Family Farmstead Fixer Upper Week!

Whew. When did August get here?! I guess the obvious answer is…today. It’s like it was May, then I blinked and three whole months were gone. Just like that.

So, here were are, August. And at our house that means we are celebrating a birthday! One year ago today, we handed over our completely demolished family farmstead fixer upper to our contractor in hopes he could help us transform it into our dream home. (Spoiler alert: he totally did.)

Breaking ground for the addition August 1, 2016.

In celebration, I have FINALLY (yes, we moved in January) taken some “after” photos to share with you! Over the course of the next week, I will be sharing the
“before & afters” a room at a time to show you just how we transformed this 1979 model family farmhouse into a beautiful, functional home for our family. I thought I’d start by sharing a little background on the FFFU.

The house was built on the farmstead where my mom grew up, but it wasn’t the house she actually grew up in. It was built her senior year of high school. The original farmhouse, which stood about 20 yards away, was moved to another location and my uncle actually still lives in that house today. My mom is the youngest of her siblings, so she’s the only one who actually lived in the “new” house.

The FFFU is a ranch style home with an unfinished basement (that is still unfinished). We decided tackling the main floor was a good place to start. It was originally a two bedroom, two bath, then we added on a master suite so there are now three bedrooms.

Along with the house, we bought the “homestead” acreage that includes a good sized machine shed (aka junk collector), some old grain bins and the original barns my Papa ran his dairy out of. This fall, we actually plan to convert the old milk barn into a chip barn for baby pigs. But…more on that later.

For today, I have just a few shots of the exterior of the house. Besides the addition, we just gave it a little facelift with some new paint and updated landscaping. But, a little facelift can go a long way if you ask me ๐Ÿ™‚

Staining the house!

What a difference a little paint can make!! Dark cedar siding is definitely not my favorite exterior look, BUT, replacing it right away was not an option financially and It would have been near impossible to go over the stained cedar with a lighter color (i.e., white). So, we decided that for the time being, we would just do a fresh coat of stain to bring things back to life a bit. It really did make a huge difference!

This is the front of the house in it’s original state. There were some overgrown trees and shrubs out front and the cedar siding had seen better days. We knew we couldn’t reside the entire house (yet) but we saw a lot of room for improvement!

Here is the front of the house with allll of that overgrowth removed. Already a huge difference! (P.S. What happened to my BABY?!?!)

And here is the front of the house with a fresh coat of stain and new landscaping (and a not so little baby any more!) Side note: Watching Lexi grow over the course of the “before and afters” is almost as much fun as seeing the actual house transformation. SO. MUCH. CHANGE.

I took this photo tonight just to show how far we’ve come even since we put in the landscaping. Things have definitely filled out a bit and the new grass has grown in quite nicely!

This is just the “before” view of the NE side of the house.

And here is the “after” side view. Along with the stain and landscaping, you’ll notice we added a window on the right side to match the original window on the left.

Here is the beginning of the addition on the SW side of the house. Hard to believe what started as just a big hole and a slab of concrete turned into an incredible master suite!

Here’s an in-progress shot of the addition.

And this is how the back looks with the completed addition and landscaping. We have big dreams for this area that include a covered porch, some raised garden beds and a rock pathway out to a fire pit area. Gotta keep grinding to reach those #housegoals.

So here’s a flashback to BEFORE:


This is a current (like taken tonight) view of the whole house from the NE corner.

And HERE is the view from our front yard:

All the heart eyes for that hay that just got put up this week. One of my favorite things.

I’m looking forward to giving you all a look inside of our home the next few days! A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it (the blood and sweat mostly my husbands…I’ll take credit for the tears). But seriously…we could not ask for a more perfect place to plant our family’s roots and build our babies future.

Until next time,









4 thoughts on “Family Farmstead Fixer Upper Week!

  1. Thanks Crystal ๐Ÿ™‚ That was actually original to the house, it was just covered up!! It is one of the things that will definitely stay intact even when we do reside down the road. I love it!


  2. Jen
    I have so enjoyed the story of your Fixer Upper house!
    It is especially touching that you get to keep the Family home in the Family.

    Loved the before and after pictures and your commentary.
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    You are truly Blessed.



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