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WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE CARRIAGE HOUSE?

A good question, and one I've been getting a lot recently. In December of 2019, we purchased the carriage house, in late January of 2020, we started demo, and in March, well, we all know what happened...


When we stopped construction due to COVID, we were in a decent place; the apartment was liveable, but not an enjoyable place to live.


Here is where we were by mid-March:

  • finished the demo, framing, drywall

  • most of the electrical work complete

  • salvage windows installed in the kitchen

  • staircase reinforced with reclaimed cedar beams

  • most of the staircase railing installed

  • kitchen backsplash removed, and cement board added

  • carpet removed in the loft and second bedroom

Kitchen March 2020 post phase one of construction

Kitchen March 2020 post phase one of construction

Kitchen March 2020 post phase one of construction


But, there were plenty of things left unfinished:

  • Kitchen cabinets were primed but unpainted (my responsibility). I had removed all the cabinet doors, and we were living with open cabinets.

  • Salvage paneling for the kitchen island was not installed.

  • Barstools were not installed.

  • Downstairs bathroom door was not installed.

  • We were missing flooring in several areas of the home (kitchen, loft space, and second bedroom)

  • No trim or molding installed, leaving everything to look rough and unfinished.

  • The staircase railing was missing a section.

  • Vomit carpet remained on the stairs and in the main bedroom.

  • We removed the ceiling in the upstairs bedroom because of a leak (more on this below), so we had an uninsulated roof the entire summer, and in turn, the upstairs of the house read 90 degrees on a good day. It was misery.

Kitchen. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Kitchen. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Staircase. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Staircase. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Staircase & Loff March 2020 post phase one of construction

Loft. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Loft. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Second bedroom. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Second bedroom. March 2020 post phase one of construction

The ceiling in the second bedroom. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Second bedroom. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Main bedroom. March 2020 post phase one of construction

Main bedroom. March 2020 post phase one of construction


In our construction hiatus, I could have had my father help me with the millwork and other odd jobs; after all, he is the handiest guy I know! But, COVID was a barrier. My parents are in their 60s and live with my 92-year-old grandma; it was just too risky to work with him on this project.


In the meantime, I busied myself with removing the carpet on the stairs, painting the cabinets, painting the kitchen, adding a butcher block counter to the pantry, and other small jobs I could handle on my own.

Kitchen. June 2020

Pantry June 2020

Stairs July 2020

Main bedroom closet. June 2020.

Loft. July 2020


By June, we felt comfortable having our contractor come back to work, but he was unavailable. Some of you may be experiencing this right now; labor is hard to come by, and good contractors are booked solid. Everyone is spending more time at home and investing in home improvements.


Our contractor told me he'd be back in early August, which ended up being a few days of work at the end of August and the beginning of September.


In those few days:

  • the majority of the baseboard and casing was installed

  • the ceiling was removed in the loft space

  • the backsplash was installed in the kitchen

  • the bathroom door was installed

  • the salvage paneling on the island was installed

  • the flooring throughout the house was finished (except the main bedroom)

  • the last piece of the railing was installed

Unfortunately, I don't have much photo evidence of these changes, so you'll have to wait for my next update!

Kitchen, September 2020.

Loft Ceiling, September 2020

Pantry/Bathroom, September 2020.


Yet, the project is still unfinished. Here we are in early October, and I am praying that our contractor is returning next week for what is hopefully the last 3-5 days of work.


When the contractor returns, he'll:

  • patch the drywall between the second bedroom and the loft space. After we removed the ceiling, there was a gap between the two rooms

  • finish the molding and casing

  • install the bar stools

  • install the barn doors in the second bedroom and entry

  • install lighting

  • paint

  • work on a few other odd jobs

Once these jobs are complete, we can have carpet installed in the main bedroom. Yes, I've succumbed to carpet. It's ivory wool, and I'm just going to pretend I'm British...you know, cause they like to carpet their bedrooms?


Ahhhh, but what about the roof? It has been an epic disaster. When we purchased the house, we knew we might end up replacing the roof. After several rainstorms, it became evident that this is something we could no longer avoid.


Since we had to replace the entire roof, my father came up with the genius idea of removing the drop ceiling and insulating the roof from the top down. Doing this would allow us to expose the ceiling and beams and add more charm to the house. And so, that was our plan...


They came to replace the roof this week. I was in Westchester, and my husband was at work. When he came home, it looked like Mt. Vesuvius erupted in the house. I'm not sure where the miscommunication happened, but the roofing team didn't realize there was no ceiling/drywall in the loft space and second bedroom. When I was quoted for the work, they were fully aware the ceiling had been removed. I just wish someone had mentioned things would get REALLY messy inside.


Post roof install, October 2020

Post roof install, October 2020. My. Poor. Chair.

Post roof install, October 2020

Post roof install, October 2020


I'd hate for this post to come off as me complaining or wanting sympathy. We're experiencing a first-world problem, and have the luxury of renovating a second home. I recognize this is all happening in a year when there are many more serious and important issues at the forefront.


I write this post to show the reality of renovations, the drawn-out timelines, and everything that can go wrong. Instagram and reality TV shows depict a sunny picture of renovations where changes seem to happen instantaneously without recognizing the various hardships that arise throughout the process.


I know so many of you were invested in this project, and I appreciate your encouragement and kind words about the progress made thus far. I hope I can share more soon, and we can crack on with the fun stuff! (see what I did there, I'm British now).


xx