Starting On the Exterior

The Franklin House is slowly but surely coming along. We are finally starting on the exterior! After the hiccup with our plumber (fired) we are making big steps forward this week! Our new plumber is an old friend and is rocking right along. We will be having our plumbing rough-in inspection on Friday. Our electrician, who is also a very good friend, is ready for his rough-in inspection also.

Exterior repair

While our awesome subcontractors are getting things done on the inside Pete and George are getting things done on the outside. The entire front of the house was rotten and needed to be replaced. Since this place is so old none of it has vapor barrier. That is definitely something we are going to remedy. Before everyone starts to worry, with all this replacement going on, we are going to take it back to where it was historically. We will be putting the fish scale siding back up as well as the clapboard.

Putting up scaffolding

The guys are using rented scaffolding (safety first!) to reach the top of the house. The best part is seeing the openings for the new windows and door. The space is going to be so light and bright!  We have made some color choices for the exterior and we are looking forward to showing you those. The mason will be working on our four chimneys soon and then it will be time for the roof.

Exciting things around here! We will keep you updated as things move along. And as always…thanks for reading!

Interview with Budget Dumpster!

Guys! We did a really fun interview with our friends over at Budget Dumpster. Go check it out hereRemoving Porch


We have been using Budget Dumpster since the start of this huge project and we can’t say enough nice things about their service! We ordered several dumpsters from them to contain everything from old plaster to the concrete porch. The customer service has been great. The delivery and pick-up drivers have been awesome. We really recommend this company! Columbus locals please find their page here!

We want to thank Budget Dumpster for featuring us on their blog!

We were in no way paid or compensated for this post. All opinions are our own.

Pieces/Parts #4

Progress at The Franklin House has been slow and steady. We will have some more posts soon showing the progress on the inside but in the meantime here is a quick update on the happenings. So here are our pieces/parts #4.


Removing Porch

Pete and George removed the ugly porch. They did it when it was hot and humid. I thought that they were going to melt away. That porch was a layer of concrete over another layer of concrete. Yikes! I am excited to get a period correct porch back on there!


Porch Pile


The Porch leftovers. We filled TWO thirty yard dumpsters with the concrete and wood bits of that horrible thing!


Between Houses

I was really impressed with this space when I saw it! It used to be over super overgrown and had a layer of debris. The brick chimney was covered in ivy and that is gone too! It looks so much better now.


Window Framing


The guys have been hard at work to prepare the house for the new windows. The place is going to look so great with all new windows in! We also have the masons in doing work on the chimneys and foundation. They are doing a fantastic job!


Electrical Box



Just a teaser for what has been happening on the inside. After a hiccup with the plumber we are getting all the important bits in. The electrical, HVAC and plumbing is on its way!!!

The Best Garden Tool Ever

Winged Weeder 1

This is the best garden tool we have ever bought. My parents got one and spread the word to us. This is the Winged Weeder. As someone who HATES to weed this thing is the best. No more bending over to pull difficult weeds.

Winged Weeder 2
It is as simple as it looks.

This tool is really just a sharp bit of metal on a stick. It is brilliant in its simplicity. This tool just slides underneath the top layer of dirt and either pulls up shallow rooted weeds or clips off the tough ones. A quick raking takes care of the debris. We had a serious grass problem in our veggie bed about a month ago because of all the rain we have had. This tool took care of it and we have not had to weed since! The key is definitely raking up the weeds after.

Winged Weeder 3
See ya later weeds!

This is not a sponsored post. I have not been paid to promote this product. I just really love this thing! Go buy one now!

Thoughts on Why We are Documenting the Process

P & G on Porch
The day that we closed on The Franklin House!

We have been working on this project for six months now. We have been documenting the process since day one. Actually since day negative sixty-three. So much has changed and improved at this house and in our business. There are several reasons why we find this documentation so important.

Porch Gone
The ugly porch is gone!

The first reason that we are documenting the process is that we want the future homeowner to see where this house came from and how it became a home. We think that if we were to buy a home like this that we would LOVE to see the changes that happened before we bought it. The story of the house is very important!

The second reason that we are documenting the process is that we think that this change is great for this growing neighborhood! We love Olde Towne East. We think that it is really exciting to watch a historic neighborhood change and evolve.  We hope to inspire others to renovate homes in the area therefore preserving the history of Columbus.  We really love our city.

Polka Dot Wall
Pete with the surprise polka dot wall!

The third reason we are documenting the process is that we know that this will help us grow our business. We can assess where we did well and where we can improve for the next project that we work on. We are a very small business and we get super excited about residential architecture. Like all young business owners we make mistakes and we want to learn from them. We need to build this venture so that we save other sad, neglected homes. We love it!




The Franklin House Roof Cresting Before Repairs

Our awesome roofing company came out to remove the roof cresting off The Franklin House. This is one of our favorite architectural details on the exterior of this house. We are having it powder coated to preserve these original Victorian details for many years to come. Roof Cresting Before


These pictures show the roof cresting before we repair it. The condition of this stuff is not great. The metal is worn very thin in places and it has some missing pieces and damage. We hope that we can replace the missing parts but the rosette detail is going to be hard to replicate. If you have any suggestions for us about that please leave them in the comments!

Pieces/Parts #3 June in the Garden


Every year for the past 5 years Peter and I have planted a large vegetable garden. I love June in the garden when all the plants are just starting to grow and bloom. Not only do we get to eat the fruits of our labor (oh so punny) but it is so much fun to watch these fast growing plants do their thing! We have had our vegetable plants in for a month or so and while these are not ALL of what we are growing these are a few of the best parts right now.


Tomato Blossoms
Tiny blossoms turn into huge tomatoes. Magic!

Last year we did 10 tomato plants and it was WAY too many. This year we scaled down to 7. I personally do not like to eat raw tomatoes but like to make and can spaghetti sauce. We also give away a bunch of them!

Cucumber Blossom
Every time I see a cucumber blossom I think of pickles.

We do 2 regular cucumber plants each year. They produce like crazy and we have plenty to eat raw and I pickle a bunch too! We train them up a trellis and it makes them much easier to find when they get ripe.

Radishes June
First time doing radishes. They grow really fast!

We almost lost our radishes to a hungry rabbit. I am glad they did not eat them all! We have eaten a few of these and they are crunchy and spicy.

Strawberries June
Sooooo many strawberries this year!

It was a good year for our strawberries. This is one of the very first things that we planted in our garden and we look forward to picking them every year. I have already made and canned jam. I have not quite perfected the process of jam yet but this batch was my best yet! Kinda runny. Oh well.

Hops  June
The fastest growing plant I have ever seen!

This hops vine is about 4 years old. We have harvested and used the hops to brew beer a couple of times! I love watching this plant race up the fence each year.

This is few pieces of our veggie garden this year! I will make sure to post more pictures as our plants grow and produce!

A Usonian Home

Last fall Peter and I got married. And the thing to do when one marries an architectural designer in the midwest is honeymoon with Frank LLoyd Wright. We booked two nights at Polymath Park and stayed in The Duncan House.  This is one of the Usonian homes designed by Mr. Wright. Located in the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania this property is only a hour or so from Fallingwater.

Duncan House
The Duncan House exterior.

This house is only 1 of 7 Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes that you can actually stay overnight in. Built elsewhere, this house was moved to this site and reassembled. Wright designed these usonian homes for the “everyman”. They are chock full of Wright’s architectural philosophies. From the outside this home is nestled into its landscape and takes advantage of its gorgeous surroundings. It has the large hearth that is centrally located in the home and the car port this is indicative to Wright’s designs.

Back of The Duncan House
The back of The Duncan House.

Much of these Usonian homes are made of concrete block. This was an inexpensive building material that could be left as it was or covered with a stone to make it more fancy.  One of the design features of these homes was the horizontal lines throughout that draw the eye around the structure. These houses had large windows in the back to bring the outdoors in and take full advantage of the sun.

Usonian Kitchen
The Kitchen of the fifties!

The homes had a small kitchen with plenty of storage space. Mr. Wright believed that built-in storage was necessary to keeping clutter away. This kitchen had the original red formica counter tops and the push button cooktop! Very space age!

Usonian Dining
The dining room built ins.

This view from the kitchen into the dining room shows the built ins and shelving that is definitely indicative of Frank Lloyd Wright design.  Also notice how the horizontal lines continue throughout the interior of the home as well.

Usonian Fireplace
The massive fireplace!

The centerpiece of any Wright design is the massive fireplace. In his philosophy the hearth is the heart of the home. This beauty is covered in a locally sourced stone ut originally it was left in concrete block. This draw back to this fireplace design is that it is not very efficient.

Usonian Living Room
The living room . The velvet furniture was down filled!

The living room is a large light filled space. The windows give it the indoor/outdoor feel. This is where the family would gather and spend most of their time since the Wrightian idea was that bedrooms were for sleeping and storing one’s clothing.

Usonian Hallway
The hallway was filled with more built ins.

This hallway leads to the three bedrooms and one of the  bathrooms in this home. Mr. Wright didn’t feel that this was a place to spend much time so the hall narrows to “push” you through it. Many more built ins here to store one’s belongings.

Usonian Bedroom
Master bedroom. This bed was one of the most comfortale that I have ever slept in!

This is the master bedroom. Its small size was due to the fact that all you were supposed to do in here was sleep and change your clothes. There is a small bathroom around the other side of the bed. It still had its fifties tiles (with fish!) and accessories. So cool.

We really enjoyed staying on this awesome property. We suggest if you are going to see Fallingwater that you spend a night in Polymath Park too!



Pieces/Parts #2

Peter and George have been working A LOT lately. The Franklin House project has gotten to the point where we are starting to put the inside back together. Luckily the guys got a whole day off last week. Pete and I spent the day gardening and it was really relaxing. Here are the pieces/parts from our day off.

We are doing all our herbs in containers this year. I hope I remember to water them!
I like this variegated variety of sage.
Mother's Day Pot
Our day off fell on Mother’s Day. We made my mom a flowering pot!
Planting Seeds
We planted seeds in our vegetable garden this year. We planted lettuce, garden beans, radishes. lima beans and sugar snap peas.
Tomato cages
Pete put the tomato cages over our new plants. We planted WAY too many tomato plants last year this year we only put in 7.
Our pepper plants did not do very well last year. This year we did not put in as many.
Mia Louise
Mia got to spend most of the day outside. She was in heaven!
Pete drawing
Pete even got some drawing time in!

We had a fantastic day! One that was much needed. Soon we will have a post up about how we pulled some order into The Franklin House’s former chaotic floor plan.