A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Exterior: House and Yard

Cleaning the Limestone

Last winter we went to one of the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association lectures, which are held in various Chicago public libraries around the city. This particular one had a panel of experts in various home building fields — plumbing, HVAC, architecture, masonry, etc. — to answer questions from the audience. A couple people hogged a…

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Rethinking the Box

Over the past couple of years I decided that my box o’ grasses wasn’t really working out as I desired. Initially I wanted them to act as a privacy hedge from our neighbor’s yard, and while eventually they did, it would take half the summer before they got tall enough. There were a couple other…

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Much Better Now!

Well of course my “impromptu” back door project took longer than I wanted/expected it to, but it looks sooooo much better than before! I can’t believe it, but I don’t have a decent shot of the interior side of the door. It was splattered with white paint from one of the PO’s paint jobs and…

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Impromptu Weekend Project

Our plans to go to the cottage today were thwarted by rain predicted all day in Wisconsin. Instead I decided to start on a simple little project: stripping the exterior side of the back door. The Silent Paint Remover (SPR) was enlisted again for this project and it took about 4 hours to get most…

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Garden Scenes

It was so nice today! Didn’t do much except for a little weeding. Last weekend I planted all the veggies in the raised beds but they’re not much to look at right now. I didn’t have it together to do seedlings so I bought a bunch of things including: 4 tomato plants, kohlrabi, kale, cabbage, Vidalia onion,…

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Our Little Oak is Growing Up

Almost six years ago to the day, I bought a Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) sapling for our side yard at the annual Native Plant Sale in north suburban Libertyville. It wasn’t more than 2-1/2 or 3 feet tall with two leaders. Shortly after that we started our attic renovation and “protected it” with our little…

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2014 Recap: The Rest of the Garden

The rest of our garden, extending from the flagstone patio toward the front of the house, did very well last summer. Every spring I think that I should have planted bulbs the previous fall to fill in bare spots as the perennials wake up, but I never do it. I guess there’s always next year.…

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2014 Recap: The Patio(s)

In addition to adding shrubs near the vegetable garden, I also wanted to add some near the patio. After some research, i decided that Little Henry Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘Sprich’) would work well under the pergola. They’ll only grow a few feet tall and wide (supposedly), so they should fill in this area…

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2014 Recap: The Vegetable Beds

In May of 2013, this is how our vegetable bed and surrounding area looked. For a long time it was the dumping ground for extra dirt, bricks, flagstone, you-name-it. The area in front of it contained leftover native plants that were either over- or under-performing and I no longer wanted. We let those go over…

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A Quick 2014 Project: Garage Door

I really hoped we’d be able to re-roof the garage this year to cover that hideous “pinkish-red” and match our house roof, but after pricing shingles it was way out of our budget this year. I really wish I had our contractor do it when they did the upstairs remodel. Grrr! The garage door, however,…

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