A Cottage Story

So here's what happened to our house...

A month before our first baby was expected to arrive, we decided to move after finding a charming little house that we fell in love with!
We brought our new baby home to this house...followed by 2 more babies and all was well...
until...

We went on vacation for a week one January (2010), and my mom stayed at our house with the three little ones. She called one day to tell us that water was pouring into our kitchen ceiling and making the electrical boxes pop. Uh oh.

Ice dams had built up and would melt, then freeze, then melt, then freeze. They eventually built up to the point they came down through E.V.E.R.Y. wall in the entire house! Walls bubbled out with paint. Paint fell off the side of the house. Ceilings were damaged. Walls grew moldy. It was a nightmare!

For the next 6 months we fought with our insurance company. They were 'shady' in dealing with us (to say the least). Eventually they agreed that the entire house needed to be gutted, but they only gave us a third of the money our contractor estimated the job costing. What??? The contractor lost trust in the insurance company and we weren't given enough money to hire anyone else...so it was time to DIY it!

We moved out of our house and my husband became our contractor and did everything himself (with a few small jobs hired out when needed). We lived in a rental house we own until a friend wanted to rent it, then the kids and I (there were 4 kids by this time) moved in with my parents a couple hours away while my husband literally camped out in our house and spent every waking minute (after his day job) working on it.

We moved in after almost 6 months of living separately. The house was still far from done, but put together enough that it wasn't a safety hazard for the kids anymore.

Fast forward to today, and the house is 'almost' done. We'll probably never be really done because we actually enjoy the process of dreaming up renovations and tackling them ourselves. You can follow along on our fixer-upper journey and see the progress we've made room-by-room here.

And here's what our lovely not-quite-done cottage looks like now:
Much. Better.
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