Monday, November 16, 2009

Curb Appeal: Pergola

The best laid {plans} of mice and men oft go awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy~Robert Burns

That's the only way I can describe my feelings for this chapter of our renovation project: The Pergola.

After selling our newly constructed home in 2005, Hubby and I purchased five acres of land in hopes of building another house. We were temporarily living at my hubby's childhood home when I found out I was pregnant.

Oh the timing...we had been trying to conceive for two unsuccessful years. "Why now?" I asked God. I didn't want to build a house while I was pregnant and I didn't want to live at my MIL's.

All these thoughts were running through my mind on that eminent day in May. The day I saw the house of my dreams. Yes, the house I planned on raising my unborn child.

Once we closed on the house, we worked feverishly, as time would allow. We tore up nasty carpet to reveal oak hardwoods. We gutted the main bathroom, the basement, a "bonus" room above the garage, took off all the kitchen cabinet doors for repainting and improved the function/appearance of our basement bathroom....all projects I hope to share with you.

Before long, it was Christmas and my due date was approaching. We officially moved in on New Years Eve. As a new mother, I was anxious to nest and felt guilty that the nursery wasn't finished. A week later, none of that would matter.

There would be no baby come least not then. The baby I had loved, nurtured and bought this house for, was gone. Stillborn, three days before the due date.

What to do? Do we stay? Do we move? One thing for sure, we had to stay long enough to put the house back together. So, while I was in shock, my "Handy" Andy jumped into as many DIY projects as he could find. One of his first, was building an awesome movie screen in our basement (yet, another project to share in the future).

Weeks later, just as the initial shock was wearing off, we got hit with another reality...literally. A teenage neighbor ran into the side of our house. Thankfully, our central air unit absorbed the brunt of the impact.

Once the police officers left and we inspected the central air unit, it was determined that it would have to be the expense of the culprit, of course. It didn't take me long to figure out that we could RELOCATE the unit to make room for a deck....a project we had planned on doing much later.
As later became sooner, Hubby now had another project that allowed him to work through his grief. He doesn't show much emotion, but I honestly believe this deck was built with his blood, sweat and TEARS.

The first job was taking out the double hung windows. We then replaced them with a five foot sliding door. Throughout the construction, the plans changed a couple times. We added the pergola to help shade the deck...this area gets ALOT of sun. And we added a little bump-out for our BOHEMITH grill.

Here it is...ALL FINISHED! The posts were wrapped in prefabricated architectural columns made of fiberglass and ordered online. In-stock vinyl rails were used to enclose the pergola deck. The remaining pieces of treated lumber got a liberal coat of white paint. We later added an allweather ceiling fan to cool down those warm summer days.

Three years and two beautiful sons later, this house now brings me joy.
Sincerely, Lisa



  1. Congratulations on your two beautiful sons. I felt so sad about your daughter. Your home shows the magic ingredient for ANY home - that you care enough to make it shine! Your home is beautiful.

  2. I'm really enjoying reading about the renovation of your home and I look forward to seeing pics of some of your projects. I was so sad to read about the loss of your daughter. I'm sure her memory lives on in the beautiful home you have created with Handy Andy and your two boys.
    Have a great week.

  3. Wow that is amazing. I love it and hope you will share it on my party Its So Very Cheri.

    I have a special place in my heart for moms who have gone through infertility or have lost a child. I have lost 2 but didn't make it as far as you did and can not imagine going through that but have had 3 friends loose babies just before their due dates, one lost her baby during labor and delivery.

    Your new follower

  4. I am so glad your story has a happy ending..not to mention a beautiful pergola. I know in my heart God works all things out for the good, but sometimes it is hard to understand. I hope to see the rest of your renovations soon and am glad to "meet" you.

  5. I so appreciate y'all reading and leaving kind words. I hate to write long posts, but it's hard for me to tell the story of our home without telling the whole story. Thanks!

  6. I don't know what to say. Such a bittersweet story. I'm so sorry for your loss. At the same time, I am thrilled to know you have such a wonderful husband and two wonderful little boys! The new deck is awesome! Your hubs did a wonderful job on it! Perfection!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us!

    I'm a new follower!


  7. LOVE IT!! I am so glad you told your story and posted these beautiful pictures. I so want to copy this for my deck :)

  8. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. You've displayed beautiful what can come out of any situation though... thank you & your pergola is lovely.

  9. What a beautiful post! thank you for sharing that.


  10. The deck and pergola are beautiful, and I can see you've done quite a transformation on the yard too.
    I'm so sorry about your daughter; I had several early losses before I had my oldest, but I can't imagine going through what you did.
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  11. Your story moved me so much. And I am so happy you have a lovely family to enjoy. You will never stop missing your sweet baby girl.

    Your home is absolutely gorgeous. Just amazing! I love what you have done. Please DO share all the rest.

  12. It's beautiful. Do you just sit there and admire it? Because I would. Thanks for sharing your cutest home and for the visit.

  13. Thank you for sharing your story in such a warm and meaningful way. It is true our lives, our homes become the metaphor of the grace, love we find in our journey. You and Andy display charm and grace in spite of great loss.

  14. What a beautiful story. It seems when we lose the most precious thing(s) in life, we have a brand new appreciation for all we have. Your fabulous deck is a reflection of your strength and beauty. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Preciosa transformacion felicitaciones, Chany