And So It Begins………………………….

Signed, sealed, delivered, it was ours.  Now the work could begin.  And it did with great vigor !!


At first, it was a bit intimidating.  Where to start.  The house was old and run down and in need of much repair.  We knew we wanted to put in new windows and a new front door.  New roofing was pretty obvious to anyone.  And the old siding was a no brain er too.  But as it would turn out, much much more than we ever expected was needed to make the structure safe.

Now, I have to explain a few things here;

Christer and I have spend our whole life together rebuilding, remolding and adding onto houses.  We have done it in every house we have lived in over the past 42 years, as well as one house we rented and a few houses for other people too.  We have had lots of experience with all kinds of different structures.  We have accumulate the skills and tools over the years to do this job.  We knew we would have to do some serious work on the Cottage, but it really exceeded our expectations.  The deterioration damage the Cottage sustained over the decades, was, shall we say, covered up instead of repaired.  So the farther we went, the worse it got.  There was no way to see that kind of damage with an inspection.

In order to make this little old house into a retail space, it had to be opened up and walls removed.  Piece of cake for us…….right ??  We dove in.  The nasty old shag carpets were ripped out.  The  walls opened up for inspection, wiring located and checked, the old kitchen removed.   Trips to the dump became at least a weekly occurrence.  Pulling the 1970’s era paneling off the living room walls revealed decades of rodent poop between the 2 X 4s at least 2 feet deep !  We found old wiring, that should have burned the house down years ago, in the walls and attic.   And then there were the insects!!  [still give me the creeps when I think about it]  Every invasive insect know to the area were in the walls our little Cottage.   There were days of despair thinking we could never accomplish our goal.   The more we did, the more we found that had to be done.  Time was marching on and our goal of opening right after Labor Day became a thing of the past.

It wasn’t all gloom and doom.  We found lots of fun and exciting things along the way.  It became like an “archeological dig”.  We discovered that the house was not built in the 1950’s as the MLS listing claimed.  To the best of our knowledge so far, it was built in the early 1920’s !  We had a real piece of Medina history.  We found newspapers rolled up and stuffed in the cracks between the exterior boards for insulation, dating back to the 20’s.  Then, over that rolled up newspaper in the cracks, they glued pieces of old clothing.  (shirt sleeves and parts of old jeans).  Then wall paper over that.  We found an attic entrance so we could check the roof structure and see where the bearing walls were.  That was our first real exciting discovery.  The 8 foot ceilings through out the house, with the exception of one room, were false ceilings added probably in the 50’s or 60’s.  We had 9 1/2 foot ceilings !!!  We were so excited.   We had found the original bead board ceilings !!  It was looking better and better all the time.

We would have people stop in every day to see what we were doing.  Both locals and tourists alike.   Most people would say to us, “wouldn’t it just be easier to tear it all down and start over?”   Absolutely it would be easier !  But we would be destroying a piece of Medina history.   We also had people come by to thank us for saving and fixing their grandma’s or uncle’s house.  Lots of locals have stories to tell and strong ties to this little house.  We felt like we owned it to the community to restore as much as we could of the original structure.

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