and now back to that hole in our house

Remember that time, 2 years ago this month that DanO and I ripped into the outdated tile of the main floor bathroom of this house?

And then how, the very next weekend after the demolition started, we found out we were expecting?

Yea, it’s kind of like that.


Only this time it’s an entire story of my house, not just a bathroom.

(O My Family likes to use due dates as deadlines for grand remodeling projects. It’s how we roll.)


Last time we checked, there was a gaping hole where my roof should have been, and the sun was setting. It’s true, we slept under half of a roof that night, but bright and early Saturday morning O My In-Laws arrived and we (very precariously and with much anxiety on my part) raised the first external wall of the dormer addition.

Ta da!


Because it’s sitting on top of our roofline some 12 feet off the ground, it was easiest to put the sheathing (that particle board you see on the outside of the wall) on before putting the wall up. Most walls are just framing and the sheetrock or plywood etc. that constitutes the surface of the wall is added later. Doing it in this order made the wall heavy, which made putting it up tricky. It was laying flat on the ground and we needed to get it vertical, but we needed to get it vertical in the right spot. You don’t just scoot heavy walls into place, I learned.

With the first wall in place and with my fear of it tipping over the edge of the house and falling to our yard below unrealized, we could move on to the roof (you know, that thing into which we cut a 400 square foot hole).

O My In-Laws had a road-trip to head out for around noon, so for the rest of the afternoon it was DanO, OBaby and I flying solo.

(THIS is the family I married into. They raise walls at 8:30 in the morning and by noon are driving to visit their daughter at college. We take our house projects and our family time very. seriously. around here.)

Rafter by rafter DanO slaved away while I put OBaby down for a nap. He is now quite proficient at sleeping over framing guns and circular saws, even though the action is literally right above his room. After a good number of rafters had been measured, cut and nailed in place and the afternoon began crawling along, DanO’s brother Paul and his girlfriend came to help and raise the morale.

Well, I should say that they left Paul’s house which is also very much mid-renovation and came to help on our renovation. (SEE??? See what I married into? I am beginning to wonder if the men in O My Family sleep at all or if they just sit up late at night with architecture sketching software dreaming up new projects and new houses.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any in-progress pictures of this phase because, get this, I was actually helping. As in, like, wielding a circular saw. I know, right? It was all hands on deck, and although my hands were by far the least skilled and/or helpful, they were needed for the scaffolding dance that was done to get the rest of the rafters and the roof sheathing up.

By dinner time, we had a bonafide structure on the outside of our house.



That? That is no small addition.


{To be continued…}

33 Responses to “and now back to that hole in our house”

  1. annemarie

    You totally have a cute house. You probably already know this, but it is a happy thing to marry into a family that loves projects… and finishes them too! I know too many people living in “perpetual renovation.” I would die.

  2. sarah-anne

    haha, you DO use due dates for goals! love it.
    so, for the record…did you find out that gummybear was coming before or after you started the house?

    • AllisonO

      After we had it all scheduled and had pulled the permits, but we knew before the sledge hammers swung. :)

  3. sarah-anne

    can’t believe i didn’t mention the ridiculously cute house you live in! it honestly kinda sorts makes me want to change my dream house from a log cabin to your style house (yes, i have no idea what your house is really called. never mind the fact my dad teaches ppl how to build houses for a living…) so what kind of house is it? :)

  4. Chrissy

    I thought we were done with house modifications for a while, I figured we would finish the kitchen cabinet doors and take a break of some sort. Nope, now we are working on the kitchen cabinets, a craft room for me(his idea) and yesterday he found a great deal on the same bamboo flooring we used in the kitchen. This time it is for our bedroom. I can’t wait to be done will all of this stuff. Fingers Crossed that our projects are done soon.

  5. Suzanne

    First off, I’m totally in love with that bathroom. Second, I’m super jealous your renovation is happening at what seems like record speed (to me, who doesn’t have to live with a whole in my roof). Right now we’re still talking about maybe going down to look at getting carpet estimates for that master bedroom we plan on possibly making out of our 3rd floor. And my due date is only 11 weeks from now!!

  6. Mama Fisch

    I need to get a post up about our bathroom because I thought that renovation would literally be the end of me, my marriage and sanity… then looking at yours I am amazed at 1) how handy O Family is 2) how well you handle the “mess”. Can’t wait to see finished pictures!

  7. The Mom Venture Blog

    Lookin good! I’m so excited to see the finished product and It does seem like you guys are gettin her done super fast! Of course I suppose you kind of have to when part of your roof is gone! hehe

  8. Mrs Jenna

    I know most homes (at least in Minneapolis) that are tudor style look like your house, but OMG – we have like, the exact same house. No joke. Except my bathroom has white tile and is like, 2/3 the size of yours. It makes me chuckle. :)

  9. domestic extraordinaire

    I am in no way showing these photos to my husband because he has thought about making our attic into another room but there is no dormer up there. I don’t want him thinking that he can just rip out a roof and put one in. Well, he probably could but like I said….he will never know.

    But I do look forward to hearing all about your renovation adventures!

  10. Kelly @ Love Well

    I am so glad to see those outside pictures. I was having a hard time picturing the dormer.

    And yes, you did marry into the This Old House family. But that’s not a bad thing. :-) They do beautiful work. I lust after O My In-Laws house a little. (Is that a sin?)

  11. abby

    Totally impressed! My husband laughed at me when I asked him to switch out the folding doors on the nursery closet for two french doors. So I can’t even imagine taking on a task this big!! Good job!!! Awesome in-laws!

  12. Hope

    I LOVE the ‘new’ bathroom. My sister has the same tile that you did. It ws just so…PINK/PEACH! She started re-tiling hers and she STILL hasn’t finished, over 2 years later (going on 3 years). And that was just re-tiling. You and O-in-laws are VERY ambitious. Good luck with this newest remodel…I’m sure it’s going to be GREAT!

    By the way, is it going to be the nursery? Or BabyO’s newest room? Or just a big play room for both OBaby and Gummy Bear?

  13. leni pools

    It would be a huge project for me – a really serious challenge. But it looks it’s going to be beautiful work in spite of all the mess that it’s causing.

  14. Julie

    Hi! I stumbled upon your blog and I am so happy! I think you and your family are our kindred spirits in Minnesota. We were considering adding a dormer upstairs to our place and it would literally be identical to yours. I haven’t been able to find anything about it online until I read your blog. Thank YOU for posting!!! I was a bit older than you (28) and had 2 under 2 as well. They are now 4 and almost 3 and we are about to embark on the latest kitchen remodel. You are sooo inspiring, please keep posting!!!


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