{renovate} back entry: week by week

Bet you thought, from the title, that I'm going to show you the finished back entry?! The good news: The entry is done! For now. The bad news: The photos are trapped on my camera thanks to a faulty card reader. Boo.

In case you haven't noticed, projects around this house take just this side of forever. Or maybe I'm just too close to the situation? Either way, it's hard not to compare myself to the other bloggers who whip up projects like it's their job. Even though a lot of the time it is their job :). But, our back entry reveal is a long time coming.

I'll get a new card reader this weekend and on Monday I'll share with you a full reveal! Today though, I thought I'd walk you through our process and show you  both why it took a while and a few sneak peaks :). We decided, at the beginning of this whole back entry project, that we needed project parameters. Rules, if you will, so that we weren't completely burnt out at the end. We've made the mistake before of working weekend after weekend on projects, which on top of our regular 45+ hour a week jobs, gets to be a little much. It leads to burnt out, cranky, and not very fun to be around spouses. And it's after projects like these that we usually don't touch the house again for months. So we figured, to make this project as fun as possible, plus still have energy for other projects we want to tackle this spring, we'd set rules. The project might take a little longer, but we value our sanity, and our relationship with each other.

Our rules for the back entry (and the hardwood project) was work only on Saturdays. That left me Fridays to play (I work 4-10's), and Chris and I Sundays to play. We had our good friends helping us, so we promised ourselves we'd get up early, work our tails off and then break at a reasonable hour and share dinner with them. This plan worked well! Yes, we were super tired by dinner on Saturdays, but each weekend we got tons done still had a day or two to play. At this point we're sick of the project, but not BURNT out. So, our parameters were a success!

So, let's take a look at how this process went down.

This is what the back entry looked like when I moved in. Horribly ill-fitting (and completely non energy-efficient) door, spare refrigerator (obviously), bad linoleum, and walls that consisted partially of lath and plaster, partially of wood and partially of concrete. Needless to say, the extra fridge was the FIRST thing to go after I moved in.

Baby steps. We had already moved the fridge out, and we replaced the door with one that fits! Yah for less draft and lower heating bills! :)

This (hilariously kindergarten-esq) picture give you a better idea of what we were working with, uneven wall wise. At some point Chris had started to tear up the floor. I can't quite remember why he didn't finish. 

I, ahem, tore up the linoleum and the 80+ year old tile underneath. More about that here.

We heart our friends! They began helping this week. Originally I'd wanted to pull out the stairs and built new amazing ones, ala Centsational Girl's beautiful stairs. Once we got going though, it was clear that the walls and floor in the room were neither straight nor square. Awesome. Tearing them out completely was the only part of this project the boys said *no* to. Instead they tore the tops off, stabilized and reinforced them, and put them back together.

The beginnings of board and batten! We had a couple things working against us in the this room: uneven wall surfaces, and less than square/even walls and floor. It took us forever to even begin working on this room because we thought we were going to have to gut it, and that sounded like SO. MUCH. WORK. One day it occurred to me that we didn't have to gut if we could just cover up the uneveness. Yah! Board and batten was a perfect choice because we could cover up as far as we wanted, and the perfect shelf height covered all the weird surfaces.

I felt pretty bad for the guys though. The internets make board and batten look like a piece of cake. But when you're dealing with uneven walls, there's a lot of piecing together, and reworking to make sure everything is level. They were such rock stars.

Once the walls were up, week four was all about adding some trim and tile. Tiling was actually super easy (says the chick that didn't tile)! The square tile I picked out fit perfectly across the room.

More detail work. I mean really, look at the angles we were dealing with here!

Chris was starting to look like this .... so we took a week off and went to the beach. :)

This was the only week we broke our *Saturday only* rule. Once I start painting, I have a really hard time stopping. HAhaha! I just realized that sounds weird. But, it's true. So, I started on Friday, Chris and I worked on it all day Saturday and I finished up on Sunday. Phew! It was soooo nice to have done though.

This week we started moving things back into the space ....

Adding finishing details such as hooks ...

and art!

We love how the space came together and are so, so, so excited to show you the final pictures Monday! I hope you all have a great weekend! :)


  1. You're such a tease! I cant wait to see the reveal on monday!!! <3

    ahhh exciting!!!!!!!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. Tiling is not that hard. Said the girl who tiled. It's the demolition that killed me.

  3. boo, faulty card reader you totally fail! oh no Jenn, that sucks. great seeing the process though and can't wait for next weeks peek at the final results.

    gosh you guys put a ton of work into everything you tackle, much and many congrats. hope you're sitting back this weekend and just enjoying yourselves. ♥

  4. UooooooU!! Jenn the change is incredible!! I cant wait to see all the back entry!


  5. AGGGGHHH! I cant wait to see it! :D the teaser photos are already making me swoon! A POX on your faulty card reader, but i'm sure it'll be worth the wait :) hehe xo


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