87. The Accidental Demolition

The demolition of the mudroom was planned. We had important work to get finished before real winter starts. After all, mudrooms are the bridge between the real house and the outdoors. We bought and installed the new window, stripped the walls and ceiling, Mr. H.C. did the electrical work… and then somehow, we managed to skip the finishing part, and ended in the living room taking out the walls.

This happened because we accidentally bought a new living room window. We hadn’t planned it this soon — the living room was to be later — but we all know what happens to plans…

Window trim pulled off led to a smell, that led to tearing off old paneling, that led to plaster that wasn’t worth saving, that led to finding no insulation in the walls, that led to bare studs in the living room…

And these are the lovely windows that started the accidental demolition of the living room.


They look pretty from the inside as well, despite the fact that they grace a stud wall.


These were three individual windows that were connected at the factory, I think for the sole purpose of making them heavier. Although we only had to install one window, it took four people to shove that window in the empty space. Thank you Matt and Joanna!

And just so you remember what it used to look like:
and from a distance, the old and the new:

The gray cedar shakes will be replaced with white cove siding that matches what is on the house already. I’d really like to get rid of the brick as well, but the idea of actually taking it off, makes me shudder. I’d like to talk Mr. H.C. into painting it letting me paint it, but that’s a long shot…

The rest of the yews are going too. Those two in the middle that are gone? Mr. H.C.’s tractor couldn’t even pull them out! He hacked at them with a chain saw and the roots are still there. Now we’ve got a new saying — tough as an old yew

These sliding glass doors are next:

And they are going to be as tough as an old yew to change…

13 thoughts on “87. The Accidental Demolition

    • I vacillate. (Note I’m not calling it dithering.) I wish it were a grayer gray rather than a blue gray. I read a paint article the other day that said as paint color ages, the base colors used come out more. A new swipe of that same gray paint from an old can in the basement looks like a much nicer color than the blue-gray that it has faded to.
      Plus, sometimes I think it just looks striped — red, blue, and white…


  1. OK, so now you have me reading your blog. I love the new windows. Very attractive and I am sure much warmer. jrd


  2. Ah, the joys of an old house!!! I really like the view from the inside. As far as the bricks? Sounds like a major under taking. I’m guessing they are not original to the house?


    • No…sigh.
      The house was redone in the seventies by Mr. H.C.’s parents. So we are trying to walk the line between being respectful to the really old, and the semi-old.
      And the more I think about taking off the bricks, the more they grow on me… :-)


      • The bricks do have their own character. The benefit to having the bricks is that they don’t succumb to dry rot and termites which I would guess is why they were added. Our siding is about 3 inches off the ground and I have dealt with both nemesis. I have conquered the rat issues…except the clean up. Now I know where all the snails went.


        • Yes, termites.
          We’ve seen signs of much old damage. Several of the studs had been sistered next to other damaged ones, which indicated to us that in the seventies when the paneling was put on and the doors and windows changed, they found it. We haven’t seen any new signs. But yes, this is another good point for bricks! Thanks!!!


  3. I can totally relate to this post! One thing always leads to 10 others when renovating an old house! You had me laughing when you described the sequence of events – I constantly feel that way! Just the other day (after some recent renovations), my husband carried our wrought iron bed upstairs and when we went to take our new (21st century) mattress upstairs it would NOT fit through the stairway!!! Turns out most things have been super-sized over the last 100 years! One thing after another but we eventually figure it out and still LOVE our old homes! ;) Great post!


    • Hahaha. In the house we live now (a thirties stone tudor cottage) we never did get our new box spring up the narrow stairway. We had to put it in the downstairs guest bedroom! So we had two half-new beds — the upstairs one had the old box spring and the new mattress and the downstairs guest room had the new box spring and old mattress. Surprisingly, it made both beds more comfortable.
      I envy you your farmhouse. I love our little cottages, but I love old farmhouses more…


      • Haha, well I guess we aren’t the only ones! :) I think your cottage is very charming! These old houses make for more work sometimes but they sure do have more character!


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