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

House & Garage

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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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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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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The Reveal

We have a big weekend coming up (more about that later) so I don’t have much time and didn’t want to wait any longer to post the (almost) final photos of the storm window paint project — even though I’m still working on that perfect shot and I still have to add a second coat…

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Sneak Peek

This morning, I no sooner had written the following… I can’t seem to get a decent shot of the house because of the overhanging branches of our Norway Maple (which nowadays is considered to be an invasive species). I called the village almost a year-and-a-half ago to trim it (since it’s in the parkway, the…

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Lookin’ Better Already!

It’s such a beautiful weekend, I couldn’t wait to get outside and start on the storm window project! The first coat of the inner color took me no time at all to finish, and I think it already makes a difference. Here’s the “before”: And as of today, with the inner frames painted: I was…

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Exterior Window Prep

To prepare for my exterior storm window paint job (which seems like a perfect Labor Day weekend project!), I not only need to wash the windows and aluminum trim but also remove some blobs of white paint that were carelessly slopped onto the brick, apparently before the aluminum trim was installed. (I shudder to think…

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The White Has Got to Go

I’ve never hidden my displeasure about the white storm windows on the front of the house. I really hate the starkness of them next to the limestone ledge and the dark brick colors. Over two years ago I intended to take care of that with wood storm windows, but that never happened. I seemed to…

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Energy Audit

As a Chicago-area homeowner/renovator/blogger I was contacted a couple months ago by Smart Sealed Insulation who offered us a free energy audit. As an owner of an 80+ year-old brick home with zero main-floor insulation, of course I jumped at the opportunity. We’ve had an energy audit before and even though we have been slow…

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