Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mr. Handy

I recently came across some old photos that had a very familiar theme - Mike working on the house! 
This photo brings me back! To think of all the work we had ahead of us - thankfully, we were completely oblivious!

Mike is doing a mock-up of what the porch roof would look like. We did a lot of mock-ups like this as we didn't have an architect so the only way to come to any conclusions on building details, like roof pitch in this case, was to play around with it visually. This was mostly for my sake as I think I need three dimensional visuals. 

He mocked up two different roof pitches and I remember standing at different distances from the house to be sure that the end of the porch roof (porch eaves) didn't come down over the windows on the front of the house

The gravel was something our contractor put around the house while they were working in order to keep the mud down. It was a great idea but something we had to deal with later on when we started working on the yard

After the contractor built the porch roof, Mike painted the porch fascia before the contractor arrived to finish the porch trim. I remember that we accidentally used flat instead of semi-gloss so it had to be done twice!

The is when Mike still smiled for me while working on the house!

I have yet to post on our house entry. Mike did all the hard scape (pathway and stairs). After he built the stair mold, a concrete truck came and poured the concrete. Mike then adhered our concrete pavers over it to simulate rock steps

 Putting in the pathway was a turning point as up until that point, we were using small square blocks, which seemed even smaller when it was rainy and muddy. To get up on the porch, we were using wobbly beams. Both were things left over from all the construction. I'll do a proper post on this project soon. 

Our vision for the dining patio was ambitious! This is what we started with and again, I just feel so exhausted thinking about all the work ahead of us. The patio took an entire summer for us to complete. Mike did all the surveying (he's a professional engineer), leveling, building, etc. 

After the retaining wall was built, he built a mold for the stairs. The stair mold was moved into place under the french doors. The mold for the front porch was built at the same time so that the concrete could be poured in one morning. 

Mike uses a lot of math when he's working on his projects. It's amazing to me, being more of a left brain person, that he can write down a bunch of complex equations and come up with amazing results. 

The projects are for the most part behind us thankfully but the photos are a reminder of how much work Mike has put into this house. He's worked most weekends, evenings and throughout entire summers.  

Finding these photos makes me realize how many photos I haven't included in my renovation before and after posts. I'd like to work on updating those not with just more photos but more detail on the resources we used and things we learned along the way. 


  1. It is always good to look back and see just how far we have come. Love the journey.

  2. I love seeing the steps you took and I dearly love the end result. Mike is pretty handy to have around I'd say!!

  3. I love that you said, 'This is when Mike was still smiling.' That struck me as so funny! It all turned out so lovely - the hard work was worth it! xx

  4. I enjoyed seeing this post . . . Felt exhausted for Mike, and you, for the long days and nights you must have put into creating your gorgeous Country Farmhouse. It is evident that you and Mike are a great TEAM . . . refreshing to say the least . . .

    Your blog continues to be my all time favourite . . . I get goose bumps of excitement each time A Country Farmhouse comes up on my Google Reader . . .

    Happy May Time . . .

  5. The projects are always bigger and harder and take longer when you're doing them yourselves, but aren't the rewards much sweeter too? You have a wonderful house that's very personal for you and Mike and the babies.

  6. So he's not just decorative, but useful...very useful! Wow!


  8. Hi Trina!
    Awwwe, these are so cute! My fiancee Ed is going to be doing some of this very soon as we're moving into an old fixer upper house in a few weeks; thank God he's handy like your guy!
    Have a great week,
    Jenah xo

  9. I have a Mr. Handy too! Your hubby did a wonderful job. I am grateful for mine too and this spring I get a new porch roof on my home. What would we do without them?? Kit

  10. So lovely to see how far you have come together! We are still at the stage of muddy paths...very muddy paths... gives me hope that we too will get day..

  11. I'm so in awe of your projects! All the planning, hard work, time and money! What beautiful results you have. So, what is it that you are working on now? Several posts ago you alluded to a project that is in the works. I'm dying to know!

  12. Hi Trina,
    How far you guys have come! You have a "handy man" extraordinare :) I see your dog (Lucy?) in some of the old pics. Do you still have her? I haven't seen her in new photos for a long time. She seems so sweet!

  13. You have done a lot of work and mostly on your own. That is admirable! You should feel proud of all your work and your hubby's 'left brain'. Blessings, Pamela

  14. Cyndi,
    Lucy is still here but moving quite slowly. She's deaf and a little blind too.

    I'm not sure when I'll get around to doing a post on it so I'll just tell you now. We're trying to spruce up the guest house - without spending any money! : +

    We'll see how it goes...


  15. Love it! Great pictures, again, you are a genius with the camera!!

  16. Home projects are exhausting but so rewarding at the same time! It's lovely when you can work together as a team (I know I appreciate my own handy hubby!). I can't wait to see more of your entry... looks beautiful!

  17. It makes me smile to know that your home was lucky enough to have you and Mike to nurse it back to health! I hate to think about all of the wonderful old homes, just waiting to be rediscovered!
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!


  18. I have been following your blog for some time now and I so LOVE your house and your location. I live in Australia and we have beautiful beaches and some beautiful countryside here as well here. You must feel blessed living where you do. You are lucky to have such a talented hubby. Working around the home is time consuming, at time frustrating but very rewarding because... there IS no place like home!

  19. Trina
    Your house is a inspiration to all of us! ! You were the first blog I started reading and still my favorite. You guys have done a great job on your lovely home. Have a great day

  20. So much fun to look back and see how far you've come...have loved following along!!

  21. What a good team y'all make! I love any updates you share.

  22. If he ever wants to vacation in Massachusetts....we could use a calculation or two.....

  23. I'm impressed, everything is looking great! =)

  24. I hope you don't mind, but I have a crush on Mike! lol. Great project and it looks super. Love your blog!

  25. He has that shy-cowboy look. Adorable.

  26. Michael,
    I don't mind at all! I think you have GREAT taste!
    ; ) Trina

  27. good beer, that Sierra Nevada!!

  28. We all love Mr. Handy!! Talented and handsome!!


  29. Love when you share sources and all the trials and tribulations!

  30. wow....really interested to see the complete project of your front porch. Beautiful house! Since you're re-vamping your home, do you find that you're using more environmentally friendly products vs. conventional home depot products?


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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