All You Shingle Ladies

All you shingle ladies.  If you like it then you shoulda put shingles on it.  Wait, what?  Our most recent weekend project included shingles.  And more window removal.  You see, we can’t leave well enough alone.  Nope, rather than leaving the wet bar as it was, we knocked it all out.  All in the name of continuity.  This way, we can  keep all the windows and doors at the same level and pour a large concrete slab in the back yard.  Then we decided to cut one of the windows in the pool house wet bar.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.  Inside, the cabinets just blocked the window.

Outside, the roof took a funky angle not to block the window.

Just strange.  In preparation for the concrete cutting, Ben pulled out the two stationary panels and the sliding door.  Then he added a few studs to the window opening and boarded it up.

To extend the roof, Ben added a few 2 by 4 pieces, following the slope of the roof.

A piece of scrap plywood on top and he started adding shingles.

Voila!  Awkward angle be gone.

Oh, and that Flagstone patio?

Is looking more like this:

And this:

We’ve pulled up about two-thirds of the stones, which we hope to sell on Craigslist.  The leading reason we’re doing all this work is to lower the back yard.  Right now, the rim joist is at (and in some places, below) the dirt.  Bob Vila and Tim the Tool Man Taylor wouldn’t approve.

In fact, Ben pulled out an old duct, and while doing so discovered tons of dirt resting on the foundation wall.  Dirt that over time has washed into the house and can cause long-term structural damage if not fixed.  Where there’s dirt, there are bugs.  Giant spiders and even a potato bug (if you’re feeling brave, Google it) have made their way in the basement.  So not cool.  And extremely gross.  Let the digging begin.  Hand shoveling around the house.

As well as pulling out stacked rock walls around the trees.

Making stacks to reuse or sell soon.

The back yard that looked like this over spring:

Now looks like this:

It always has to get worse before it gets better.  More pavers to dig out and we’ll bring in the Bobcat to really get down to business, literally.  Although we’d love to pour concrete before the snow flies, we just don’t think we’ll have the time.  Between now and then, we’ll add pea gravel (a step we’ll need to do before concrete) to help reduce the sandy, dirty mess.

Now let’s hear it.  What do you think of our latest project?  Think we’re crazy?  Or just enthusiastic?  Either way, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.  If you’re looking for a good workout, feel free to come on over and help me haul stones and pavers.  My arms are still sore.

As you know, today marks 11 years since the attacks on the World Trade Centers.  I love Sarah’s post.  Take a minute to read it and remember that tragic day.

16 thoughts on “All You Shingle Ladies

  1. I love your blog! I love reading and seeing the progress on your beautiful home! You guys have SO much energy – it’s amazin!

    1. I agree with amanda. You have a lot more energy than I do. I can’t wait to see what it all looks like when you finish. Your last house was so cute and I just know this one will be as awesome.

    2. I could not agree more… you two are my inspiration. You have two little kids and get way more done in one weekend that my hubby and I can get done in a month with our six month old!

    3. Hey Amanda, Angel, and Nicole!

      Thanks so much! I’m blushing over here. 🙂 Seriously, it always puts a huge smile on my face when you lovely ladies say you’re inspired by us and our projects. Biggest compliment ever.


  2. I love that you two aren’t afraid to get in there and just fix it! If it looks weird, fix it. If it wasn’t done right the first time, fix it. Some people have a hard time straightening out mistakes other people made on their house in the past.
    Can’t wait to follow the rest of this transformation, and on such a fantastic property to boot!

    1. Hi Kristy H,

      We definitely don’t want to leave something that has/could cause larger future problems. Or something that just annoys us. That’s the reason we could never flip houses. No offense to those house flippers, but we care too much about doing what’s right, and not what’s quick. That and we have a tendency to get attached to our projects. 😉


  3. I would say you are enthusiastically crazy 🙂 It just has to be done, and it is nice to see you take initiative and do these projects yourself. You are such an inspiration! Also, the backyard is looking awesome!

    1. Hey Eskibs!

      Ha, that’s probably completely accurate. 🙂 So many things that have to get done, the right way!!

      Thanks for your encouragement!!

  4. New girl here stopping by via HouseBlogging. You two are brave and full of house remodel energy and I enjoyed seeing your progress and will try to keep coming back to see the no doubt transformation

  5. I am just so impressed with your family’s skills and man, do you people work hard! 🙂 Today I started wondering about the family who owned the home before. Did they know you were DIY bloggers and do they follow the blog? If so, what do they make of it all? I am curious about that one. Thanks, Amy


    1. Hi Amy!

      Awww, thanks! We bought this house from an old man, and he has since passed away. I don’t know that his daughter knows we’re DIY bloggers, so I doubt they read the blog. However, they stopped by about a month after closing and they’re glad to see updates. 🙂


  6. I am totally impressed by you and your hubby’s know-how! I gotta ask…seeing that we also live on the side of a mountain, how did you come to the realization that the dirt resting on the foundation wall is bad? Is there a tell-tale sign that there is an issue? It seems like your ground is more level around the base than ours! *yikes*!!

    Forever grateful for you & your educational blog!! ;O)


    1. Hi Country Living Dreams,

      The reason the dirt is bad is because it is getting in between the foundation and rim joist, which means water and pretty much anything else can get in there too. And if water is getting in, it can cause damage to the basement, but more concerning to us (seeing as we plan to refinish the basement) is rotting of the wood. Rotten wood can lead to serious structural damage and that’s a huge concern. It’s not necessarily an issue of level ground, just too high of ground directly around the house. So, if you have this issue, excavating around the perimeter of your house might be necessary. Of course I can’t say this definitively, but it’s something to keep in mind if your basement ever has water.


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