Our Story

This blog was started to help me deal with renovating our home which we call The Little Shack on the Hill.   It is a place where I can record the various changes, additions, plans and frustrations that go along with DIY renos. Yes, that's right. No contractors, no plumbers, electricians or carpenters. Just my hubby and I, with some help from family now and then.
We purchased our home over 7 years ago when my husband, Trev, was posted to Princeton, BC, Canada. We had originally looked at several homes that were on the market here, but when the time came to actually make a purchase, (my husband's job transfer policy does not allow us to purchase anything or make a deal to purchase prior to selling our current home), everything we had looked at and were excited about buying was sold. My motivation to move was gone as soon as our old house sold and we found out the house I had wanted, and that we intended to buy, sold 1 week prior to our house selling. Talk about a kick in the head!

The Guest Cabin
There was nothing left that we were interested in and that was in our price range. But, as we were already tied into selling our old house and destined to make the move, we made our house hunting trip, for which we are allowed 1 week. We looked at houses in town and out, although the idea was to buy out of town where we could once again have chickens, horses and privacy. Our home in Campbell River, though lovely, was on a corner lot, 1 door down from an elementary school...not great for people who value privacy and peace and quiet.
Our search seemed futile as we looked at home after home that was not 'clicking' with us. The last home on our list was one I had originally looked at on the MLS site and said "over my dead body" to. Now here it was, down to the crunch, and this was the last of all possibilities. When we had first seen the photos of it on the internet, it looked cluttered and messy. The basement was unfinished, and it only had 1 bedroom. We have 5 kids!! But, as we were now looking at whatever might be do-able, we went.

View of the Little Shack from the corner in the driveway.
First, the location was further out than we had wanted for my husband to commute to work from. But, beggers....! Driving up the steep, gravel, bumpy driveway was our first introduction. It was fall and the leaves were turning yellow, but it was a nice enough day. The 'yard' was not a yard at all. The house had been built 16 years earlier by the people who still lived there, but never finished. They were what I loosely call 'artisans'. She built (when she felt like it) twig furniture and other twig things. He built fish. Sort of 3D type cut out wooden fish to hang on the wall. Yeah, I know...huh??? Anyways, the basement was their workshop and was ankle deep in sawdust and debris. The upstairs was set up as a home, but not finished in any sense of the word. They had actually done an overhaul and had removed a pile of the clutter in the home after their realtor suggested it. The floor was painted plywood throughout, the walls were all wood planks. The ceiling also. The kitchen was a horror!! Mickey Mouse himself could have done a better job!!

The east side of the Shack after the snow has slid off the roof!
But...and this is a BIG BUT!!.....there was something about the place that appealed to us. It was the little touches that reached out and drew me in. The railing to the basement is one long peeled log. The doors are planks of wood and the handles are pieces of tree branches in angles. In the bathroom, the tub surround is made of rock and the hooks for towels are tree branches as well. Then there is the view. I could sit outside and look at it all day long. We can see Link Lake, one of 3 lakes close by, from the deck. The hills and valley are peaceful (most of the time) and the KVR trail below is handy for riding, biking and walking.
So, we made an offer. The rest is history! Since moving in (which is a horror story I will tell another time!) we have put down flooring, installed a 'real' kitchen, built a chicken house, built a cabin for guests ( my blog title picture), added lights, painted, rearranged rooms, made a start on the basement (had to divide it into bedrooms to begin with) had lots of ideas and plans made, planted flowers, and continue this journey every day.
I hope you will enjoy sharing this adventure with me as I try not to go crazy in the process.