is framed just like a regular roof.

The next day he trimmed up the bare wood and added sheathing to the roof and beadboard to the underside.

Similar shingles are used on this little roof.

Then he shingled the roof with shingles matching the house and cottage.

All trim is painted white for a finishing touch.

All bare wood was then painted white like the other trim on the Cottage.

Big pots of geraniums hang on each side of the door.

I asked if he would hang a hook at the end of each support for hanging baskets.

Glade Cottage — Before
Glade Cottage — After

The Cottage has been through many upgrades over the years. Next on the agenda — paint the exterior of the Cottage.

Are you planning to convert a space to a new use?

Over the Door

Back in January I suggested we might like a little roof over the Cottage exterior door.

Our inspiration for a roof over the Cottage door.

This week the carpenter began to build the not-so-little roof over the entrance.

The roof support is substantial.

He started by creating massive supports which are both bolted together and bolted into the Cottage structure.

The pitch of the gable was created to match the Cottage’s roof.

Then he laid out the gable by creating a temporary centerline over the center of the door so the line of the new roof can follow the line of the Cottage’s full roof.

Supports are in place.

By the end of the day the framework had been bolted to the wall.

The framework is secure.

I think this entrance roof will make the Cottage look less like a converted garage and more like a sweet little cottage.

What curb appeal detail appeals to you?

Another Door Update

The Cottage has new double-glazed windows, a new front door with an integral slatted blind, and now a new storm door.

The conservatory steps across the yard are reflected in the new door.

This door allows the main door to sit open while some breezes blow through the screen and extra light shines into the Cottage’s main room.

The Cottage has an updated look and is more secure.

The new doors and windows have made the interior of the Cottage very quiet and peaceful.

The screen door allows the main door to stand open during the summer.

When the screens are in use the sounds of our many birds can be heard.

It’s fun to watch the Cottage being transformed into a home.

Do you have a favorite home pastime in summer?

It’s Almost June — Yikes!

Work at my house has almost come to a standstill due to Charlie’s knee surgery.

Glade Cottage

The Cottage on the other hand is getting more improvements this week.

We’re looking forward to:

  1. A new storm door.

    We got rid of this storm door but now the Cottage will be getting a new one.
  2. Interior shutters in the kitchen and laundry windows.

    Our Treetops bedroom has shutters in the windows.
  3. A tall toilet.

    Our new toilets in the house are of the taller “comfort” variety.
  4. A roof over the doorway.

    I mocked-up a roof over the door — can’t wait to see the real thing.

Have you had a roadblock?

Spring Goals

I have 2 main goals this spring:

The master bedroom still needs baseboard trim.

one indoors and one outside.

Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.

I have a hallway full of wood trim which needs to be cut and installed.

The bedroom hall needs trim also.

I know there’s not enough to finish everything but I’m not going to place the final order until I know exactly what I need. I plan to work on this during the week.

Some of the shutters have already been scraped.

I also want to clean, paint, and hang the shutters we took off the house 3 years ago when we started the renovation.

I hope we can match the right shutters to the corresponding windows.

I’m going to start the shutters on Memorial Day weekend.

What are your plans for the long weekend?

Finishing Up on the Closet Boxes

When last we left the progress on the closet most of the boxes/towers were finished except the ones on the very top.

We made 2 towers and a sort section tops with a stock cabinet left over from the kitchen renovation.
The closet is built floor to ceiling.

Yesterday we built the remaining boxes and installed them in the gap on the top of the towers.

The final box on the left side of the closet slid in with a snug fit.

Like the other boxes they are made from 3/4-inch plywood, 21 inches deep, and backed with luan.

The long box on the right-hand side of the closet was more difficult to install due to the attic access on the ceiling.

We made long skinny boxes which sit on top of the tall towers.

The right-hand side of the closet is finished.

At the end of the run we made shorter cabinets that coincide with the towers near the window on each side.

The closet space before we started to outfit it.
Next step: Trim!

The closet is now usable but still needs finishing:

  • Connect the boxes together.
  • Trim the baseboard around the room.
  • Trim the window and inside of the door.
  • Make face frames for the boxes.
  • Add drawers to the area under the closed cabinet.
  • Hang curtains.
  • Stain the doors.
  • Touch up the paint.

Do your projects seem to go on forever?