Before, After, and In Between

In September 2013, I asked Kole a simple question. “I wonder what would happen if I pulled out a few bricks on the old pump house out back to see the condition?”


In three seconds, I had my answer. The entire wall of bricks hit the floor.  The good news? We decided to convert the original pump house/chicken house into a 500-square-foot micro cottage. It only took about 18 months, money, hysteria, sweat and more sweat. We’re still finishing. Then my mother asked me, “You’re going to live in the chicken house?” Well, not exactly, Mom.

While everyone else sat inside sipping hot chocolate in Januarys, we poured concrete in just-barely-allowable temperatures. When my nephew was on spring break, he learned the finer tips–and mysteries–of framing. I laid two tile floors and grouted them recently.  We spent hot summer days salvaging bricks around town. I scoured Craig’s List for old windows and doors. Kole made all the trim.

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The great thing? I now have a cottage just a stone’s throw from the big house and guests. We’ve taken a break from the interior details to build the cottage garden out back where in full sun the tomatoes and herbs can get busy growing. And if anyone tells you it’s impossible to live in 500 square feet, send them to my doorstep. Anything is possible with time, money… and delusional dreams.


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