On our first floor, the kitchen and front bedroom, which we use as our Master Bedroom, was an addition to the original log cabin.
(Click HERE to see the construction on the kitchen, and click HERE to see the bay window installation in the kitchen).
While restoring the original cabin, we also wanted to be sure we “married” the addition to the cabin so that the newer part of the home matched the rest of the cabin.
Even the “easiest” of construction in this home has never been easy. This project proved to follow suit.
We “camped” out in the lodge room during the duration of the construction.
I’m not sure why I didn’t take pictures of the entire bedroom as I did all the other rooms in the house, but here is the one photo I did find of the bedroom when we moved into the house:
Although you can’t see the ceiling in the above photo, the bedroom ceiling was the only room in our home that wasn’t wooden slats. Here is the wood going up on the ceiling to match the rest of the ceilings in the house:
The original cabin is an authentic and historic log cabin – built with full cedar logs and chinking (the white stuff in between the logs). To make it appear “real” in the addition, we had to put up half-logs. You can also see in the above and below pictures that the half-logs are up, but no chinking has been installed yet.
The kitchen has been the longest-running project. We built the cabinets all by hand – with no plans to follow, and no idea what we were doing! We get complements on them constantly – they really came out great – and fit right in with our cabin!
The kitchen is mostly completed as of today (11/16/2013)…but we still need to complete the ceiling (we are going to do a tin ceiling), get hardware for the cabinets, and complete the chinking on 3 walls of the kitchen and adjoining pantry.
The kitchen when we originally looked at the house…
The kitchen during the demolition…
Building the cabinets
…and the kitchen as of 11/16/13
Copper farm sink…Brian’s pick!
Other end of the kitchen
Adjoining pantry/laundry room (still needing the chinking in between the logs down as well as the ceiling)
Chinking (white stuff!) getting done in the kitchen:
One of the walls in our kitchen was nothing but rotted logs (from old roof leakage) and a very tiny window. We had the logs on hand, but hadn’t gotten around to replacing the wall. Friends of ours called us one morning to tell us they were removing a large window from their home to replace with a larger window, and that they thought we may be able to use it…well, it was a perfect size, and we dropped what we were doing that day, and ripped out the wall and old window!
Rotted logs and old window removed
New window in and trimmed, and new logs installed…just need to stain the logs, and chink in between logs
Originally, the lodge room walls and ceiling were covered with painted-white paneling, and the ceiling was dropped down far enough where we could reach up and touch it. (The actual original height of the lodge room is 21 feet). You could only see half of the 2 story stone fireplace. After we tore all the paneling off, we had to strip the logs of the bark (by hand), sand the logs, stain the logs, re-run the wires to hide them, repair the chinking (white stuff in between the logs), and paint the chinking… it was quite the project!! In the middle of us doing this project, we had people asking us where we are living when all this is going on… the look on their faces when we told them we were living “right here!” in the middle of this construction zone was hysterical!
Lodge Room fireplace before…
Ripping out the paneling…
Windows behind the paneling! Awesome…light!
After the ceiling was exposed, the logs were stained, and the chinking was painted…
When we first moved in , I kept hearing “noises” in the lodge room…after some careful inspection, and some helpful hints from our cat, Loki, we discovered a family of squirrels were living in between the paneling and the logs. We trapped the squirrels and relocated them (mom and 3 “kids”), and removed the paneling…to find that we were left with a log wall that hand been gnawed down, where you could see through to the outside! With some help from family and friends, we removed a window, replaced the chewed logs with new ones, and reset the window.
Our side yard was a mish-mosh of broken brick, slate, pavers, railroad ties, and a ridiculously over grown garden. I spend an entire summer taking out each brick, paver, piece of slate, and railroad tie by hand, and stacking up the “good” pieces of brick (to re-use for a patio). Brian “mowed” down the garden, and roto-tilled the entire yard in an attempt to grow grass in the sandy Pine Barren soil…EVERYone told him it was impossible to do… and what does Brian do when someone tells him he can’t do something? He makes SURE he does it! …
The side yard as it was…
Dante and Cleopatra checking out my piles after we installed the new fence:
Brian, mowing down the jungle…I mean “garden”….
“New” side yard, with patio and walkways built with whatever good materials we saved from the original yard…oh – and the grass that was “impossible” to grow …way to prove everyone wrong, Brian!
The exterior of the logs were faded, and the house was trimmed in mint green. We re-stained the logs, re-painted the chinking (white stuff in between logs), and changed the trim from mint green to red…
The 40 foot porch overlooking the lake had been screened in, and the log railings had been replaced by a plywood wall. We wanted to restore the porch to it’s original form – log railings. We asked around town about where we could buy logs, and we were connected with a man named “Spike”…he still operates the saw mill where the original logs of this home were milled! Generations of his family harvested cedar trees, milled them at their saw mill, and carted them by horse and buggy down the main street of our town, to the log homes that were being built here! It was great getting some more history about our home and community from Spike!
Why start anything inside when we have a leaky roof, right? The first project we decided to tackle, was one of the biggest – and one that we could not tackle ourselves… the roof. This project was quite the eye opener…a lesson learned with log cabins…no project is easy, quick, or inexpensive…and ALL projects, no matter how small, lead into 5 other projects!
We wanted the roof to look original – which meant tearing off all the layers (all 4 of them!) and insulating the roof from the exterior so that the original log beams and tongue-and-groove ceiling could be exposed in the lodge room. What we found was that from the leaking, most of the roof was rotted – and had to be torn off! …I can’t even describe the pit in my stomach when the roofers told us the “the whole thing” was coming off… the sky’s the limit! …
I’m sure the neighbors “loved” us with all the debri that was around the house for the MONTH it took to do this job!
(original estimation from roofers was 1 week!)
After the exterior was torn off, looking up in the lodge room was like looking up at an old barn ceiling!
Tearing out the paneled ceiling and walls in the lodge room…so that the roofers could see the roof from the inside and install the skylights.
In 2009 we bought our dream home – on a whim – and totally unprepared for what was in store for us. We used to have conversations about what our dream home would be, what it would “have to have,” etc. Well, one day, we stumbled across our ultimate dream home…a log cabin on a lake…with all the “requirements” on our once fantasy dream-home list… except it wasn’t quite in “dream-home” shape…and it didn’t quite look much like a log cabin!…
The home we purchased was a real cedar log log home, built in 1927. It is built on a double lot, with a 2-car log constructed garage. Some time over the years, the original logs AND ceilings of the entire home were covered over by painted-white paneling. The original hardwood floors were covered with rug…It was infested with mice, flying squirrels (yes FLYING) – and bats (YIKES)…(all of which we finally were able to safely remove and relocate). The cabin also had an entire log wall whittled down to toothpicks by the family of (regular) squirrels living between the paneling and logs (family of squirrels also safely relocated!). …Aaaah…with the adventures we encountered…I could have written a book!
Our goal: Restore it back to it’s original glory…expose all the logs, fix all the chinking (white stuff in between the logs), and make some upgrades along the way – all “DIY” style…ON OUR OWN! … My thought at the time was “No problem!” … I swore we’d be done the home in it’s entirety in 3 years… what I quickly came to realize is that we had just purchased a life-long project! Although frustrating at times, it has truly been one of the most rewarding things Brian and I have ever done. The memories we have created here, both inside the home, and out on the lake, are priceless!
Posts to follow are just SOME of the things we have demolished, built, and restored!