Where to Start when Buying a Fixer Upper Lakehouse Cottage

Date
Jul, 27, 2015

Renovating the 744sq foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger LakesHello friends.  Welcome to our Fixer Upper cottage renovation! As most of you know from past posts we’ve been feverishly trying to get our Itsy-Bitsy cottage renovated for summer. When we purchased this fixer-upper Labor Day of 2014 we knew that the renovations needed to make this place our own could not be done by the end of the year.  The previous owner had not done anything to the cottage since 1993 and boy did it show.  But we were patient and could see the potential this little gem had. We love the open floor plan and the fact that it was not just lake access or lake view it was LAKEFRONT!

Before

Renovating the 744sq foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger Lakes

In its previous life there was once a fireplace but then replaced with a large cast-iron pot belly stove that sat in the middle of the living room.  Along with its positioning and the chimney not being to code we knew that we would be replacing it. In addition to all that,  the left wall was leaning out due to improperly placed support beams. This fixer Upper cottage had more issues than we thought! 

Renovating the 744sq foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger Lakes

Raising The Roof

Renovating the 744sq foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger Lakes
Down comes the soffit and cabinets over the kitchen peninsula. Improperly placed beams still in place. removal of the leaning wall and fireplace.
Renovating the 744sq foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger Lakes
new I beams in! Spray foam insulation goes in the ceiling and new right wall.

During the winter months, we had the structural issue solved by replacing the old beams with new I-beams placed lower. We covered up the popcorn ceiling with T1-11 exterior siding. ( my new BFF)  A much more cost effective solution to traditional tongue and groove. We removed the soffit and the cabinets over the kitchen peninsula and immediately the kitchen was opened up! Visit our kitchen renovation post of our fixer upper cottage.

Adding Coastal Colors

In its previous life there was once a fireplace but then replaced with a large cast-iron pot belly stove that sat in the middle of the living room.  Along with its positioning and the chimney not being to code we knew that we would be replacing it. In addition to all that,  the left wall was leaning out due to improperly placed support beams

In its previous life there was once a fireplace but then replaced with a large cast-iron pot belly stove that sat in the middle of the living room.  Along with its positioning and the chimney not being to code we knew that we would be replacing it. In addition to all that,  the left wall was leaning out due to improperly placed support beams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its previous life there was once a fireplace but then replaced with a large cast-iron pot belly stove that sat in the middle of the living room.  Along with its positioning and the chimney not being to code we knew that we would be replacing it. In addition to all that,  the left wall was leaning out due to improperly placed support beamsCoastal Paint Colors

Every single wall, door, trim and ceiling was painted a light fleshy pink color and all the trim was stained dark. She had burgundy shag carpeting and green velvet furniture.  I absolutely loved all the custom sized doors which not one of them were plum or square! We painted each of the doors using leftover paint from other paint projects all different shades of blues and greens making sure that each coat was not done perfectly. I used an old poor quality brush that gave me a uneven brushstroke.  To me that was the ideal way to create a door that looked like it had been painted several years ago with multiple coats of paint. I finished each door a coat of Modern Masters tinted turquoise green glaze. Our first hint of the colors to come.

In its previous life there was once a fireplace but then replaced with a large cast-iron pot belly stove that sat in the middle of the living room.  Along with its positioning and the chimney not being to code we knew that we would be replacing it. In addition to all that,  the left wall was leaning out due to improperly placed support beams
This is how it looked shortly after we removed the carpeting in all rooms. I could not remove the particle board sub floor in the bedrooms so I painted them white in the meantime.

Installing LVT flooring

On the day of closing, the first thing we did was remove the carpet and pad and found terribly damaged hardwood floors. I had always pinned these beautiful painted floors on Pinterest and decided to paint them a sky blue color.  Unfortunately, the kitchen had been renovated on top of plywood and a laminate floor thus removing the subfloor was out of the question. That left us with a 1 1/2 inch height variation from the kitchen into the living room. We knew that that flooring difference would increase once we added flooring to the kitchen. So after consideration in the spring we decided to go over the hardwood floors with another subfloor and a vinyl gray wash plank flooring making it all level.

The renovation of the 744 sq. foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger Lakes
Its a family affair! Laying down the 4 by 8 foot sheets of sub floor in preparation for the vinyl planks. My nephew Ben put about 300 screws in the floor that day.

It was my first time putting in flooring.  after a simple YouTube tutorials we were on our way! The space was starting to take place.

The renovation of the 744 sq. foot Itsy Bitsy Cottage on the Finger Lakes

To see how this all turned out we have several lake living post! And don’t forget to see how we added sleeping quarters for 4 more by turning a premade shed into a dream bunkhouse

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Amie Freling

"Life's too short for white walls .." Amie Freling-Brown, a Rochester, NY-based designer and artist who transforms ho-hum spaces into works of art. Her creative designs can be found in many fine homes, restaurants and businesses. Her work has been featured in national magazines, on HGTV and has been sold through retailers nationwide from True Value Hardware to Nordstroms. She proudly offers such professional services as design, staging, color consultations and fine art.

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