Renovating the 100 year old farm house my mom grew up in – making it a place for us to grow old in.

I’m going to take a moment here to tell you about my partner-in-crime (my fiance). Joe is one of the hardest working people I have ever met and, by far, the hardest working man I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. He is usually up by 4am every morning to lay stone all day on a masonry crew. It is very hard work and incredibly taxing. He works outside most of the time regardless of the weather (and, here in northern Minnesota, we really get some incredibly nasty weather). And when he finishes his day job he doesn’t quit, he comes to the house to join me and help me there working until, sometimes, really late at night almost every night of the week and all weekend, every weekend. He’s never once doubted me or tried to talk me out of something because he didn’t want to do it or he thought it was too hard. Every step of the way, even in times when I’m sure he thought I might have been nuts, he supported me and believed in me and helped me get every single project done that needed to be done. In the whole wide world there was no one I wanted to do this, except him. I am very fortunate.


Throughout the United States we’ve see tremendous below average lows for about the last four weeks and, quite frankly, I think most of us kinda figured we wouldn’t see anything as warm as a 30 degree high until next year in March. However, this last weekend we got highs in the twenties and the promise from the weather man that it might actually “warm up” to at least normal averages so I couldn’t blame Joe when he declared last Friday that he was going to get the south side of the house sided this last weekend if it killed him. I agreed with him and hopped on the band wagon as his siding cutting assistant – the south gabled end was the only place that leaked so it was the one part of the house that I’ve really been worried about. Sunday morning it was sleeting but it still didn’t surprise me when I got to the house to see Joe standing on the roof. He was determined and when that boy decides to do something don’t get in his way! Slippery, sleeting, raining, blowing and snowing, he still got it done and, my goodness, how much it does change the look of the house. Our old girl is getting herself a face lift!


Meanwhile, on the inside of the house while we were out in the weather our insulation man (Mike Day of Day’s Foam “It”) completed both the second and main floor! He still has to shave everything down as these pictures just show it immediately after he sprayed. There was immediate proof to how awesome this insulation is: Frost covered the roof in the morning except in the outline of the few places he had not yet sprayed – When Joe climbed out the south window and hopped on the roof there he said he couldn’t believe how much more sturdy it was! Before, we were running the wood stove and two electric space heaters and barely getting the house up over thirty degrees now all we have to do is start a fire and, within an hour, the house is over fifty degrees. Pretty amazing stuff! I am SO glad we went with spray foam, however (quite frankly) my heart was set on it and I would have had this house spray foamed come hell or high water.


So we still have a little plumbing left… oh yeah at some point I guess I’ll have to get the water running if we ever want to live here. Thank God I didn’t though or we would have had frozen pipes! It’s time for me to head to our dungeon where I don’t think it’s been above 5 degrees in a month and run/finish the electrical down there. So then we can get all of our off-peak electric heaters installed and the house up to temp so we can get the water running/finished up. From there it’s on to sheet rock 🙂


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