Houses I Didn’t Buy: The Old Farm House

For those of you who don’t know, one of the character traits I’ve developed in recent years is compulsively buying new houses. Usually just about the time the paint dries on the old ones. It’s never deliberate — when I’m knocking walls down or tiling or drywalling I truly believe there will come a day when I won’t wake up with paint in my hair. Where I’ll be showered, sane, and lounging on my new deck with an umbrella drink. Which is about the time I find something like this:


When I knew I was leaving the Memorial House I had to have a little come-to-jesus talk with myself about the size of the next project I could tackle. A little paint, a little tile, and no long term commitments to a new place.

Unless that place is 100 years old, with an ugly addition, and comes with a small pond and big red barn, apparently. Then I start getting thoughts.

Like, how hard would it be to just rip off the roof to that addition, add a reverse gable, and vault those interior ceilings?


(As if I haven’t already been down that road in the last year, which, mind you, resulted in a semi-permanent twitch in my left eye.)

Ideas are dangerous, dangerous things. Because all of the sudden I can see that house with new siding in slate gray, and a red door to match the barn.


And even if the floor plan consists of three good-sized living areas, a small kitchen, and one teeny tiny bedroom…


I mean really, it’s just moving the stairs. Squeezing out room for another bathroom. Turning the attic into a loft. Moving a wall or two.


Regardless of the fact that it’s also three years of hard labor, drywall dust up my nose, and grout under my fingernails, it’s irresistible.  Once I can envision what something can be, it’s almost impossible for me not to dive in with both hands (and my drill) to turn those ideas into a reality.

But in this case, it was probably lucky for me that someone else bought the house first. That was going to be a lot of sawdust in my hair.

(Inspiration photos found here.)

13 Responses

  1. … but, Mooom, it’s so CUTE!

    What an adorable farm house! It makes me wish my husband were more of a country nut (but he isn’t). Our neighborhood is the best compromise: urban core living with the verdant green of old oak trees of a bygone era. Can’t beat it :o)

    You should look at houses here *nodnod* You’d love it. Even when you’re done, you’d wake up to the sweet sound of hammer and miter saw on the weekend and smell the sweet scent of saw dust in the air. Heh

  2. I’m in love with the bedroom in your inspiration shots, and you could do that anywhere! Enjoy finding and making your own new space, big or small, long-term or temporary.

  3. get some plastic (a reelcycd lumber material) 2 2 and cut stakes to drive into the ground about every four feet around the bottom perimeter. Attach more of the same 2 2 material to the stakes with screws (horizontally on the ground). Screw your skirting to this at the bottom, and to the trailer at the top. You’ll likely want to use some sort of trim at the top edge (like J metal , drip edge, or possibly some type of flashing).

  4. How did you make the floor plans for the house after you renovated it? I;m only 15 and love old farm house floor plans and was just curious on where you made the floor plan for the farm house?

    Thank you -Caleb Pippenger

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.