Finally, finally, finally we have finished inside of the guest house. It was a project that we will enjoy for years to come and will increase the property value but man it was hard. I don’t recommend 60 years olds to take on this type project in the middle of a pandemic with supply chain issues and a shortage of contractors. Seriously.
We still have the porch ceiling to finish, erosion control, septic for the toilet (but it is happening this week!) and landscaping. It no longer stresses me to walk into the building knowing what we still have to do. Now I just get to enjoy being there.
I am going to link all the projects we have done here, mainly for myself, but if you haven’t followed along it might be something you want to check out. I apologize in advance for all the links!
We now have a functioning 464 square foot house that has the ability to sleep 4. We have on demand hot water, air conditioning, a six foot antique claw foot tub, a 1935 kitchen sink, hardwood floors and a peaceful front porch.
The twin xl beds can be bolted together to create a king and a very cushy topper makes it more comfy than our bed.
Thanks for following along on this year+ long journey.
I am really, really feeling like we are almost finished with the guest house. This past week we got the closet in the building built. It looks so good!
We built the closet on a concrete slab that was once where a wood burning stove sat. The closet is 4 foot by 6 foot and we decided not to add a ceiling. We knew we had to put the closet in this corner because the tankless hot water heater is there and it needs to be out out of sight!
We had a contractor do a terrible job sheet rocking the guest house so we decided we certainly couldn’t do any worse and jumped in. It looks great.
I can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures of the mudding and taping but my husband did a good job and I learned to do the screw divots. You can’t find them now!
After we finished the exterior we added shelves to the interior and remote controlled puck lights that can change colors. The add a cool glow out the top when the house is dark.
We saved a lot of money adding this closet by 1. Doing the work ourselves, 2. Buying a clearance pocket door frame that was too tall and cutting it down, 3. Using a door we bought at a garage sale and refinishing it, 4. Instead of priming walls, we used leftover latex paint before using the color we wanted.
We are so happy to have finished this project because it is the last inside project for the house. We are so close to being finished.
We are nearing the end of putting together the bathroom in the guest house! Hooray! At this point I think we have spent about $3,500 on everything that went into turning a covered porch area into a functioning bathroom. Concrete, framing, Sheetrock, electrical, plumbing, window, lighting, tile, pocket door, tub, tub refinishing, and toilet all added up. We have done most of the work ourselves, except the terrible Sheetrock job and exterior siding. I am ever so thankful for a hard working husband.
One thing we didn’t spend much money on was our bathroom vanity thanks to recycling things we already had and materials given to or collected by us. We literally only purchased paint, the water connects, and the drain pipe for this project.
In my mind I wanted a black vanity with a white top. On a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas I saw an antique porcelain legged vanity that I loved in a restaurant bathroom. A quick look online convinced me that the option may be out of reach. I was disappointed but I had so many other things in the bathroom that I loved, an inexpensive vanity would have been fine.
With my heart set on something white and black to go with our floor meant we had to get creative. In our stash of treasures I spotted a white vanity top that my buddy The Social Planner had given me ( I have great friends) and a grooved wood cornice board from the front window of our house that would work for the skirt. I had lots of legs I thought would work, but it sort of felt like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. They were either too damaged, too short, or the wrong style.
Deep into the stash Mr. Math spotted two newell posts that were perfect. I bought them a while back at a garage sale. I can’t even remember why I thought I needed them but they were inexpensive and oak. We already had a medicine cabinet in the guest house from the previous owner. The mirror is pretty aged and may need to be replaced eventually but I sort of think it is cool.
My husband cut the cornice to fit- and did an amazing job, cut the legs t length, attached the legs with giant screws and glue then even spackled the screw heads for me so I could prime then paint the vanity with a semi gloss cabinet and trim black paint. Mr Math attached leveling feet so that we could get the cabinet level.
Just as I was thinking about purchasing a faucet the hubs surprised me with yet another treasure that I honestly have no idea when or where it came from. He found a chrome faucet in the stash with porcelain handles! It was chrome but had was filthy. A good cleaning and tightening all the parts made it exactly what I needed to finish off the sink.
I really like how it is all coming together.
The mirror looks more distressed in photos than it does in person but we may be getting another mirror cut to fit down the road.
Next up we will be installing the faucet, shower ring and drain in the claw foot tub.
I just love our guest house porch. I am thrilled with the swing and rocker. I am crazy about the door to the house and am looking forward to our wood plank porch ceiling. The one thing I didn’t like was looking directly at a blank wall while on the swing.
I have wanted to make a barn quilt for a while and the blank wall seemed like the perfect place for one.
If you search “Barn Quilt on Pinterest you will see a ton of designs and pictures of quilts. I knew I wanted something simple and selected a modified version of the Ohio Star. It is really just nine equal squares with some of the squares divided diagonally.
I found this version on House of Hawthornes. Her quilt is on her porch too. She has great instructions and makes a three color quilt. I am not going to go through all the steps because the instructions are on their site and easy to understand. I am just going to tell you what I did differently.
I made my quilt 3 foot by 3 foot for the scale of the porch and used 3/4 inch plywood because that was what we had here to make a 4 color quilt.
I sanded, primed, and painted the entire board the light color that is in the corners and the edges of the stars then drew the design on top of the painted board.
Let me tell you that taping and untaping the different blocks on the quilt are tricky. I should have painted the base color over the tape because even though I pushed, smashed, and, pressed the tape it still bled when I painted.
I used the trim color, Behr Dove for the base color, our house door color Behr Whiskey Barrel because I wanted some brown to coordinate with our cool vintage porch door. The center is the turquoise color of the interior Behr Ocean Boulevard. I wanted some green in the quilt because of our tree filled property and found a color I liked for 50 cents on the Home Depot mistint rack. I always check that rack. It is 9.00 for a gallon of mistint, 3.00 for a quart, and 50 cents for samples. I am a fan of mistint paint.
I used a small brush to touch up the areas where the paint bled once everything was good and dry.
Once I was satisfied with the touch up it got a coat Polycrylic to seal it and got mounted on the wall. I really like the look.
It looks so good mounted on the wall.
I enjoyed making it and look forward to having it for years.
We spend a lot of time outside and porches are important to us. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the guest house has a little porch to welcome guests. The original building had a sort of porch but we took out the original slab and reconfigured the space. We now have an eight foot by twelve foot porch that is blocked by the north wind and rain we get in the winter but open to the prevailing southern summer breezes. It has a great view of the garden and down the road will have a nice front view. I have plans.
The porch ceiling isn’t finished yet ( or the top section of the house caulk and paint) but we are still moving forward.
Our future plans for the porch are to put in a shiplap ceiling painted haint blue, cover the front posts and beams with cedar, and possibly do something with the concrete slab.
I am excited to say that the house got a coat of Behr True Taupewood, it is a gray with brown undertones. The trim is almost done and is painted Behr Dove. It is going to look beautiful with the door, swing, and cedar trim.
Speaking of swing, my goodness this four foot cypress beauty is a show stopper. A friend makes swings and other items in his shop. I love that it was custom made for us, It is stained a cedar stain and has three coats of Spar Urethane so that it can hold up to the weather.
We also have an Adirondack style rocking chair that was literally salvaged from the trash and rebuilt by Mr. Math. It got a good coat of black spray paint and has a place on the porch.
On top of the finishing up we need to do, I also want to make a barn quilt for the blank wall by the door. The view from the swing is just a blank wall and this house is all about quilts.
The Behr App has a project tab where you can save colors and look at how they go together.
All of the paint is in my shop right now so the 36 x 36 inch plywood is all that is needed.
We are making great progress now and it feels like we are getting somewhere finally. I am so thankful for all the work my husband has put in to get here.
We laid out the quilt and decided to display 9 squares in a 3 x 3 pattern.
Mr. Math designed a quilt hanger using two sections of 1 x 6 painted boards and four bolts to basically hold the quilt in place by squeezing the folded quilt in place.
Slipping the folded quilt in was tricky but the idea worked!
Mr. Math cut off the bolts then we hung the quilt with some small brackets that held up the wood part without touching the quilt.
It looked good the first try but a little too low. I could just see it getting pulled down.
The second try was much better.
I am so glad to have a place for the quilt. The frames next to the quilt hold two framed prints of quilts that we bought in the early 90’s and a piece of tatting my grandmother made. Still working on getting something cohesive for the pillows on the beds when using them as daybeds.
It is so nice to have another project done.
Thanks for following along with us on our journey.
I bought this piece of Ethan Allen cabinetry at a resale shop years ago. It would have been part of an entertainment center. It hung out in storage then had legs added and moved into my principal office as a printer cabinet after it was painted a vivid turquoise. It served me well until I moved to another position where I couldn’t bring my furniture.
It was moved with us and ironically ended up stored in almost the same spot where it now is in the guest house for years.
When we got all the furniture out I thought it would work with the color scheme but the two 1950’s chair cushions were too much for the space.
Of course the solution was to change the color. The only color I could see it as was red. I also wanted some of the turquoise to come through because even though it is bright, I like it. Believe it or not there is a bit of a paint shortage in our area. Apparently it is the time of the year that students paint their parking space and red was hard to find. It took three stores. I would have loved that… back in the day’
I brushed a few areas with paint thinner, painted the cabinet classic red, then sanded over places to let it look a little distressed.
It is amazing how it changed the look. Of the piece.
Not sure the folks at Ethan Allen would approve but we like it. We have installed a television so the cabinet is going to hold dvds etc.
Still plugging along on the exterior but soon there will be paint.
Five years ago I bought a complete 1930’s upper kitchen cabinet set on Craigslist. It was solid, but filthy. The cabinet sat in storage at our house from the day we brought it home but I always knew where it would go when we finally got the guest house started.
We literally figured out how big the front window could be, the location of the window, and the door based on this cabinet set. There was math involved and a little fussing at each other over getting everything just right.
When we started the building the cabinets were moved to the outdoor kitchen so I could work on it.
I took all the cabinet doors, hardware, and all the nails from when it was removed from the wall off then sanded everything down. It took several days.
Apparently at some point the cabinets were in a shop or garage and some knucklehead stored oil in there. It too a bit of sanding and strong primer to get the oil stains covered.
The cabinet doors had to be stripped and all the holes filled. The outdoor kitchen is only partially under cover and we have had the rainiest summer I can remember. Most days it was under a tarp.
The cabinets were painted with Behr cabinet paint in bright white. I picked chrome hardware to play on the vintage feel. Hardware is expensive people. For four knobs, two handles, hinges, and fasteners it was over $50.00 but it is so pretty!
The cabinets sat so long outside that when the were installed they needed another cleaning and a coat of paint. The biggest challenge was to get cabinets that were taken out of an old house, then put in a storage unit, then moved, then again in storage, then outside then moved again installed so that they were level and square on the wall.
The first try didn’t go so well.
The wall isn’t square, the floor isn’t level, but with some adjustments and more fussing, it looks better. Adding vintage kitchen ware on top helped too.
We have a beautiful butcher block counter, vintage sink, refrigerator, microwave, and storage going in after the exterior gets painted. I am making myself wait but it is hard.
If you know us, you know that we do as much work as we can on our projects unless we don’t have the strength or skills to do the work. We definitely did not not have the skill or experience to refinish our tub and sink so we hired it out. This post is not knocking someone who refinished their own tub or sink. If you were able to successfully do it I applaud you. I just know our limits. Together Mr. Math and I can do basic construction, plumbing, electrical, tile, and paint but haven’t had experience with bathtub refinishing.
We have hung on to the old farm sink since March of 2015. I paid a whole $2.00 for the sink and moved it with us here to Providence Acres. I loved it at first sight and would have been so disappointed if I messed it up trying to DIY refinish it.
The sink looked much better once I used CLR and toilet bowl cleaner to clear it up but it still wasn’t good enough to use as a kitchen sink.
The 5 1/2 foot long claw foot tub that we bought on Facebook marketplace for $200.00 was painted lime green on the base when we picked it up. I thought the porcelain looked to be in good shape but once the professional got started on it, I could see the pits and dings all over it.
A pro has access to the chemicals I don’t have and knows how to use them safely. Jesus came with exhaust fans, respirator mask, and a truck load of chemicals. I think his vehicle should have a hazmat warning sticker on it.
Muriatic acid, epoxy bonding agents, super thick oil based primer, and two part epoxy all smelled bad and took gloves and a mask along with a special fine mist sprayer, sander and porcelain bondo meant I would have never been able to have done this job as well as someone who does this for a living.
Jesus showed up at 11:00 with a helper and worked non stop until after 5:00 and then returned the following week to buff out some rough spots after the enamel had cured. We are just thrilled with how both turned out. So clean and shiny!
The finished project is beautiful.
I can’t wait to get the bathroom tiled, septic in and everything installed. We are getting closer.
Our guest house started life as a greenhouse complete with harvest gold fiberglass corrugated panels. It wasn’t designed to be lived in, insulated, air conditioned, or heated. There probably wasn’t much electricity needed so there weren’t many outlets. Because you could see all the studs inside there was no concern about how far the studs were apart. The walls weren’t insulated and their wasn’t Sheetrock.
At some point the greenhouse turned into a wood shop. Water was run to the building along with to the garden and outside the shop at some point, a wooden floor (reclaimed from a high school gym) was installed, insulation and pegboard covered the walls, the corrugated fiberglass was spray painted grey to look like metal, a wood burning stove was installed, and a 48 inch wide door was built. There was an awesome wood burning stove the owner had built out of a propane tank and other assorted parts inside that took three men to get out.
Nothing about the building was plumb, square or level. In order to straighten the back wall Mr. Math pushed it with the bucket of his tractor while the roofer added support beams so it could be firmed up.
When the roof was raised the two by fours above the old roofline don’t exactly match up to the new ones.
All of my explanation is to remind me that what has been accomplished is that much more special. The walls may not be perfect, our contractor may have done a terrible ( really, really terrible ) job on the Sheetrock and siding but in spite of everything the house is solid, the house wiring is done correctly ( the wiring to the building still needs work), the plumbing is all straightened out, and Mr. Math has spent a lot of time fixing everything from over cut outlet holes to installing a vintage door into the most crooked wall, to removing screws the Sheetrock crew put into the pocket door works.
What I have learned is that this cute little house isn’t going to be perfect but the quirks and imperfections are what makes it special. The slightly unlevel floor, the patches in the Sheetrock, the wonky v groove planks, the ripples, the wood floors that are patched in several places with pine boards that aren’t the same width or exact color, the concrete slab in the corner where the wood burning stove was located are all a part of the little space that make it our own.
When you come to visit us we will gladly show you the quirky things that make the little home ours.
Right now we are working on the exterior. Caulking, adding nails, patching holes, adding additional trim work. Very soon we will paint. Woo hoo!
We aren’t the fastest but we really are making steady progress.