Demo is Done on the #CottageonFort!

The inside of the front door

Hey everybody! First of all, to aggregate everything about the new cottage on social media, I’ve decided on the hashtag #CottageonFort!  The new cottage sits at the edge of the Minden Historic Residential District on Fort Avenue, and y’all KNOW I like to keep things simple, so thus #CottageonFort it is!  Hooray!  You’ll be able to search that hashtag across social media and see any and all related news.  If you are Instagram, I’ve started an IGTV series there titled A Cozy Cottage Renovation that I’ll be adding episodes to periodically throughout the renovation.

View of the living room area with sheetrock removed

This past week, my favorite clean up/demolition crew, JDog Junk Removal, spent 5 days ripping out sheetrock, cabinets, tile, shelves and light fixtures. It was so fun to go over each day and see what they got accomplished.  My vision is really starting to come together, and just like with my personal cottage, I can see in my head the #CottageonFort taking shape!

Looking from the living area into the dining area

As the sheetrock came down, I immediately saw what I had hoped to see! SHIPLAP!  But as MORE sheetrock, came down, I noticed my first big “oh no!” The picture above illustrates this perfectly. While you can see shiplap in the background of this picture, you’ll notice it’s only present on one side of the studs. *face palm*  And that divider wall has NO shiplap! This is unlike my personal cottage, where the shiplap was/is abundant behind the layers of paneling and wallpaper.  So now, I’ll have to decide: A) Try to find some salvage shiplap to add to the opposite side studs, B) Use “fake” NEW shiplap from a home improvement store or C) Install, float, tape and paint new sheetrock.  Honestly I’m just going to have to weigh the costs and see what makes the most sense.  Even if I end up going with sheetrock, it will still be beautiful and incredible!  (But if any of you have some salvage OLD shiplap laying around, please contact me ASAP.)

Rotten floor in the hall bath

The next big “oh no” is clearly displayed in the picture above. The floor (in the hall bath) below the vanity and toilet is completely rotted.  But, this doesn’t scare me even an ounce. You may remember in my personal cottage, the kitchen floor was rotted through and Bolin Construction repaired it up like new.  There also appears to be some asbestos tile here that will also need to be remediated.  Y’all I’m telling you though, I can just LOOK at the picture above and can completely visualize what this bath will look like once it’s completely remodeled.  It’s going to be absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to put this before picture side by side with the after!

Knob and tube electrical that will need to be updated.

And the last big “oh no” involves the dainty, little, white porcelain tubes you see above.  I had hoped the electrical had all been updated since the cottage has central heat and air and an updated fuse box, but alas there’s knob and tube wiring that will have to be replaced.  This is a BIG “oh no” but still should be within my budget and is a necessary evil.  (And PS. I have a TON of these little tubes left over from my restoration…. If anyone has any crafty or clever ideas on how to use them, please send that my way.)

Bedroom #1. Gorgeous ceilings revealed. And this sheetrock stays because it’s in great shape!


Bedroom #2. More gorgeous ceilings. And like plywood or something “woody” present on the walls. I opted to leave it for now, maybe repairing the holes and covering with wallpaper.

Despite these hiccups, can we talk about these amazing ceilings that were uncovered?!  I mean just WOW.  My ceilings are one of my favorite parts of my personal cottage, and to see these ones, almost identical, just made my heart go pitter patter.  There’s definitely work to be done on them, but I have no doubt they will clean up as well as mine did.

For now, I opted to leave this built in in the kitchen. If I can get the contact paper off, clean it up and paint it, I think it will be a great statement piece.

And for the time being I opted to leave that china cabinet built in in the kitchen area.  Just will have to see what happens when I try to peel off the contact paper, clean it up and paint.  But I think it’s quite lovely and will add so much character to this area.

Lastly, the kitchen is now a blank slate!  And as I told you before, it is absolutely HUGE which is very uncharacteristic of homes of this age. Usually they are tiny and long.  I absolutely cannot wait to design this space and create a dream kitchen for the new owners!  Don’t you worry…. I’ll be asking you guys for your opinion and give you some sneaky peekies of the ideas running around in my head.

Asbestos remediation still to be done in this room.

So y’all, demo is basically done. The asbestos tile still needs to be remediated and the wall between the kitchen and dining area will come down, but for the most part, this show is on the road.  This coming week, The Tree Guys should come by to take out the massive limbs hanging over the roof and clean up the trees in the backyard and along the fence row.  Next will be the foundation work.  And I’m working now to get bids and quotes for the rest of the project.

Thank y’all for being here and coming along for the ride!  I promise to share all the good, bad and ugly!  And as always, comment below with any suggestions, tips or tricks you want to share!  I’ll be back in touch very soon! xo


Share the ♥︎
  1. Mary Lee Feltner says:

    Can’t wait to follow. I fell in love with the character of the house in September.

  2. Deborah Dubberly says:

    I am in love with this place allready.

  3. LeAnn Thames says:

    Oh wow, it’s gorgeous to be gorgeous. Love that built in and that white shelf in the kitchen. You have plans for it I’m sure?

  4. Virginia Hughes says:

    The front door is absolutely charming!

  5. Linda F says:

    ? the ceilings! So excited to see what you do with this one.

  6. Gwendolyn Miller says:

    She’s a beauty! What fun fixing her up! So glad you left the built-in! That can be a jewel as well as being a piece of her history!
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Juliet says:

    How exciting! I love this phase of a project when the house truly reveals itself. You’re not kidding, the kitchen is huge! xo

  8. Roberta says:

    So much progress.
    Looking forward to the next post.

  9. Joyce Puckett says:

    Sara, is there still a built in magazine rack in the room left of the living room? I didn’t notice it in your video! Can’t wait to see your finished work!

  10. Beverly says:

    Love seeing the bones of your new house. Can’t wait to see you work your magic?Will be following you every step of the way. ♥️

  11. Guerrina says:

    Those ceilings! I’m so excited to be following along!

  12. Pam Hudson says:

    WOW. Moving along quickly. It is so open. It is going to be beautiful.

  13. Brenda Shaddox says:

    Love it all!

  14. Susan Shadow-Scoggins says:

    Wow! Am I looking the arrangement of room in this little cottage! The front door and the built in China cabinet are really nice! Thanks for the tour. Looking so forward to following the excitement! You go girl!!???

  15. I wanted to tell u my mother removed a wall to make the kitchen larger. There was a breakfast room where the built in is. In the room off the kitchen with 3 windows had shiplap. My brother and I had to remove the wallpaper in he room. I think she put paneling up. I also wanted to tell you there was a floor furnace in that room. I watched your video and laughed when u commented about the poles up stairs. My brother and i were sort of known for doing crazy things and Mom made Dad put those there so we would not break our necks.

    • Sara McDaniel says:

      Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing this! I haven’t forgotten to call you. Just super super crazy busy right now. But I promise I will get with you. Just bear with me! 🙂

  16. Niesje Booy says:

    So excited to be following along and see the final transformation of this cute cottage♥️

  17. So exciting! So much character and truly a diamond in the rough. I LOVE that front door!!!

  18. Shanna says:

    How did I miss all this. I love watching cute little cottages get new life. May I ask if you are keeping this cottage or will rent or sell it?

  19. […] Speaking of your new project, where is it taking […]

  20. Marilyn Bradham says:

    Hey Sara! I love those screen doors. This is gonna be an amazing cottage. Can’t wait to see it all finished.

  21. Betty says:

    WOW, a lot of work and I love the wood ceilings.

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