Here we go, almost beginning, slow but sure

A status update is in order since I haven’t been blogging lately.  The house is ever on my mind.  And I can almost see the wee light at the end of the tunnel.

Met with the contractor and the project manager on Thursday.  Have an appointment with the banker on Monday.  Submitted my application for a building permit to finish what was started almost 20 years ago.

With Lynn’s illness and my full-time job, there isn’t a lot of time to devote to the house.  It has been an adventure to say the least.  There have been many ups and downs and I wouldn’t have given up the experience for anything.

This past year has humbled Lynn and I,  and taught us that sometimes we “can’t” do it all and we need to recognize that.  When we selected the plans for this house it was the one I loved.  We were 20 years younger.  Lynn had a “can-do” attitude and thought he would be able to tackle it with no problem.  I on the other hand was mortified by the complexity of the plans.  It was Victorian, and it was big, and it was my dream home.  But I was not sure that we could do something of that magnitude, but Lynn assured me that he could do it.  He said we could save on labor costs if we did most of the work ourselves.  And I would have to say that we have saved a lot but it has been a long slow road.  If you asked if I had to do it over again, knowing what I know now, would I do it?  I would probably say no.  I still love the home, and it is my dream home.  But the strain it has put on Lynn’s health just knowing that it is out there unfinished, has helped in making the decision to move forward and just get it done.

Now we are hopeful and excited all at the same time.  There are still things that I will be doing in the painting department and Lynn will be the overseer and adding his 2 cents worth when called upon.  Hopefully, he can find time to do some of the things he enjoys.

Yesterday and today I have been sanding priming and painting some of the cedar shingles to finish the second gable.  The first plan of action is to get it weather tight.  So I believe the exterior will be the first thing on the agenda.  I will take pictures of the inside and outside as things progress along.  I believe I will be amazed at the speed that things will get done.  Lynn has been cutting the shingles on a jig saw and sanding the edges, then I take over.  A team effort.

Love the palm sander.  It fits in a lady's hand just right.  Belt sanders, now they are another story.
Love the palm sander. It fits in a lady’s hand just right. Belt sanders, now they are another story.

Sitting in the shade on the back porch helps these weary old bones.

I am priming the shingles with, you guessed it, Kilz Premium Primer.  They have convinced me that nothing else works better.  I’m only painting on the area that will be exposed.  Then I put 2 coats of red trim around the edges, and finish it off with two coats of sage green paint.  It is a slow process, but when it’s done, it’s done.  I am sure that this will be the only time that these shakes will have this detail.  Upon repainting in the future, I believe the red trim will not be done.  But, whoever knows?

P1010691  A little red trim

I will let you know the count when it is all done.  I just don’t want the craftsmen waiting on me.  So I gotta get a good start.

I am really getting excited about this, so I hope you will all stay tune and see us to the end of this journey.

Second bunch primed
Second bunch primed
1st Gable.  Second one if "under construction"
1st Gable. Second one if “under construction”

The biggest thing that has helped us get this far, is the desire to build with our own hands and achieve our dream.  Everything takes work, sometimes a lot of hard work, but it is worth it.  Not just in building your dream home, but in anything and everything you do.  Make sure that whatever you do, you are proud to put your name on it.  That is my philosophy.  What ever I do, work or home, I try to do the best I can.  I would rather have someone show me how to do something and teach me how, than to do it for me.  There are times when you need to have it done, but my mother taught me that women can do much more than just sewing and cooking.  I learn from her example.  Um, she wasn’t much with a needle, but she sure could cook.

As we progress, I will name the contractors and follow along with their progress.  This will only be done with their permission.  We can all learn from these craftsmen.  I will keep you updated on some of the features that we pick out and some unique things that we will be doing.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Annie, the reluctant carpenter 🙂


A Busy Week so Far

Decided to hit the ground running this week.  Had a lot of stops for estimates and passed out a few sets of plans.  Have gone to 2 flooring companies.  Asked for a revised cabinet estimate.  Sent an email to the contractor that we are interested in working with, asking to expand the initial estimate to include more work that I know Lynn is not well enough to do.

This has been a difficult decision for Lynn and myself.  It has brought to the forefront Lynn’s limitations.  That is something that is very hard for a proud man, like Lynn, to face.  I’m hoping that he can look past that and see that in going this route, he will get to actually live in our Dream Home.

I tasked him with gathering all the documentations that will be needed by the bank.  He had gathered it all together and gave it to me last night.  Wahoo that is one thing I can check off the list.

Decisions, decisions.  I have seen so many styles of doors, cabinets, laminate flooring, carpeting, faucets, tubs, toilets, smoke alarms and a multitude of other little things that I can’t imagine.

The thing that is scaring me to death is whether I will qualify for the mortgage through the bank.  Cross your fingers and say some little prayers for us.

As much as I want to get this project done, taking on a large mortgage is a little daunting.  I will be smart about it and if it is out of our planned budget, we will continue as we have been doing.

In the meantime I will continue to do clean-up work inside, cut and paint more cedar shakes, work on the posts and do a little painting.  Oh, and there are fences to be mended, a dog to groom, not to mention all the domestic duties (I hate doing) and flower beds to be weeded.  Ho hum, stay tuned for another update later this week.

Annie, the General Contractor 🙂




Bitting the Bullet to Finish the House


Lynn and I have come to the decision that we are no longer able to work on the house.  His health won’t allow him, and going it alone doesn’t work for me.  Our original plan was to build it ourselves and, therefore, be mortgage free when we retired.  Best laid plans of mice and men.  Now we  just  readjustment our plans.

There are still things that I will have to do, and it is going to be a long hard summer.

We have started getting bids and I will be speaking to the bank next week.

In the meantime, I will be camping out at Home Depot and various internet sites to get the lighting, plumbing fixtures, flooring, doors and a multitude of other things we will need.  I am checking with 2 heating and cooling companies and I have a cabinet estimate that will need revising.

Then there is always the worry that I won’t qualify for the budget that will be needed to complete the house.

Stay tuned, more tomorrow.


Well since I wrote yesterday, Lynn and I spent the better part of 2 hours on Saturday and I went back alone today.  I am a bit overwhelmed.  Trying to organize and get all the estimates I need together before I go to the bank.  I think I will need to spend next week getting more organized.  After reviewing the contractor’s estimate, Lynn and I were not on the same page, so I will need to contact the contractor and get some revisions.  It is so hard for him to accept that he can’t do it all.  Nor can I.

Stay tuned, I will be updating regularly and let you know how it is going.

Annie, the overwhelmed novice carpenter.