Wednesday, February 22, 2017

They Inherited A 1905 Farmhouse (Part Two)

It's been six months since I shared the story of Katie and her family, who inherited a 1905 Texas farmhouse, all of its contents, and 125 acres. You can read the original post here. (If you missed it, it's a must-read story!)

I felt an instant connection with this family's farmhouse story (many of you did too). I wanted to find out how things have been going since we last heard from Katie. I thought you might like to know too. If ever there was a farmhouse fixer upper that we can live vicariously through, I think this is it. 

If you have a question or comment for Katie, just leave it below in the comment section. 
You can also follow Katie and her family's farmhouse renovation on Instagram here.

And now, let's hear the update from Katie...

What work has been done since we last caught up?  

A ton of work has been done! I believe when we last talked, we had finally gotten everything out of the house and we had taken down most of the ugly 1970's panelling and acoustic ceiling tiles to reveal that everything (walls and ceilings!) is shiplap.  Since, we have drawn up, completely re-written, thrown out and gone back to the drawing board on our floor plan. I am happy to say we finally have a finalized floor plan!  It's one thing to draw up plans for a new build, but its a completely different story when you're working with existing walls. It is very much like a puzzle you're trying to put together, but I am so excited for what our farmhouse will look like for us. It's the perfect blend of keeping it as original as we can, all the while making it functional for our family of five.  

We have torn down walls, floors, and doors. The wrap around porch has been restored, lots of power washing has been done (my new favorite addiction), lots of rotten wood has since been replaced with new.  Currently, we are working on our master bathroom and closet.  We have torn out the entire floor, installed new support beams and joists and currently we are working on rebuilding the exterior wall where the new windows will be going in!  Holla!  :)

What is life like at this point in the renovation for your family? 

My husband, JT, has been doing 95% of the work. He was laid off from his job some time ago, and it's really been a blessing because he can work on the house full-time so we aren't having to pay someone else to do the work. (JT is also an author. You can find out more about him and the books he has authored here.) I help where I can, but with three kids it's hard for me to get down there and really help. It's like a construction zone, so it's not exactly kid friendly right now!  

Have you had any more surprises or discoveries?  

We have been so blessed with the surprise of our local carpenter (and friend) that is helping us. Without him and his brain, we wouldn't be able to do any of this. We have never done anything of this nature or magnitude, so his guidance has been such a blessing to us.  

This cast iron claw foot tub is also on the list to renovate.

What part of the reno has given you the biggest sense of accomplishment so far?  

I think anytime we rip out something old and rotten and then replace it with new gives us all a huge sense of accomplishment! Like, hey we are actually making progress!  Lol.  JT has said, its hard for us to see the forest for the tress, and I agree. When you're in the midst of a renovation day in and day out, it's hard to see that you're actually making progress. So anytime we can actually see something new going in makes us all so excited.  

The original 1905 doors will be re-used.

When do you think the renovation will be completed, and your family can move into your farmhouse?  

That's the million dollar question that everyone wants to know, no one more so than myself!  We have a very conservative goal of Christmas. If it's before that, great!  If we run into lots of setbacks and it's longer, that's fine too.  :)

Katie's father-in-law has worked hard on his tractor to get this road (that circles the farmhouse) useable. Any rain was making the road a mess. They'd all gotten stuck simply driving down to the house... then the tractor (that they've nicknamed "The Rescue Wagon") had to be called.  Here, the littlest family member enjoying her new "track", running laps in her Minnie Mouse costume and light up kicks.

What are you looking forward to most about living at the farmhouse?  

I think it's safe to say that we are all looking forward to having our own space again!  We have been so incredible blessed by my father-in-law who is letting us live in his house while we renovate. It's a tight squeeze for all five of us in his house, so I know we will all be glad to have some elbow room in our farmhouse.  :)

1943 versus 2016. The mother holding the baby is Sara Cornelia, our girls' great grandmother,
 who is holding their grandfather on the same steps 73 years earlier.

What do you enjoy most about sharing your renovation with others?  

It blows me away that I have so many people that are genuinely interested in our story! I made the farmhouse account really so my mom could follow along! The fact that so many strangers have reached out to us to give an encouraging word, given advice, or just boosted our confidence, is mind blowing. I read every comment and DM that I receive, and it simply warms my heart.  

"Believe it or not but this is the same space! The photo on top shows what the entire farmhouse looked like for the last 17 years! When JT's grandmother went into the nursing home, she never returned and the house remained the same until this summer. It took us ALL summer to sift through everything in the house. Cedar chests, old cardboard boxes full of WWII love letters, suitcases full of old photographs... and lots of not so glamorous things like 4 layers of nasty carpet, water damaged furniture, a bathroom cabinet with a snake skin, and many other things that I have blocked from my memory. We still have a long way to go but it's fun to look back and how far we have already come."

Anything else you'd like us to know?  

Thank you to everyone that has shown an interest in our story and continues to give us encouragement.  It means more than you know. 

So sweet Katie. Thank you for the update. We're rooting for you and your family! 

As you've mentioned on Instagram, probably more than once, God's timing is perfect. If that timing does line up with a move-in date near Christmas, I hope you'll share your first Christmas at the farmhouse with us here! 

Any questions or comments for Katie? Please leave them below.

Thank you for stopping by today.


Sharing with:
Savvy Southern Style


  1. Wow! What a treasure ! LOVE IT !

    1. It sure is! So glad you enjoyed their story Cindy. I know you have such a special farm story too. :)

    2. I am so excited for you, this was a dream of mine!

  2. Thanks for the update. I love this story.

    1. So happy Katie shared with us... I love it too. Thanks so much for stopping by Katie!

  3. Your house looks wonderful. I'm sure that you are putting in lots of work with tender loving care. What a gift! May you enjoy your home in good health for many years to come.

  4. Just purchased his first book for my 10 year old Granddaughter. I enjoyed your journal and hope to read more in the future. It warms my heart to see young people who still REVEL in the SIMPLE LIFE!

    1. Hi Suzanne ~ Yes! to reveling in the simple life. I hope your granddaughter enjoys the book - that you for supporting the Copes family in that way!


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