Laurie's Churchouse

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)July 18, 2010

We had an interesting day yesterday. Barb, Randy, and I went up to see Laurie's (Barb's middle daughter, who worked for me briefly last year before Randy retired...) church that she and her boyfriend bought to convert to a house. It's about 90 minutes north - in 'cottage country' so it was a long, slow, hot drive on a summer Saturday with everyone heading to the cottage! Interesting place - it'll be fun to watch it develop.

The exterior:

The interior:

Their intent at this point is that they will build a loft master bedroom at the back of the space with the kitcen and dining area under it. The rest of the space will be living room. The basement is high so the other bedrooms, a bathroom and family room space will be in the basement. There is a small kitcen there now that is their kitchen during the renovations. They've put a large bathroom and laundry room in the space in the entry at the front of the church. The original church building goes back to 1904; the front entry addition is only 30 or so years old.

Laurie's boyfriend is a carpenter and works in residential construction, so they are doing all the work themselves. He converted the frame for the church signboard into a trellis for Laurie to grow clematis on - nice guy...:-)

The building is on an acre or two of land in a rural area and they have the opportunity to buy more of the adjoining land. Her boyfriend intends to eventually build a carpentry shop on part of the fairly extensive parking area beside the church.

There is a line of big, old cedars between the church and the parking area. They would be difficult to garden under but are quite ornamental, particularly the trunks:

When Randy was off wandering about with the camera, he took this picture in the wheat field across the road. I really like it and will probably get it framed:

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Woody, thanks for sharing this. I would love to live in something similar. There's an old abandoned firehouse not far from me that I think would make such a cool home. Brad and I went on a garden tour in a small town close by last week and stopped to eat at a restaurant that was in an old converted church. The old church pews were used as seating. It was very cool! I had seen a write up on it in the newspaper and remembered that the owners live on the second floor of the church too. Brad and I looked at an old stone school house not long ago that was for sale. Great price but it was in very, very bad shape so we passed. If only we were ten years younger...At this point it makes me tired to even think of doing all that work. Maybe that has to do chasing grandkids though :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:11AM
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It looks like an interesting project with lots of potential. The sign conversion was a great idea.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:27PM
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Lots of work but they'll have one of a kind home when done..and those great stained glass windows !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Interesting Woody. I hope we will get to see some of what they do with it.
I like Randy's photo of the Queen Annes lace too.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:00PM
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I enjoyed the episodes of a church remodel on This Old House a few years ago. I think it's a wonderful project and it sounds as if they're equipped with the skills to accomplish such a task!

I, too, hope we'll see updates!

Randy's photo is perfect for framing!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:08PM
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Woody, what a cool house they will have. I love the "bones" of it. Years ago Skip and I lived in an old schoolhouse, and while we were renovating, we had to take bucket showers in the basement in what used to be the gymnasium/lunchroom. They still talk about using the bathroom with 4 stalls, and skating/riding bikes down the hallways.

Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories for me.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:12PM
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What a fantastic project! Can't imagine all the work that will need to be done but it will be interesting to follow. Hope they send Barb periodic update photos.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 12:13AM
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