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Grout Cottage

Grout Cottage: Demolition Update

After almost a week of demolition, here is an update on the first floor apartment in the Grout Cottage.

Looking at pictures of houses with nothing but the framing left standing can be difficult, I know. I’ll do my best to explain and show before images. I’m considering a video tour, you can share your thoughts on that in the comment section.

Living Room

drastic changes took place in the removal of two closets, one that was an add on with bi-fold doors and the other was original with a wooden door.

Same view and now the closets are gone exposing the whole cavity between the living room and a bedroom to restructure better closet layout for future residents. The box was also removed to expose a flue that has no real purpose.

Looking toward the front door in the living room,

Acoustic ceiling tiles are gone revealing the original bead board ceiling. The walls in this room were actually painted paneling with crusty bead board wainscoting


The previous owner started a second rate remodel of the kitchen by putting down cement board (an underlay for tile) on the floor and installed some cabinets.

Not good enough for me so all of that had to go. I’d like to change the layout of the kitchen to maximize usage of the space.

There are three chimneys coming through in to this apartment from above, they all need to be taken out. This is a portion of one of the chimneys in the kitchen.

The previous owner took most of it out but because they didn’t have access to the upstairs they decided to frame a pantry around it. I have a much better place in mind for a pantry and I think this area would be better suited for a small dining area.

Still in the kitchen, the door on the right leads to a strange closed in porch and pretty gross laundry closet, door on left goes to hall

And…the door is gone and the area is stripped out to reveal a new workable space for rear entry (spot for coats and maybe a bench), laundry, pantry and a small linen closet. Can’t visualize it? You will soon enough.

More pictures of this cavity,


Bedroom 1

Our third chimney is in this room.

And now the view is this,

This room will lose two doors, one exterior and one leading in to the other bedroom and gain a walk-in closet. The door on the left leads to the other bedroom. I go in to a lot of older homes where all of the bedrooms are connected and all of the rooms are closed off for heat conservation.

Bedroom 2

The room is now stripped out except for that pesky chimney which we will remedy soon enough.


And so this is where we stand for the next week or so. I’m also working on a master bedroom remodel and a dream closet for a friend, I think you’ll want to see this one. We’re talking dedicated sunglasses drawer, this is the level of organization we’re seeking.


Grout Cottage: Meet & Greet

I’d like to introduce you to my newest project—the Grout Cottage.

She’s hurtin’ and the people in the neighborhood are delighted that we plan to rescue the house and so am I.

For a proper introduction– here are some basic stats,

  • Built in 1895 (the oldest property we’ve renovated to date)
  • Two story, Queen Anne
  • Duplex; two apartments both two bedroom, one bath
  • Has some original stained glass windows
  • German wood lap siding
  • metal roof
  • has small dilapidated carriage house in rear w/ dirt floor

Queen Anne architecture will incorporate bay windows to avoid smooth surfaces, one of the unique features in this house is the single cutaway bay window on the right corner with bracket detailing.

Moving around to the rear, this is lovely isn’t it. I’m looking forward to improving that upstairs porch. If you’re thinking it looks structurally unsound…you’d be correct.

the old carriage house,

up close,

We’ll begin in the first floor apartment because the upstairs is currently occupied,

Current living room,



Kitchen– the previous owner started some renovation when the apartment was vacant,

they terminated the chimney in the kitchen and framed in what looks to be a pantry,


Hall, nice little stained glass window to let some light in


The bathroom had already been gutted and re-framed. There’s no window in here and they actually left a cavity on the right side which creates an opportunity to expand and widen the room.

Bedroom 1,


Bedroom 2,


Are you excited for demolition to begin on Monday?