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

Happy 6th House-iversary!

As of today it has already been six years since we moved into the bungalow!

In previous anniversary posts, I’ve gone through the general changes year-by-year as well as a “the more things change, the more they stay the same” post. This year, since we’ve been working so much on the yard I looked back and found some before photos and then attempted to match the after photos as much as possible.

So let’s begin.


Whoa, is this the same house??!! Well, yeah, it’s the same crappy lawn…and I still hate that chimney…but other than that, I’d say “no”!


The weeds had no problem growing back after the PO’s storage pod sat on the front lawn for six months, and I really hope to improve the lawn this fall (our neighbor, Joe, is probably laughing if he’s reading this, but I swear, Joe, we’ll get ‘er done! And thanks for mowing it for us yesterday while we finished the pergola! What a guy.).


Heading toward the back alongside the house, back in 2007 I contemplated buying an electric lawnmower after mowing with our vintage reel mower, but instead we eventually removed more and more lawn in favor of native plants and a flagstone patio with a bluestone path eventually leading to it.

I’m happy with our decision.

The current photo at right is a couple weeks old, as we were in the midst of installing the roof of our pergola.


Moving to the backyard, between the house and garage, we needed to undo what the PO did in trying to save money by building a cyclone fence only between the house and garage and almost giving up some property to the neighbors. We gingerly told the neighbors we were taking the fence down, but gave it to them to reinstall on the correct property line. Thankfully it all worked out in the end.

We planted Arborvitae (some of which have dead spots now, but we’re trying to hide those with other shrubs) to disguise the fence, and we placed a trellis in front of our AC units. The Elderberry that I planted to mask the garage siding got a little out-of-hand like the Sumacs did (and it’s probably the cause of the dead spots on the arbs), so some of the plantings in the corner are new or transplanted this year.


Finally, looking from the back toward the front of the side yard, we started out by cutting out sod and moving the patio we installed at our old house to this new spot. We initially dug some “organically-shaped” limestone paths, but it really wasn’t working out, and we eventually got some professional help and a proper landscaping plan. (Pete was integral in digging the initial paths, but I swear I dug a large percentage of the subsequent paths!)

We’re having a dinner party in a few weeks and we still have flagstone to install at the very least, so we’re trying to get at much done as possible. Once that and a couple other things are done I’m hoping to do a lot more enjoying and a lot less working on it.

Happy Anniversary Bungalow!


  1. Sharon on June 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations! I always find it motivating to go back through before and after photos. I like the new roof on the front dormer; it looks much better now.

    • denise on June 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks Sharon! I find it motivating too, especially when motivation is waning! 🙂

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