My Cottage Renovation…An Ugly Duckling!

Wow- what a week it has been. We just started this renovation project a week ago, and have we ever made progress! So happy you have joined our family on this journey. It’s going to be a fun ride for sure! Now mind you… none of it is “pretty” yet, but so exciting all the same. Its exciting because there is PROGRESS happening!

This week my hubby could see how happy I was to have work done on this old house o’ mine.

This is what I have dreamed of, you know? But never thought it would be me!

I have watched everyone else on HGTV get their remodels and huge renovations done. I’ve drooled over kitchens that I wish I could have. I have watched my fair share of Extreme Makeover shows. But now it is my turn! I feel I need to pinch myself to see if this is really happening. But low and behold it is!

Here are the highlights of what we accomplished in this first week of renovating…

Old asbestos siding removed from house and outbuildings

Drilled holes in side of house…making way for blown in insulation. (Looks like a giant birdhouse!) Going to have a toasty home in the winter. Yay!

BEFORE: Old siding off…check out that wood underneath- its an adventure seeing what is underneath this house!

Progress: New Siding and trim going up! What an improvement!

See ya soon for more of the step by step process of my cottage farmhouse renovation! Hang on… it will get more exciting as we go!

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  1. says

    LOVE your renovation…what a difference taking the old siding off and putting on what looks like shingles makes! It’s gone from old dated farmhouse to a sweet cozy cottage. Very nice. Just wondering how you took the asbestos siding off safely. We have it on our house too and I’m scared to death of it. Did you husband do it himself or did he have someone do it for him? If he did it himself did he wet the siding down or wear a face mask? Any information you could give us would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Maura :)

    • Denise says


      I did lots of research about it. I found out that with our siding, the asbestos was incapsulated within cement. The harm with asbestos is when you start sawing on it and breaking it up or sanding on it. When you read all this stuff about removing it, it can get overwhelming and expensive. We removed it ourselves. No we didn’t wet it. It came off very easliy without any harm. We removed from the nails, and the pieces would come off in whole pieces with very little breakage. We did wear ventilator masks, gloves, and goggles. We then buried all the siding. You might want to check your local area. You can put your siding in thick plastic and tape it up and dispose of it in the appropriate places.

      I hope that helps you! Best to you

  2. says

    Hi Denise,
    I love those shingles…can you tell us a bit more about them? What are they made of and what is the cost of a bundle or a piece? We live in Kansas and as you know we get a LOT of wind here…just wondering if they’d stand up to high wind. Love the color you’ve picked…I’ve been thinking about colors for our little farm cottage for over a year now. This spring I have to bite the bullet and do it and yellow is the #1 color on my list along with the #1 pick from the comments I received. The inside of the cottage is 3 shades of yellow from the same paint chip and everyone who has visited us including the men have said they really liked it. Anyway…love what you and your husband have done to your little cottage…very nice. I hope you’re seeing some sunshine up there.
    Maura :)

  3. says

    OH…I just realized that you had replied to my comment but you called me lillyanna….no one has ever used that name before so I didn’t recognize it LOL! That was just a name I made up when I made my first blog…I’m actually Maura ;) THANKS very much for getting back to me. We live on a farm in the middle of no-where so we would probably bury it deep out in a corner of our little farm. I think the hard part for me would be making sure my husband wore the respirator goggles and gloves…he seems to think he’s indestructible…men ;) Thank you for all your information…I really do appreciate it.
    Maura :)

    • Denise says

      oh yes- I had to force the men to wear the protection. They didn’t see the need. I completely understand.

      The shingles we used are made by HardiPlank. They are a cement composite material that is very durable have along lifespan and won’t deteriorate. We are trying to get things low-maintenance. In the Northwest we gets lots of rain and wind. I cannot tell you the price, because my husband is an electrician and bartered for them. He did work in exchange for a lumber company and they paid us in shingles for our house. (We are creative!) You can find Hardi Plank at Home Depot and Lowes.

      I am happy I chose yellow and get lots of compliments on it. I love happy colors. I can’t wait to see yours. Be sure to send me the link to your blog when you are finished.


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