How Can Such a Little House Have Such Big Demands?

We’ve been doing lots of little things on the house of late, but none of them has been post-worthy on its own.

Earlier this spring, Mr. H.C. put bricks under the front windows to finish them.

We also cleaned the brick, took out the old yews, and put in some new landscaping.


All landscaping plants are deer-resistant. Unfortunately, the sunflowers I planted weren’t rabbit proof…

We updated our outdoor seating — Mr. H.C. put new wood on the seats of these old chairs, and I painted them.

I painted away the last of the blue gray cedar shakes, and Mr. H.C. built an arbor for our grapes inside the garden gate to protect them from the local plant predators.

There’s a new planter for herbs and cherry tomatoes on the sunny side of the back porch; it looks like it has always been there.

We took down the hideous-looking gutter from the front porch and added a nice new face board.

Once that was done, we agreed that the ugly painted plywood ceiling above the porch just wouldn’t do (it was so ugly, I never even took a photo of it…)

…so we gutted the ceiling and replaced it with traditional porch beadboard. It was a great day when that plywood ceiling came down.

But the really exciting news is that last week two trucks from Home Depot delivered a new door, a new window, and roofing materials and shingles. Mr. H.C. was anxious to get started on the roof, so I was surprised one evening when he came in and said, “I really think we should put the door in first. I don’t want it sitting around getting scratched up.”

Replace Sliding Glass Door # 3?  I danced with glee. (There were originally FIVE sets of sliding glass doors in the cottage when we acquired it. Two are gone. Three are now gone! This was Mr. H.C’s project all the way. All I did was pick the doors, the color, help move them across the yard, and shout encouragement from the sidelines.

The project would have gone faster, but like all old cottage projects, one must expect the unexpected. Or, at least, not be surprised. The sill under the sliding glass doors looked like this when we took it out:

IMG_7079 So extra work was involved rebuilding the sill, adding concrete and raising the new doors a bit to make a lovely (and solid) new concrete sill. These doors enter into what is lovingly called the garage bedroom. It used to be the garage. When the inside is finished, it will be the office, a guest bedroom, and the tv room — it’s a small room to be a threefer…

And one more before-and-after shot:

Painting of Apple Hill Cottage, ca.1973

The original cottage in the fifties


The remodeled cottage of the seventies

July, 2016

July, 2016, with still plenty of projects to complete

Excuse the green-tarped package in the center of the yard. That’s the next old-cottage project.

On to the roof…

roofing in the dark to beat tomorrow's rain

Yup, we work 24/7 around here…


11 thoughts on “How Can Such a Little House Have Such Big Demands?

  1. You guys are truly impressive – both with the amount of work and the quality of the work you are doing. Not to mention the sheer stick-to-it-ness that you have demonstrated throughout. Well done. jrd


  2. Oh, I know the feeling…. Those new doors are perfect. The cottage is looking great. By fall, you’ll be settled in to a warmer, updated and certainly upgraded abode. Keep up the good work.


    • Thanks! The garage bedroom was the coldest room in the place, so we are really glad to get rid of those drafty sliders. But we were disappointed to not be able to get any tax credit for the new roof. It seems to get a roof that counts as energy efficient, it has to be white. Doesn’t seem quite right, here in the cold Northeast where heat is more of a concern than AC. Although not in July :-)


      • Hmmm, since in most cases the attic is supposed to be “cold space” and ventilated–a dark roof doesn’t really have any energy advantage.


  3. You two have really been at it! I’m feeling like I have too many excuses for not making any headway on my list of projects (my most recent project, cutting down the plum tree, only caused me grief from Lisa). The cottage is really looking good!!!


    • Right, and an injured hand too? Must be a woman thing, cause I’m right with her on that. Unless the trunk was rotting? We actually have an old apple that probably needs to go — the cicadas probably did it in for sure this year. But I think we’ll wait until fall to see if we get any fruit at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In my defense, the tree had several dead branches as well as damage from insects. I guess I will have to admit I’m in trouble just like George Washington.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Those chairs have been sitting around :-) for two years with broken, rotted seats. And even better, he sanded some old boards that we found here, so we didn’t have to buy any wood. I love the doors too — thanks!


Comments are closed.