Bertha: From Bomb-shelter to Bombshell (and other updates)

Hello Everyone!

We’ve had a strange and busy few weeks at the Upcycled Ugly house!

Bertha got a MAJOR update and she is lookin’ fine!!



Dare I say she’s on her way from “bombshelter” to “bombshell”????


But she’s not quite there yet… Don’t tell her I said so!

We hit a major debt payoff goal and gave ol’ Sallie Mae the boot! 

Hit the road, Sallie, and don’t you come back no mo’, no mo’, no mo’, no mo’!!!!

We celebrated in typical A&E fashion by staining and sealing the fence and adding a section of fencing around the tree!  We used Ready Seal’s Natural Cedar Stain/Sealant and we are pumped with the results.  Not to mention Ready Seal is a family owned business from the great state of Texas!




Something about the fence staining even brought Bertha’s beauty to the next level- a neighbor even stopped by to say he thought the trailer was a piece of “art”! I’m laughing so hard I’m crying!

And, because that wasn’t exciting enough, the city not only poured a curb where our old driveway was in the front yard, but then brought a whole truckload of dirt and the guys to spread the dirt!   Our tax dollars at work (*wink)…  Aaron said, “I’ve never been so excited about dirt!”  It was definitely like Christmas morning.  Aaron and I were in our PJ’s (with the Airbnb guests.. haha!), drinking coffee, and watching the city guys spread dirt instead of doing it ourselves.  I could get used to this!

Coming soon, GRASS!

We know our Upcycled Ugly followers love to watch grass grow (yeah, right), so, as always, we’ll keep you posted!

Plumbers, Electricians, Siding, & Windows

Happy Weekend, Everyone!  We’ve been MIA for about three weeks because there hasn’t been much going on [until the latter part of this week]!

The electricians came in between other jobs and finished up this week.  You can see some pot lights (LED, yay!) in the ceiling rafters and some plug wires/boxes here and there.  We had to seal the window/door holes up until the actual windows/doors arrived to keep moisture away from our electrical wires (hence the plywood over the windows).



Plumbing is taking FOR.EV.ER.  I have no photos of the plumbing, but you probably don’t want to see those anyway.  😉  They were supposed to be finished yesterday… and then today… and, well, they’re still not finished.  It’s mostly taking so much time due to a lack of showing up.  I’ll keep you posted.

The Heating and A/C guys are coming in Tuesday to put in some vents and Thursday the roof is finally going on.  The roof is the best news because we’re getting back-to-back storms (it seems) and beginning to have some leaking.  Argh.

Uncle Jeff and “Uncle” Tommy came back up this week… and they’ve been working their magic already.  Aaron has been helping out, too.  Enjoy these pictures!

Windows went in!





Siding went on. Ah, the smell of cedar!


Before I share the most recent/impressive photos, I wanted to share something:

Everyone has aspects of home building that are extremely important to them.  One of my huge topics of thought was windows.  When walking through our historic neighborhood, I love the look of wood windows.  In fact, our wood windows were a major reason why we bought our particular house.  After living with them for over two years, plus realizing that restoration is literally 400% more expensive than new windows (for the damage level of our particular windows), we made the difficult decision to replace the original windows in the existing house (that will match the addition).  Don’t worry, we have some plans for the original windows and the storm windows we labored over for months!

Based on property values in our neighborhood, we would never recoup the money spent on custom wood windows (not to mention the maintenance aspect of wood… “they don’t make ’em like they used to”).  We compromised on a high quality vinyl with zero frills in basic white to blend in with the trim.

One of my compromises was that the new windows had to be inset into the house as far as possible so that the eye is drawn to the trim and not to the window itself.

The below picture speaks for itself, but I can tell you that it nearly brings tears to my eyes knowing that we have contractors that not only hear what we are saying, but are interested in keeping the historic “look” of the home to the utmost of their ability (without verbalizing that we’ve totally lost our marbles).



My friend, Mandi, gave me the biggest compliment today when she told me that the addition looks like it “was there all along”.   We’ve put so much thought into keeping the look “original”, while still having modern conveniences.  Knowing that our research/plans were not in vain means so much to me.

I’m so appreciative that we’ve had such a wonderful support group through calling/texting/e-mailing/blogging.  You’ve blessed us so much!

We’ve bought some fun things/fixtures for the house that we can’t wait to show you all in a blog post soon!