DIY-ing our Basic Ranch House into the Cottage of our Dreams – Part One

house transformation series

This week, we are going to take a look back at all of the work we have done on our house in the 3 1/2 years we have lived here.  

I get so many questions and email from readers wanting to see more about the progress of our house, so I thought I would do a series of all of the projects we have done over the past three years to make this house feel more like “us.”

So here is where the story began…

We purchased this basic 1400 sq foot ranch on 5 acres about 3 1/2 years ago.  


It was definitely was not the house of my dreams, but we fell in love with the land and the location, and we knew we could make changes to the house that we would eventually love. 

The very first thing we did within days of moving in the house was to tear down the glass front porch.  We don’t think it was on the original house, but was added later.  We knew we would never use it, so Cy began ripping it down.


Once that was removed, we decided to build our own columns on the front porch.  


We knew these columns would only be temporary because in a few years we would be adding a new, larger front porch with a gabled roof.  Here is what it looked like before we painted the columns white and the door black.


And here is a before and after shot.


 I do not have any good pictures of the front of our house now, but you can see in the one below that we painted the brick white, the door black, and added a new light.DSC_0221_thumb

It looks much better, but it is not there yet.  We are hoping to build a new front porch this year that will look something similar to this…



We have a long driveway up to our house, and you couldn’t see our house from the road.  So another thing we did when we moved in was to make our house more visible.


Cy took a chainsaw to the bottom of the large tree in front of the house and cut off some of the lower branches.

The boys helped him take the branches to the burn pile.  That’s Luke and Adam below…


Look how little Eli was!!!  He was only three, but he was a hard worker!!


 Now you could actually see our house from the road!


 We moved in our house in June 2011, and we spent most of the summer cleaning up the property (it was very overgrown) and working on our front porch.  


That fall, we began building the addition to our house!  I was so excited about having more space!  :)

I will be sharing the addition with you tomorrow in Part 2 of my series!  Be sure to stop back by!

Have a blessed day!



  1. This reminds of a real life fixer upper episode – including cute boys hauling off branches! Can’t wait to see the other parts of the series. :D

  2. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post. It’s amazing how much you have accomplished in 3&1/2 (short) years. Beautiful!

  3. I came on board when you were about to do your addition…missed the fun yard clean up ;) Will enjoy catching up on all I missed!

  4. What a fun post! The changes you’ve made and shared on here are fantastic! Such a big difference! What a wonderful home and property. I’m excited to see more. :-)

  5. I was so excited when I saw that the first thing that you did was remove the glass from the front porch, because I was thinking the same thing! I am really looking forward to your posts!

  6. Just recently started following your blog. Love it! This is exciting to me. I can’t wait to see the rest of the transformation. Thanks so much for sharing. I also love your posts about your prayer lists.

  7. Hey! I live in VA. I love the color on the lowes exterior home renovation. I tried to get in touch with Paul the painter but he hasn’t responded. I am trying to paint my similar home with Ted brick to the beige color of the one y’all did. If you could tell me the brand of primer and paint type etc that would be awesome? Also, I was interested in knowing if it was sprayed on or rolled on? Maybe any other little tips for a solid job? Thanks so much!

  8. Did you paint your home by yourself? I have been contemplating whether to try or see about hiring a professional but i would like to save money and DIY if possible.

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