Our Most Stupid Mistake Ever, cont.

This is a long story, so I will continue where I left off.  I didn’t mean to make it sound like a cliff hanger last time.  Some of you seemed concerned as to whether or not we have survived or what happened next.  It really is quite a boring story, drawn out with lots of whining and gnashing of teeth.  I will leave out all those details, but I do want to share a few more with you.  I had someone suggest that I write a saga, kind of like the Pioneer Women did with Marlboro man.  But don’t worry, I won’t drag it out that long and I certainly don’t have her gift of gab or her flair for the dramatic.  So, I will only drag it out for  two more posts.  Today’s will show you a few pictures taken during the remodeling.  I will show some of the after pictures too, but I have been teaching all weekend, now I’m home for a few hours and then leave this afternoon to teach at another retreat.  I’m a little pressed for time and won’t have a chance to go around and take some photos in the house.  I’m sure when I get back  I’ll be playing catch up for a bit, but I promise I will get around to it sometime soon!   In the meantime . . . .



After living in the house for two years, we decided we really missed having an attached garage.  We decided to do an addition with a garage and studio space above.  It was the best thing we have done for this house!  Joel would like you to notice the green swatches painted on the lower right corner of the house and on the garage.  I was “auditioning” different paint colors on our house, much the same way I audition different border choices on my quilts!



Sorry, but this is a pre-digital camera shot.  Joel’s Dad is a masonry contractor and Joel used to work for him.  Here they are pouring the footings for our garage addition.



This shot shows another thing we decided to change about the house, after living with it for a while.  We had the windows, trim, carpet, wood floors, fireplace, etc done and then decided we couldn’t live with the ceiling.  We sucked out all the insulation and tore down all the sheet rock.  What a mess!!  But it seemed the more we fixed, the worse the other things that we hadn’t done looked. 



Here’s another pre-ditigal camera shot.  This shows the condition of the outside of the house.  The former owner was in the process of residing the house.  He hadn’t gotten very far.  That’s okay, because we were just going to tear it off anyways!  We were in the process of replacing the windows.  Notice the extra board we had put in to help support the deck.  The deck was in horrible shape.  Anytime someone came over, I had to warn them not to lean on the deck railing.  It was so rotten, I don’t think it would have held much.  This is what we found when we replaced that window:


This shot shows a dead squirrel that we found in one of the walls in the living room.  This was just one of many dead  creatures that were sharing the house with the former owners.  In fact, when we were tearing down the ceilings in the basement, a mouse skeleton landed on my head.  The first week we were living in the house, I discovered we had mice when I saw these little things that looked like wild rice in my white silverware drawer.  Well, it wasn’t wild rice.  It was so gross and I felt like I’d never get the house or myself clean again!  I think that this house, like so may others around the area lakes, used to be a cabin.  I don’t think that these cabins were finished quite like they should  be and thank goodness for building codes!  (By the way, we brought everything up to code!)



Joel and I can laugh about this picture now, but this wasn’t so funny when it happened.  We have a split entry and didn’t have any railing on the steps for about 5 months.  We were working on the upstairs bathroom and Joel was carrying the old toilet down the steps.  He tripped over a box of quilt patterns on the steps and the toilet went flying.  It landed part way down the steps, continued to roll down, bounce off the front door, then turn the corner and go down the rest of the steps.  It crashed onto the concrete floor in the basement below.  It was almost as if that old toilet had mind of it’s own.  I don’t need to explain what he’s cleaning up, right?





Here’s another shot of Joel pouring some more concrete.  This is about 3 years into the project and we finally had steps up to the front door.  We’re getting there!


Now, these are just a few of many pictures that I could show you of what we went through.  So I know of you are wondering – What were we thinking?  Why in the world did you buy this house?  Did you have a vision all planned out for this house?  All I can say is, I don’t know what we were thinking.   At that time I thought remodeling was a fun challenge, but I didn’t realize remodeling on this scale was pretty much torture.  I really had no vision for the house when we started, it just sort of evolved as we went along.   I can show you something that helped steer us toward buying this house.  It looks something like this:

















Okay, I better stop now.  Can you tell that I am REALLY sick of winter?  I am just craving summer and nice weather!

About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
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21 Responses to Our Most Stupid Mistake Ever, cont.

  1. Beautiful view..I am sure now that you are finished you are glad you did it!
    It makes you enjoy your house that much more!

  2. Victoria says:

    WOW. a lot of work! Now I want to be at the cabin!
    We were just saying we wish we were sitting in the westwood diner having breakfast… Now we wish we were snuggled in, at Nest lake… oh well, we can open it up April 1st! right around the corner!
    The story is pretty good… the toilet, hilarious. May have been a job and a half, but It looks great now!

  3. Cheryl says:

    Heather- you had a post on your blog about your studio. Anyway, there was a pic of the front of your home and I loved it sooo much. There was this out of this world gorgeous studio, this beautiful craftsman style home on a lake no less, and i remember thinking to myself, “Her world just seems so perfect…” Little did I know what a sacrifice it took to get there. I must say though, you and your husb have done an outstandingly beautiful job on this home.

  4. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    We could compare notes…we went through the same remodeling hell for the same reasons as you and have the same wonderful results. On the lake and awesome sunrises!

  5. Bloom says:

    Thanks for sharing your renovation heartaches! It is a captivating read! I can’t imagine how you can have made anything beautiful out of the house of your last post. And yet, the beauty is starting to emerge. And you can’t beat the beauty of a lake outside the front door. WOW!

  6. Kate says:

    Im impressed you made it through all that! Though with those views, Im sure it is all worth it now 🙂

  7. andi says:

    Can’t wait to see the final ‘reveal’.
    With those amazing views, you will certainly have created a real haven for your family to enjoy.
    Andi 🙂

  8. Kris says:

    My favorite place in the world is the place where we spend our summer vacations. Bass Lake CA. Near Yosemite. Your lakeside home reminds me of it. To me, it is heaven. There is nothing more calming than a lake! Love it!

  9. Nancy says:

    Breathtaking view. It was well worth all the hard work and stress. Now, Enjoy!!!

  10. Marge says:

    I would have done it too, with those killer sunsets! That is my life’s dream…..a cabin on a lake (or ocean!), forest surrounding me with mountains in the background. Of course I want to be within driving distance of a good coffee shop, too!

    Can’t wait to see the final product.

  11. Alli says:

    As a fellow Minnesotan, I think you made a great choice in location. Houses can always be remodeled (as you have proven), but that sunset and lake view makes it all worthwhile. I unfortunately don’t have one, but vacations up north are a must for almost every year for my family.

  12. Vickie says:

    I’d live in a cardboard box for a year or two if I could have the beauty that you have out your front/back door … amazing view. It’s like God quietly saying each and every day … “and this is good.” Thanks for sharing …. can’t wait for next installment!

  13. We added a two car garage with a big room over it just like you did to our home, also a split entry, two years ago and we LOVE it. Unfortunately, mine is not a quilt studio! But we enjoy it as a wonderful family great room space and a great place to play Wii. I’d be interested in seeing the transition from your house to the studio over the garage. We struggled with that part of the design but ended up with a perfect transition from the kitchen to the great room.

    BTW, I have made a table topper, and a runner with the Rebel Roses 10″ squares I won from you and still have enough to make another runner or two. Just love the fabric!

  14. Kathleen says:

    With a location like that, I’m sure you’re thinking that it was all worth it. Now that it’s over! And I know the results are stunning, just from what little you’ve shown in earlier posts. This is a home you can stay in…happily….forever.
    BTW, you got me reading the Pioneer Woman. What a saga that is! LOL!

  15. It is starting to look like the best decision you ever made to me. The view is breath-takingly magnificent. And you almost have a new house on the waterfront to boot!

  16. Linda says:

    Oh Heather, the view is to die for, and I can clearly see what steered you to purchase your “dream” (nightmare) home on the lake!! Looks like it was worth the pain and suffering!! We too, remodeled right after we were married – errrrrrrrrrr!!! going on over 30 yrs!!

  17. Jolene says:

    Oh, Heather, think of the stories you will have to share with your children some day!!!

  18. Julia says:

    Wow, those last few photos seem to make it all worth while…
    The rest of those stories are definately one’s to make sure to journal! I can’t even imagine having a mouse skeleton falling on top of my head without really shuddering. (My kids laugh at my fear of mice)
    And the toilet…whew! I wouldn’t even WANT to imagine that one! (My husband works at the Sanitation District and HE’S got LOTS of stories!)
    I’m so glad you could see the potential and then pull it off. Kudos to you! Can’t wait to see the rest!

  19. Pingback: Our Most Stupid Mistake Ever, Continued (Part 3) « Trends and Traditions

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  21. Pingback: Our Most Stupid Mistake Ever | Trends and Traditions

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