Boxes Little Boxes

Whoa, boy did we have boxes. 92 of them, to be exact. And they weren't filled with ticky tacky, either. Instead, they arrived full of all of the necessary components for our new kitchen cabinets. Now we know why Joe isn’t the biggest fan of Ikea! The puzzle has finally been completed and our kitchen officially looks like, well, a real kitchen. 

We've logged quite a few busy weeks since our last post. We're happy to report that we passed the sewer inspection, the houses are breathing together and the trenches are filled, giving us some sturdy ground to walk on (and landscaping to dream about). 

All the doors have arrived and most have been installed. The temporary front door has been replaced with its beautiful permanent cousin (soon to be painted). 

And speaking of painting! Kevin and his crew finished painting the cottage last week and will soon be headed over to Drew and Jacob's house to create a matching set. Bye, bye ugly purple porch! We just hope they'll be able to tackle the 100+ years of paint over at the big house (yikes). After that, the interior walls of the cottage will be painted a delicious shade of creamy butter. 

Have we mentioned the floors? And the stairs? Oh, friends, they're gorgeous. 

Joe put his tiling skills to good use and did a wonderful job on the upstairs bathroom. Toilet shopping isn't a glamorous job, but that's what we'll be tackling next. One throne for the tiny powder room downstairs and one for the full-size bath off the upstairs bedroom. 

Meanwhile back in West Seattle, Elyse and Meredith are trying to keep pace with the progress in Ballard. Downsizing is in full swing which means numerous trips to the Northwest Center truck in the Alaska Junction. Moving from a 1,700 square foot home to a 613 square foot cottage means lots of choices about what stays and what goes. Last week they officially put their home on the market and are hoping to find the perfect buyers soon. 

As always, you can see regular updates by following us on Instagram @abackyardcottage!

Month Three

This past weekend marked our third month of construction. We celebrated by picking out cabinets and buying light fixtures. So much has happened since the crew arrived that May morning to knock down Drew and Jacob's fence! Since it's been a bit since we last updated you on our progress, here's a full rundown of where we are today. 


Meredith and Elyse returned from a short vacation and immediately drove to visit Drew and Jacob, although we suspect that they simply couldn't keep themselves away from the cottage any longer. Much to their delight it was snug as a house in a TYVEK home wrap, which we understand to be a very scientific material that prevents our very damp Pacific Northwest climate from infiltrating the cottage thus warding off rot and mold. 


The stairs are fully functioning, leading to the bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and closet complete with a peek-a-boo view of Puget Sound. Going into the project we had no idea that a tiny view of the water would be waiting for us on the second floor. 


What a difference the window installation makes! Seventeen in all plus a little skylight in the upstairs bathroom. The windows will create a glorious cross breeze in hotter months and provide lots of light year round. 


The roof was completed on one of the hottest days of the summer, so kudos to the crew for their skills and sweat! A week later, it endured its very first rainstorm and is no worse for wear. 


Siding makes us happy. The cottage has board and batten siding on its upper half for a bit of pizazz. The belly band near the upstairs windows also adds a bit of flair, and is a nod to the Ballard neighborhood's Scandinavian roots. 


Plumbing is a three part process. Petr began his work before the foundation was poured. Prior to sheet rocking, he put pipes in the walls connected the water line from the main house to the cottage. The next step is digging towards Drew and Jacob's house to attach the cottage to the main century old sewer line. Installing the fixtures will be the last step.


We have a fuse box! Prior to commencing the wiring process, a meeting was held with Joe and Dan of Wright Electric to determine placement of lights upstairs and down.


All along the way the cottage has been inspected. These inspections have included evaluation of the concrete forms, foundation, plumbing, framing, electric, and insulation. We passed all inspections with flying colors, which is a testimony to Joe’s fine work. 


Our insulation looks like some of the coziest around, if we do say so ourselves. It is the latest addition to the cottage and will keep Meredith and Elyse warm in the winter when they finally move in!


A fun perk to building a cottage from scratch is being able to write on the walls during the planning process. Joe has lovely fat pencils. Last week we spent nearly two hours figuring out the placement of the kitchen cabinets. At the same time we've been on the hunt for a 24 inch stove and refrigerator. We’ve had success with both. We're now entering the zone of choice, lots and lots of choice. Dry wall starts next week, followed by digging a trench to connect the plumbing. Updates to come!