Little Cottage Quilt Shop – Part 5

Part 5

After the initial shock and realization that we were going to have to rebuild almost the entire Cottage, we set out to formulate a plan.  A lot of arguing and bouncing back & forth took place before we settled on what to do.  Our open day just kept slipping farther and farther toward the end of the year.  It was hard to keep a positive outlook when all around us was a massive outlay of dollars and no income to balance it.

I’ve always been an optimist and I don’t stay down for very long.  So it was time to ramp it up another notch.

We knew from the beginning that the roof had to be replaced.  We now knew that  3/4s  of this little old house was going to have to be torn down and rebuilt.  So as long as that was happening, we might as well square up the structure and unify the roof.  More concrete.  Completely new roof structure now.

We built trusses to span the entire width of the building.  Poured the new concrete footers.  And started building new from the ground up, around the existing structure.  Not the easiest of construction methods.  In hind sight, it might have been easier to just tear the back  3/4s  of the house off and then start the construction.  But the problem was, we didn’t decide to do that until too late in the game.  We had already done most of the rebuilding of the front part of the house and needed to protect what we had already accomplished.  Oh well, the best laid plans and all… know how that goes.

This picture shows the new footers around the old house ready for the new structure.  Once the walls were constructed and sheeted, we started tearing down parts of the old house.


The north side of the back 3/4s was a bit different story.  You can see from the old roof, that the pitch and ridge line were different and it had to be almost completely taken down before we could start the new roof.  It was a surreal experience to see this little old house like this.  We had to be careful where and what we took out to make sure the entire building didn’t collapse on us and itself.  A few very intense days.  And of course at the most vulnerable point, it poured rain !  I guess you take the rain when you can get it, regardless of the situation.  We were grateful for the rain, but boy did it reek havoc with our project.


The front part of the house looked like the original house, built in the early 1920s.  Subsequent additions were added over the years, resulting in a “patch work” kind of construction.  The original house, the front part, was much more stable and secure with a solid floor.  The “add-ons” weren’t as good.  All of the those floors and joists needed to be replaced.  The wet weather creek could have been responsible for a lot of that damage.  That allowed us to get under the house and stabilize the center of the floor.    This part of the floor was so rotten, that I pulled most of it up with my gloved hands, without much effort 🙁


As I explained in My Story, my husband, Christer, is an engineer.  That has come in handy on many an occasion.  As we have gutted, rebuilt, remodeled and built new on many houses.  With just the 2 of us doing the work most of the time, knowing how to “engineer” the job for less brute strength, I’m sure is why we are still able to do this today.

Once a sufficient amount of demolition was done, we could start putting up the trusses.  Christer devised and ingenious way of sliding the trusses up the ladders a few rungs at a time.  I was at one ladder and he at the other until it got to the top.  Then I climbed up the ladder and onto the remaining old roof section to balance and pull them over onto the new walls for setting, while he pushed from the bottom.  It worked very slick.  In one long day, the 2 of us pulled up all 10 trusses to the roof and set 7 of them in place ready for sheeting.  Not bad for a couple in our 60’s


Once the roof was on and secured and water proofed, we went back to the main demolition of the remaining back  3/4s  of the old house.  Then we could put in the new sub-floor insulate, build the new bathroom, do the new plumbing, run all the new electrical and hope to be open before the holidays !!

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