Our New Cottage - Progress Report #2

Dear Cottage Friends.

Thank you for your patience in waiting for a progress update on our cottage construction. Remember I told you in my first report that at the pace construction was going we'd be living in the new cottage before I had a chance to share the process with you? Well, things haven't slowed down one bit. 

You'll see that I've used the artist rendering of the cottage at the head of this progress report, as I did in the last one.  Fiona of Just Paint It White suggested this continuity, and I think it's an excellent idea. If you subscribe to A Joyful Cottage to keep up with the news, you'll always recognize a construction update in your inbox by the red cottage. Thanks, Fiona!

Okay, before I give you a rundown on what's happened since Progress Report #1, I have to put a plug in for Greg Bales, owner of Bales Mobile Mix Concrete. 

This is the man behind all the concrete work I showed you in the last report. He's super nice and handles that high tech operation with ease. I finally found the photo I took of him the first day he was on the job site. Just wanted you to get a look at that smiling face.

Here's what's happened since my last report on February 20:

Cold and snow blew in which meant covering up the foundation concrete and allowing it to cure.

February 24, 2015

The cured foundation is uncovered. (Side note: The weather has been phenomenal ever since. We feel so blessed.)

Scott builds the pony wall.

Before we leave Scott to his work, the floor joists are delivered.

February 25, 2015

The floor joists are in.

February 26, 2015

The sub-floor is in, and the framing begins.

February 26, 2015

Scott and Will work on framing walls. 

Hmmm. . .wonder what they're discussing.

February 27, 2015

Captain, there be walls!

March 2, 2015

Look!  More framing!

Will is building the garden window for the kitchen.

March 3,2015

More wall sheathing.

Quentin the Excavator is on site.

He's digging trenches for the water line.

Quentin backfilling the foundation wall.

Meanwhile, inside the cottage. . .

Interior walls are being built.

Oh, look!  There's my kitchen garden window (well the base anyway) with a view of the beautiful porta-potty. 
Be forewarned, I love this window and you may get tired of me talking about it. 

Here's the exterior view.

What is Dennis pointing at?  I have no idea, but pay attention to the wall behind him, which is the wall between the kitchen and the back door.  More about that later.
March 4, 2015

It's starting to look like a house.

Jeff lowers the shower stall into the bathroom. 

(Okay, here's my keen idea. . .we build houses with pop tops. Then when we need to move furniture or appliances in and out we just pop open the roof and lower all the furniture in place, or lift it out to a U-Haul. Easy peasey. Whaddya 
think? Oh, wait a minute. . .we could only do this with a one-story home.  Never mind.)

The yard hydrant is in. . .and we have water!

Oh, look!  Lumber is growing in our yard!

Our windows arrive!

Sometimes Dean lets the guys stop for lunch. Which is good, because, frankly, I need a break so I can catch my breath.

March 5, 2015

Engineered roof joists are lowered by crane. 

Scott guides them to their proper location.

Scott and Will brace the trusses. (I wonder if Scott and Will played with Legos when they were kids.)

Meanwhile Quentin the Excavator and Dennis the Artist/Architect/Renaissance Man have a discussion about moving dirt around.

Then Dennis grabs a can of green paint and sprays graffiti on the ground. No, not really.  He's marking out where he wants berms in the landscape.

"Top" indicates the peak of the berm.

March 6, 2015

Roof  joists are on and the porch takes shape.

There's a wheelbarrow sitting on my imaginary porch.

The view from the East shows (from the left) the side of the porch, the kitchen window, and the back door.

The garden window is looking good.   

Remember yesterday Dennis marked the berms.

And here they are. . .

East Berm

These are at the front of the property and give us separation from the street. Our sidewalk will run between them.

West Berm

We've got a lot of landscape work to do. We enjoy that, though.

Here's the back of the cottage. . .

The big dirt pile in the back yard is gone-- now part of the landscape.  We're dreaming of our vegetable garden.

New parking pad behind our garden.

March 7, 2015

It's Saturday and the job site is quiet. The guys are hopefully enjoying the weekend.

They've covered most of the cottage with moisture barrier.

The garden window is framed in and moisture proofed.

March 8, 2015

Dennis and I walk the project after church on Sunday.

We make the decision to remove the wall between the kitchen and the back door, allowing for a little larger and more open kitchen.

March 9, 2015

Moisture barrier completed. The guys will start the roof sheathing.

March 10, 2015

Roof sheathing is almost complete.

And the truss trim is added.

One last look before we head out to eat lunch and go home. 

March 11, 2015

The roofing shingles have been delivered.

Will and Scott add the fascia board.

A peek at the roof truss from the inside.  For those who may be curious, our ceiling will be standard 8 foot height. We do not want vaulted ceilings.

Here's a partial sneak peek at the interior from the front door. I'm not going to go into detail at this time. In the days ahead I'll show you more and we'll look at the interior design, finishes, etc. All the really fun stuff.

A new development is our decision to also build an art studio for Dennis that will be connected to the cottage by a covered deck. Here you have a view from the back door of where it will reside. The excavated rectangle is for the studio's foundation. So the back porch will now be enlarged.

Studio South Elevation

This will be nice for Dennis, especially in the winter. He'll be able to easily walk from the cottage to his studio.

More excitement, right?

Dean just sent me this photo of today's roof work.  The tar paper is on!

Thanks, again, for hanging in with me on this project. I wish you could be here to walk it with me. All your visits and the nice comments you leave are very much appreciated.  I feel bad about not visiting your blogs, and I really miss you. Please know that I will get there, but right now it's either hang out with you wonderful people or attend to the business at hand. 

Also, we've given our notice and will be moving out of our apartment by the end of the month.  We're going to move into a motel suite with a kitchen, not far from the job site. Right now it's an hour round trip to visit, which is really a hardship. With spring just around the corner we want to be closer so we can start working on the landscape, and do other work on the cottage and studio.

So, we're also packing and putting things in storage while all this is going on. There's so much more I want to share with you, but right now this update is all I can manage.

Oh, and if you missed Project Report #1, you can find it here.

God bless you all!

You can find our awesome builder at their website:
BLH Construction.


  1. Wow, Nancy, what a whirlwind. This is exciting for you and it will only get better as you complete the inside. Since we have just built a carriage-house I understood all the different steps you have shown during construction. I think you have to experience going through the building process to feel the excitement of each step. We still have snow on the ground but I, too, look forward to a veggie garden this summer. Looking forward to more of your photos. Deb

  2. Whoooo Hooooo- Nancy. I read every word. I am so excited for you. Word of warning because I have done this so many times. Once the BIG stuff outside is done -because you see BIG things happening so quickly....when you get to doing the INSIDE.....it seems like things move in slow motion sometimes....lol

    I can't wait to see more and more and more. xo Diana

  3. Wow. They do seem to be moving quickly, and it is already it is so cute. I like the idea of the covered walkway to your spouse's studio, and the picture window. Our old house has a room in the carport that works that way, and it's my spouse's office.

  4. Hi Nancy,
    I cannot get over how much you all have accomplished in such a short time! Things really are moving fast. Are you too excited to sleep? I would be! Lol It's looking goood.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  5. Nancy,
    The progress is very exciting and quick! I enjoyed reading every word and its fun watching your cute cottage being built. With packing and moving you sure are busy! Looking forward to progress report 3.

  6. This is so exciting!! I'm so happy for you and in my mind building this dream with you!! Since moving into our small cottage, I have loved living here!! SMALL is so cozy and wonderful..(let alone easier to clean!) Keep the pics coming when able~~~Oh, and I thought you showing us where your garden is going to be...too cute!) Blessings~~~Roxie

  7. Bless your heart Nancy you really have a lot going on in your life right now. But so exciting! Your sweet cottage is going to be so adorable and it's been fun to ride along. Just enjoy your journey. Hugs, Jo

  8. Oh my goodness...you have made such great progress!! I bet you are beside yourself with excitement!! So happy that it is all coming together so well for you.

  9. What a wonderful post, Nancy! I so am enjoying seeing all the steps of building your new home. And oh, how cute it is becoming! When I saw the shot of the roof sheathed I could really start imagining you living here and making every nook and cranny your own. You must just be bursting with excitement.

  10. I can feel your excitement. They are moving right along on the house. You will soon be decorating it and planting your garden. The one gentlemen looks Amish or Mennonite with his beard and no mustach. Debbie

  11. Nancy,
    How exciting for you too see your home coming together. What a great job and how fast they are going.
    I cannot wait to see the next set of pics as your beautiful cottage develops.

  12. It's quite a treat to follow along with your cottage project - fun to watch it take shape. I can only imagine your excitement!

  13. I love seeing your home being built. I showed my Hubby and he loves it. We are not sure what we want when he retires and we move.

  14. Thanks for sharing love the pictures. Reminds me of our building 4 years ago. Excellent decision about moving the wall between the back door and kitchen

  15. WOW. Nancy, this is so exciting! I just love to watch a structure go up; it fascinates me how much math and physics along with art and dreams goes into making a structure. Now, your job to make it a HOME will begin! This is TRULY WONDERFUL! I bet you are just so giddy....and you will be in before you know it and you can tidy up, start a garden maybe, and ENJOY. We are having fun with you! LOVE, Anita

  16. I loved watching your cottage becoming a reality. And, the work goes on!

  17. Wow! It's really coming along quickly. You'll be in there in no time!!!

  18. OK I'm on a mission now. I need complete measurements for that garden window & how was it anchored to the house??? I am so doing this in my dining room!!! More photos before it's all covered up!!!!!!!!!!

    It all looks fabulous!

  19. Wow!!! So much accomplished in so little time. This took Hubby & I about 10 months to do. But we didn't have cranes or a crew. How exciting! You'll be moving in in the blink of an eye, with time to work on a garden!

  20. Hi......they are really bang it out..i wish i had 4 guys working on a project of mine a couple yrs ago..it's going to be so sweet..can't wait to see the landscaping as well..seems your weather has been much better then mine here on Maryland's eastern shore..i wish i had thought to put on the calendar our nice days..there would be fewer to count up..look forward to seeing the next bit of progress...

  21. Nancy, this is so exciting! It's making me antsy for my house to hurry up and sell so we can be one step closer to building our farmhouse. Looks like you've got a great crew working for you, and you'll be moving in before you know it!

  22. Glad you will be closer to your new home and enjoy some spring yard work. This was an amazing well done story of your home. You will be so happy there. I love your window...

  23. Wow - so much is happening. It is beautiful! :-))
    I love your window, talk away about it.
    xx oo
    We are warming up in Wisconsin. I talked with our contractor this morning. As soon as the frost is out of the ground we will start fixing our bowing in and bowing out basement. I will be so happy to have it done. It is looking awful as the frost moves the basement wall. We will also have a new driveway. It will be gravel and I am looking forward to adding a green down the middle. :-)
    Thank you for the tour of what is going on. I am so excited for you.

  24. My goodness, so much progress and it's so much fun to watch it all take shape! I am so happy for your, Nancy! You must be thrilled, if a bit overwhelmed with all the changes you have coming your way. Try to enjoy them, you really are on a wonderful journey with your captain!! xo

  25. So exciting and it is nice that the weather is cooperating with it all! Your kitchen window is divine!!

  26. I bet it feels like a pinch me moment seeing everything come together. I love that you will have a planter box outside your kitchen window. It's those little details that make my heart sing.

  27. YAY!!!!!!! I'm so excited for you, Nancy!!! The progress is amazing. Don't worry about us... Personally I'm on the edge of my seat :)


  28. What a joyful summer you are going to have! I want to hear more about that kitchen window. Everything looks great!

  29. First of all, I appreciate how you have presented this to us, so we could watch it grow in one post, day by day!
    Secondly, it's going up so fast, too! I love watch buildings being built from the beginning to the end. The process and progress are so fascinating.
    Thank you for sharing your dream with us.

  30. Thank you Nancy for taking time out of your VERY busy schedule to share these pictures, updates, and thoughts along the way of this journey! I loved seeing every part of the cottage take shape, and am especially interested in your garden window - wow! And how awesome that you're going to get a larger back deck, and a connection to your husband's art studio! I can't wait to see your landscape ideas too, and your garden, oh my! The fun is just beginning! I think it is great that you will be closer to what is going on, especially when it comes to all the finer details. This is great being able to follow this along with you, as someday we hope to do the same!!! Love and hugs to you today :)

  31. How exciting! I can't wait to see the inside!!!!

  32. So much progress! I'm so happy for you! It does look like a Cottage already, though a little bare inside ;)

  33. It is so interesting following the progress and seeing the house come to life bit by bit!

  34. Oh my . . . how charming it is . . . goosie bumps!

  35. I'm really enjoying following along with the creation of your sweet cottage! And I am so amazed how quickly this is going! It's looking wonderful already and I'm excited for you and the fun stuff ahead. That garden window! And your husband's studio sounds like it will be just perfect!

  36. Wauw Nancy! This is amazing to watch! What a progress the guys are making :D Can't believe you'll soon be living in your brand new cottage ^^
    Was the plan to stay there for the reminder of your lives (not sure how else to put it in English, sorry) or are you planning on taking on a new project in the future?

    Good idea about the motel, I think you will really appreciate that decision later :)

  37. Whoops I think my comment didn't post! I'll try again... ;)
    This looks so amazing, Nancy! You must be really excited to get in there and start decorating!

  38. A friend just told me about your blog and your sweet, little cottage. I'm so glad I 'found' you! We live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, just south of Portland. We dream of one day building a small cottage somewhere rural. You are an inspiration to me! I'll be back often to watch the progress on your home and see everything you have to share.

  39. Wow! What fantastic progress! I especially like the kitchen window-- that's going to look amazing when it's finished. What are you planning on putting in it? -- Melissa

    1. We'll place pots of herbs and flowering plants in the window, and will have a grow light to help them along in the winter months. We're looking forward to being able to grow flowers in the middle of winter. :)

  40. Ah, you mentioned me and I didn't come visit, I'm sorry.
    I can't believe how quickly it has all come along, it looks amazing and I love your garden window. I'm guessing it's moved on a lot more as you wrote this a little while ago, I hope everything is on schedule.
    And yes, how exciting that Dennis is going to have a new studio


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