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Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 13

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 13

Editor’s note: Here’s part 13 of Bill Smith’s blog chronicle about the restoration of a run-down cottage in Pasadena’s Historic Highlands neighborhood. Bill and his wife, Sheryl Scott, are both graphic designers and do-it-yourselfers who have expectedly found themselves headed for a year of home-improvement adventures. Look for a new post in the saga soon. [...]

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 12

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 12

If you read the previous post, you know that the garage was in pretty bad shape. My goal was to reuse the frame and pad. After making some decisions on the exterior, I also determined to leave the original redwood siding. It’s in bad shape, but I’m going to sheet the whole garage in a board and batten style, leaving the redwood siding underneath. More on that later.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 11

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 11

When our wayward cat takes a dump it’s a prolonged affair. I know most cats are fastidious, but Cozy’s burial rituals would make the builders of Giza blush. Her large plastic box shakes and echoes with banging, digging and scratching. The sounds of construction will stop for just a second only to resume with renewed ferocity. Having scraped every Trader Joe’s pine pellet into a near-perfect pyramid, she emerges, City of the Dead complete.

Wood & Bones, Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 10

Wood & Bones, Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 10

Editor’s note: Here’s part 10 of Bill Smith’s blog chronicle about the restoration of a run-down cottage in Pasadena’s Historic Highlands neighborhood. Bill and his wife, Sheryl Scott, are both graphic designers and do-it-yourselfers who have expectedly found themselves headed for a year of home-improvement adventures. Look for a new post in the saga soon. [...]

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 9

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 9

We had to dispose of a few tons of concrete and drywall to get our project started. Sheryl had informed me that Pasadena only allowed certain haulers to work in the city. This came as a surprise to me, because Pasadena is usually so easygoing about those things. It’s hard to tell in text, but that was sarcasm. In actuality, if they had the inspectors to spare, I think Pasadena would tell you that your piss is the wrong shade of yellow and doesn’t match the Batchelder tile above the toilet; the really annoying thing is that they’d probably be right.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 8

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 8

We’ve been tied up getting elevations and site plans drawn, taking measurements and reading books. I’ll actually do a post soon about the books that Sheryl and I have found the most useful and inspirational in this first step of our little home-building journey. But wanted to keep posting, so here’s one about trucks, wheelbarrows, roll-offs and a dude who will take your scrap metal away for free. If you’re pressed for time, you can probably skip this one, but don’t go crying if someone at a party asks you where to get the cheapest wheelbarrow in Pasadena or if you know anyone who will pick up rusty pipes so they don’t end up in a landfill. Seriously, this knowledge can make you popular. But like I said, feel free to skip this one.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 7

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 7

We began skinning the interior of the house today. I enjoy this part. It’s fast work if you don’t mind a little dust — and, in our case, quite a bit of mold. Mold can be beautiful to look at. Contrary to what some dishonest mold remediation specialists will lead you to believe, it’s relatively harmless — unless, like my wife, you are allergic to it. While no one wants it in their house, it’s often only skin deep and can be killed easily.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 6

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 6

So we haven’t made much physical progress this week because of the rain. We’re also trying to get up to speed with a general plan to submit to the permit office, but we’re still working out the basic layout of the house. Our dining room table is deep in books about plumbing, framing, contracting, Craftsman homes….

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 5

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 5

I didn’t see Mark as much over the summer. He usually didn’t bother me when he was on a binge, and this one was epic. In six months he managed to drink, pop, smoke and plain give away every cent of his 60 grand. He lived like Scarface. Hell, he lived like a banker. But as the money dried up, he dried out, and reality hit Mark like a square of shingles. He finally brought up the subject of his finances to me. It seemed that shortly after mortgaging his house, he managed to lose his government assistance.

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 4

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 4

About a week before closing, we were getting hit with heavy rain. The Realtor called me with the combination to the key box so we could open the house, look for leaks, and attempt any repairs that would prevent the already-bad condition from getting worse. Along the side of the house, I found a big blue tarp that had blown off months before. It was still in good shape, so I rolled it up and prepared to climb on the roof to reattach it before the sprinkle turned to a downpour.

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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