Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Thanksgiving Weekend Renovations

Posted on | November 29, 2010 | 17 Comments

We stayed home over the long holiday weekend and worked on the house. I made Thanksgiving dinner for two while Greg hammered away on the house. He replaced rotten clapboards on the backside of the dormer, painted the new trim and worked on the rotten corners in the addition.

The corners are so rot in the corners we wonder why the house didn’t just fall down. Greg has replaced two of the corners and about an hour before the sun went down yesterday he started demoing the third. It’s a bit hard to know where to stop when the whole thing needs to be fixed.

I need to find a new/old door this week for the back entrance. The one we have is circa 1950’s and not appropriate for the style of the house. A solid wood door would be typical but I would love something that would give the space a little more light. I thought about a transom above the door but we don’t have enough room. I’ve enlisted the help of Old House Parts in Kennebunk, Maine to help me with my search. My historic society asked that I present three different options for approval at the next meeting.

Below photos of Greg working hard on the house. The sun goes down so early this time of year that he did a lot of work in the dark with his headlamp on. What a trooper! I rewarded him with turkey and biscuits, turkey pot pie and turkey soup. The final shot is the backside of the house as it looks now. I shot a little video of him showing the chimney for our hot water heater we found in the wall supported by a piece of wood. As we cleaned out the rest of the wall we found piles of coal and bones. Don’t be freaked out; we find animal bones everyday in the roof, walls and basement.

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17 Responses to “Thanksgiving Weekend Renovations”

  1. liane
    November 29th, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    all kinds of progress katy!! well done.


  2. Ashley
    November 29th, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

    What progress! I always admire those who can take advantage of long weekends to “get things done”! Your turkey looks like it was fantastic, btw.


  3. Josephine
    November 29th, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    You accomplish so much! It’s looking great. Do you mind my asking-did you rent or buy that scaffolding in the photo? Was it expensive? I think we might need some and can’t decide whether to rent or buy.


  4. Katy Elliott
    November 29th, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    We actually borrowed the scaffolding from the carpenters working on the trim work.

    I’m not sure of the actual price because on my bill from the carpenter’s it just says: set up and break down of scaffolding $500. Not sure if that includes the actual rental price.


  5. Patsy
    November 29th, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    Wow! So much progress!

    Have you checked Building Supplies in Peabody for a door? They have a million of ’em!



  6. little pink room
    November 29th, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    Wow, I’m impressed by your productivity. Well done for doing so much, when others are eating and relaxing! Ax


  7. jen jafarzadeh
    November 29th, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

    I’m so impressed by Greg. How does he know how to do all this?! You two make the best pair. You know every design resource imaginable and he can demo with the best of them.


  8. Susan
    November 29th, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    Wow you guys are impressive. I am fascinated by the animal bones you find…how bizarre!


  9. Katy Elliott
    November 29th, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

    The bones are not totally bizarre. The colonials didn’t have access to recycling centers and curbside pick up. :)


  10. Katy Elliott
    November 29th, 2010 @ 2:17 pm


    I have no idea how he knows what to do! I just fetch the hammer, saw, drill and clean up all the demo.


  11. Emma
    November 29th, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

    So much love and attention being poured into this house. I remember when we were knee deep in the middle of renovating our house how I relished long weekends and all the work we could get accomplished.


  12. chelsea
    November 29th, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    wow! you guys are amazing1


  13. Jane Flanagan
    November 29th, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

    Wow – such amazing progress! Well done you two!


  14. Sophie
    November 29th, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    It’s seem so beautiful.
    Must worth all the work!
    Ciao Ciao


  15. Uncle Bill
    November 30th, 2010 @ 6:03 am

    Great job kids. I am continually impressed.


  16. Glenda B
    November 30th, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    This is going to be so georgeous when you are finished. I am so glad to hear someone else found bones during their renovation. When we were working on our old farmhouse we had to remove an old drop ceiling over the kitchen. We found so many bones, it was crazy!! I don’t really want to know how they got there. :-)
    Someday your family will get to enjoy a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday in your finished home and all the work will seem like a distant memory. It is so worth it when it’s finished. Hang in there, guys!


  17. Tracy Jo
    December 7th, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

    hi there – love your blog! and as always I am impressed, in awe and inspired by your story… just imagine the treasure you’ll give your kids and grandchildren with this documentary! I have to say what I envy the most is the partnership you two seem to have ( I want a husband like that! :)


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