Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our Renovation Begins! ~ Exterior Befores

{Our Renovation}

We are heading into a new chapter of our lives. 
We have moved back to LeClaire, Iowa our hometown.
Nestled near the downtown of our favorite little country rivertown
we found this little beauty nearly 10 months ago.
Well, we sold our first home this month & we have moved back home.
Now our story really begins.

Our plan is to completely renovate this home from top to bottom, inside & out.
One of the older homes in the town, we estimate it was originally built in the 1880's.
We have yet to really dig into this home's history.
Though I am quite sure it has a story or two to tell.

While this little light blue shabby ranch nestled on the hillside may
appear fairly plain & simple, I am absolutely positive it has a character
all its own just waiting to be uncovered and dusted off underneath the surface.

A renovation like this has been a dream for both my husband & myself
since before we even knew one another.
You see, Travis is a carpenter & own's his own small construction
business.  I on the other hand have not done much construction (like none;)
But, I have a passion for design & interior aesthetics that gets stronger every day.
We are confident that between the two of us we will make a great renovation team.

Go Team Corson!!!
(That one's for my husband, Love you honey!)

I plan to document our renovation journey through every step.
As you can see I have taken tons of photos, so I thought I would
split the before photos into two posts, one on the exteriors & one on interior.
Fair warning....
while this home may appear to be in say, not too bad of shape on the outside.
Well, the inside is a whole different story!
So, be prepared to get a little dirty.
Oh a little dirt doesn't hurt now & then (at least that is what I'm telling myself:)

I am sure the reward in the end will be priceless.
We are making memories to last a lifetime.
We are leaving behind a little piece of our legacy on this one.

We are so excited to really get going on this!

Well, this is it for the exterior before photos.
We hope that you will enjoy following along on our renovation journey.
We have so much in store for this little quaint cottage home.

Here is a quick run down of our plans.

1. Repair foundation & install new foundation
2. Remove existing addition.
3. Demo entire interior down to studs.
4. Remove all floors & sub floor inside.
5. Build new larger addition.
6. Remove old roof.
7. Install new roof.
8. Remove walls to open space.
9. Move existing walls.
10. New Windows, Siding, Doors
11. Plumbing
12. Electrical
13. Drywall
14. New Flooring
15. New Kitchen
16. New Bathrooms
17. Interior Design
18. New Lighting
19. Replace front porch
20. Add new back patio

And I am sure a million more things will get added to this list along the way,
but you get the idea in the end we will have a brand new home on a budget.

2 car detached garage with a work shop above for the hubs.

So, what do you think???
Are we crazy???


linking up to


  1. HOW FUN!
    I'm excited to see the outcome!
    Super cute home!! :)

  2. Looks like a lot of work, but manageable. The two car garage with the workshop is a super bonus! Take it one day at a time, check if you have a local ReStore (awesome resource) and keep checking Home Depot clearance for some amazing deals on high end fixtures, etc. I can't wait to follow along!

  3. I think your new home has a ton of charm and loads of potential. My husband and I have been renovating together for over 25 years. We work very well together and really enjoy the whole process. Renovations are a really test of a good marriage. Just remember to work together and respect each others strengths. I love demo. My husband is not a painter. I see the finished vision, he is all about the process. And we complement each others work all the time.
    I am looking forward watching your progress. A blog you might want to check out is Beneath My Heart. They are in the middle of a total redo too.
    If you have time I a having my first giveaway. See you around.

  4. Yikes! I'm exhausted just reading your list! It will be sweet for you to work on all those projects and see this house slowing being whipped into shape. Love it!!

  5. You might be crazy, but I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the place! :) I think you're right - just by looking at the exterior I am sure there is a ton of potential in this come - congrats to you and good luck! :)


  6. This sounds like so much fun! Looking forward to reading your posts about the renovation!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. lucky, lucky you & you're not crazy at all! i will be eagerly following along to see the changes you'll be doing. love the old stone wall!

  8. No, you are not crazy - but I guarantee that you will reach a point where you don't think the reno will EVER be done. I know this for a fact as my hubs and I just finished a total jut of the house we bought a year and a half ago (if you would like to check out some posts that I"ve done on our reno please fell free to check out my blog). Be prepared to have ups and downs and disagreements - that's just part of the process. I'm sure you will come together in the end and the results will be something that you will proud of! Good luck and hang in there - it will get finished!
    Hugs -
    Carol @arewethereyet

  9. Looks like a great home that will love its new owners changing it into a beautiful new home. Enjoy the adventure!

  10. how exciting! this will be so great to watch and see the progression!

  11. what a lovely looking home....i think i will need to follow your blog and watch the story unfold!.

  12. Your cottage has great "bones" It's already pretty..can't wait to see what you have in store for it.

    Kristina @ FromHousetoCottage

  13. It sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you but I'm sure it will be well worth it. My husband and I are in the process of something similar although we are not gutting the entire house. However, let me just say I can identify with your talk of "dirt". I have been up to my eyeballs with de-dirtifying our old house for a year and a half now. I never seem to be rid of it.

  14. Oh boy, I love a good reno! My husband and I just finished our interior reno this past year... and we are now starting on the yard!
    I'm your newest follower and look forward to following your updates!
    dee dee

  15. always best to get the exterior work done first - roofs/walls/insulation etc. otherwise you end up doing the interior which then gets wrecked by rain/wind. When we moved into our place we got those ticked off then started on the interior stuff, had to get the whole place rewired with the help of some decent Bedford electricians.

  16. Nice to see a blogger from Iowa, although I'm about as far west from you as I can get:) Looks like a fun project to be starting. We just finished a similar project of our own that took three years, now I keep looking for something to do... my hubby won't let me watch HGTV anymore. I'm sure it will turn out great!

  17. Great to see these pictures. A more popular trend today to add value to your exterior is to augment the look of your landscape. This may feel like an easy endeavor but in reality it is not. There is no two land exactly alike. What your neighbors have may not always be applicable to yours. So you have to research carefully what is appropriate for your own. Hire a professional help if necessary.

  18. I do believe that home renovation is a tedious and arduous task. It is something that you can accomplish only if you have enough time and money. Depending on the state of your house, undergoing a home renovation may either be a necessary expense or a luxury. In either case, it can help improve the value of your house.


I love your comments! I appreciate each and every cottage visitor and hope you willll come back again soon! Carrie


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