Blog Cabin

Sep 14

Front Yard Landscape: The Final Touch

Our final Blog Cabin 2012 episode airs on Monday evening. Check tune-in details so you don’t miss a beat. And mark your calendar for the one-hour special, which airs on September 27 at 9 p.m. ET.Today, I share a special sneak peek with you: an exclusive vlog starring Blog Cabin 2012 show host Chris Grundy and Desperate Landscapes show host Jason Cameron. I love the insider details they share here. Can you imagine transforming a front yard in just eight hours?

  • Posted at 3:08 pm on September 9, 2012
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  1. Good Evening to all…I was up early this morning to watch the Endeavor take off from KSC piggybacking on a 747 to its' new home in California..All of us on the East Coast of Florida said our Good byes..It was so sad to see it leave for the last time..Thank goodness it got off before we got our wild storms this afternoon! We had–High Winds, Downpours and terrible Lightening…Now it has finally stopped but the weatherman said to expect more of the same tomorrow until the "cold front" passes through Central Florida…I am Sooo ready for "Our Fall" weather to get here…I came across these beautiful but early Fall Colors from out West and Central US and thought you would like to get a kick start on Fall too…sooo I hope it works!!!… Enjoy!!

    Jennie/Florida on September 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm
    • Sorry, that is spelled Endeavour…I just tried the website and it didn't work…Bummer…so if you are interested, go to and you will see a photo of the shuttle on the 747…go down to the small pics below and click on the fall leaves…that should take you there…let me know!!

      Jennie/Florida on September 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm
    • Will you soon be going on your trip to the mountains ? I hope you will have really great weather there when you go .

      LLColeman on September 20, 2012 at 2:24 am
    • Hi…LL, we usually go the third week in October, that's usually Peak time! The days are cool and nights get pretty chilly..Love The mountains of N/C in the Fall !!! Everything is so bright and cheery from the Fall color. Octoberfest in all the little towns, Apple picking, homemade Apple fritters and homemade ice cream and Fudge, the smell of fresh Apple Cider..So much fun and driving through the mountains with all that color is absolutely Beautiful!! If you have never been to North Carolina in the Fall, that is one place when you visit, you would never forget and would want to go back year after year…It gets in your blood and you can't get enough…Mel knows what i'm talking about, she is so lucky to live there!!

      Jennie/Florida on September 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm
    • Jennie you are a great cheerleader for NC !!

      I hope you have a great, and safe trip :) :) :)

      Mel on September 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm
    • Thank you Mel, I'm already getting excited about the trip! I know I have a month to plan, but I get so anxious.. I'm like a child going on a trip to Disney World for the first time.. such a kid!
      I worked in the yard today and it was 89 degrees and humid…At least we are getting a break from the rain the last few days, but rain will return by Wednesday…Bummer! We've had our share of rain and more this Summer..I know other states needed it so bad and we were getting too much..I felt so bad for the states that suffered the draughts…
      Mel, have you ever heard of Ginger Plants? I planted some about 4yrs ago on the back of my property and kinda forgot about them because it gets snakey (my new word)back there..
      I was back there today and they are all sprouting up like crazy..They have long split leaves and nice big red cones..they are so beautiful…That was a nice surprise, the only bad thing is, no one can see them because they are hidden under the Rain tree and bushes…I took some pictures but don't know how to put them in the computer. The Red Cones won't last long, maybe a week..Well it's late or I should say it's eariy morning and past bedtime!

      Jennie/Florida on September 24, 2012 at 2:42 am
    • That's cool, Jennie! Are those the kind of ginger plants that give you ginger root? That can be used in so many ways. neat! :D B)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm
    • Hi Kitty, the ginger plant is a rare tropical succulent with a pinecone shape flowers and has a pine scent. The leaves can reach up to 6ft. tall. The people of Hawaii used the plant as a shampoo. I don't know what else they can be used for…The name of the plant is Ginger Zingiber Nudicarpum Red …That's all the info I have so far. My neighbor gave me a few of these plants about 4yrs ago, but at that time, I didn't ask about them, just knew they were ginger plants and liked them. She was always giving me plants for my yard. .But now!!! I'm really impressed and wanted to know more about them, but sadly she passed away last year so I asked her husband who's in his 80s, if he knew anything about them. He said when he was a young man, he was an Airline Pilot in Hawaii and he flew his wife, Jackie over there for a vacations., so while she was there she saw these plants and just fell in love with them so he said he gathered up some and flew them home with her.. OOPS!!!!
      I guess the Pilots can do that??? … (continues) sorry!

      Jennie/Florida on September 25, 2012 at 12:23 am
    • (Cont.).Kitty, He said he flew her all over the World. Wow, I thought that was a sweet and romantic thing to do..It must be nice! He was a Pilot for 40 years…The answer to your question about the ginger roots…I don't know for sure, I will have to do some research on that. I know these plants can handle cold weather and don't mind sandy soil. They are watered only when it rains…My kind of plants…Kitty it's past bedtime, but tomorrow I will have to tell you what happened to me today..
      Lets just say, I had a very active and stressful day!!! Pleasant Dreams!!!

      Jennie/Florida on September 25, 2012 at 12:49 am
    • Interesting story! Thanks!:D^_^<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm
  2. You make moving the boulders look so easy! Years ago, I designed a rock garden for a friend, if only I had your expertise. The yard is lovely!

    williestruck on September 20, 2012 at 7:21 am
  3. As I was reading the rules this morning to see whenthe drawing would be, I noticed that one of the sponsers was Quicken Loans Inc, I wonder what they did?

    vicki_in_Utah on September 20, 2012 at 7:45 am
    • Maybe they donated money. I think GM is also listed as a sponser, but there isn't a vehicle as part of the prize. I think Clive mentioned this…he can't enter because of it.

      SweetLiz on September 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm
    • I think Quicken Loan is a sponsor because you will need a loan to keep the BC.

      Eugenia27 on September 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm
  4. The Landscapping says welcome home!! They did a terrific job and deserve a pat on the back. It is so amazing to see the before and afters. It takes such imagination to transform a house into a work of art. Thanks for bringing it to us all to see and be inspired. Good Luck to all who enters the contest. :D

    Diane A. on September 20, 2012 at 8:54 am
  5. The following article may explain one of the recent events at the Blog Cabin. It has been fun keeping up
    with the project and reading all the blogger comments! Thanks DIY for another chance to win a home.

    DeerSpring on September 20, 2012 at 11:45 am
    • Thanks DeerSpring, in the article it says 4 bedrooms, I only count 3. Master, Kids and guest. I wonder where the other bedroom is? Maybe they are counting the office or the sitting room as a bedroom.

      vicki_in_Utah on September 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm
    • Hi Vicki, but there isn't 4 bedrooms….The office and sitting room doesn't have beds and wasn't introduced to us as bedrooms..They could be turned into bedrooms, if need be, but to say there
      are 4 bedrooms is stretching it a little, don't you think?…I'm just saying I don't think anyone
      should be miss informed..but I guess when promoting The Blog Cabin Sweepstakes, 4 Bedrooms sounds better for this Beautiful Old Farmhouse…Oh I just thought of something! They could be counting the Loft as a bedroom…You think????

      Jennie/Florida on September 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm
    • Unless they added something since the shows were filmed there are only 3 designated bedrooms . But the office could easiy become a bedroom if neeeded. Maybe for property tax purposes it doesn't matter and it's easier to describe as a bedroom.

      The article also seems to imply that Blog Cabin is about renovating a house. That only started in 2010: 1/2 blog cabins have been new builds.

      Wasn't this the same newspaper that reported the Knickerbocker management and senior DIY executives describing the bloggers as cyberstalking crazies?

      One noteable quote is …." the house primarily serves as a venue for the network’s various home improvement shows." That probaably explains why it seems to not really come together in some aspects. It's a fantastic house in a beautiful location but many would agree that it needs a lot of expensive work to make it a really functional home (even a vacation home).

      Anniesown on September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm
    • Anniesown, the newspaper that printed that dreadful untruth about the bloggers was from Knickerbocker's own turf, also in Lincoln County, Boothbay Harbor. This paper is from up North, DownEast Maine. And where there was nothing detrimental stated about the Bloggers, there continues to be conflicting messages concerning the land size as well as the home square footage. DIY should get their info facts together and needs a better and consistent PR image, due to the truth in advertising issue…. o.0<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm
    • Hi Kitty, I totally agree…From all the articles I have read about the BC, I don't know the
      correct Sq. Footage of the Home or how many Bedrooms and the Total Acreage…Everything I have read has different info !!! You would think something this BIG and so important to DIY, they would made sure the correct information is given to all the news media and the Advertising Agencys..The only thing that's consistant is the "Blog Cabin Sweepstakes" is worth $700,000.00— that's the Eye catcher right there— to entice all to enter Sweeps!! I wonder if there could be any repercussions later on for all the conflicting information stated!

      Jennie/Florida on September 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    • I just read that the1884 high-posted Cape Cod-style house with "30 acres" of fields rolling down to the mouth of the Medomak River, sits on a dead end road. The 3,000 Sq Ft., 4 bedroom, 2 bath house is valued at 700K…Where do they get the "30 acres" on the BC side?? Chris Grundy stated the BC sits on16 acres when he was talking to one of the Crashers during one of the Specials…I can't remember which one!! Maybe it was Matty since he was crashing the back yard. The facts just gets more and more destorted.
      I guess the Winner will find out what they get when they sign the paperwork! The Home is Serene and Beautiful and I hope who ever wins has the money to keep it! Good Luck to all of you Biogging Buddies who really want to win!!! I know I wouldn't be able to keep the BC if I won, but I don't intend to win! But hey Blogging Buddies, I would Love to visit!!!!

      Jennie/Florida on September 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm
    • I still don't see where they are finding 3000 square feet either.
      Maybe this showing was related to the event tent that had been set up by the house.

      Camac on September 21, 2012 at 12:17 am
    • Agreed. I'll guess this house is about 2500 at a stretch, which is what it was listed as on most realor sites prior to DIY purchasing it. Maybe they added the sq ft of the now demolished small barn that was an extension of the kitchen. It may be of note on this subject that they way over-stated the sq ft of last years BC also.

      Clive on September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    • So, is the winner going to have to pay taxes for property they don't own? If it isn't as large how can it be worth what they say?

      karen on September 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm
    • I suppose the winner could hire a licensed appraiser, especially considering the fact that they will likely need to obtain an equity line of credit to pay the taxes and do whatever they deem necessary to the property. If that appraisal comes back lower than DIY's, then a 3rd appraisal may be in order. If THAT one agrees more with the 2nd (winner's) appraisal, then there is some validity to dispute the property ARV value, since DIY is stating the value of interior furnishings and appliances is $60,000. I saw more value in last year's BC than this one. Appraisers have to also look at comparables of lower value in the neighborhood. It is a mixed one. ^_^B) Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm
    • Clive, maybe they include exterior “living areas” like the rear deck and patios. I found out today that the event last week with the tent was a meal for the various vendors who supplied things used in the BC. Apparently they brought them in on buses and it must have happened between my comings and goings.

      Camac on September 22, 2012 at 12:20 am
    • In real estate appraisal circles, it is a known fact that square footage is measured by heated/cooled space under roof, but this only includes space that has standard head space, that is, it doesn't include where the roof is at an extreme angle where one cannot stand up–lots of that does not get counted as floor space. The basement and any attic space is not counted and neither is the loft. As Clive stated, I even find 2500 sq ft a stretch, based upon my visual perspective as seen in late July. It is a bit disturbing to me that the numbers keep juggling around.:o:| Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm
    • By law, a described bedroom has to have a window with an opening exit area sufficiently wide enough for a person to escape through during a fire. The loft won't count, plus it is simply a tiny, approximately twin bed sized space, so far as I could see; I do think they are counting the study as a bedroom. It does have the requisite window. ;) Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    • You know something Kitty? Most people think that the window size code rule is for egress purposes but that's not technically true. The window opening (the hole in the wall, not how wide the sash opens) has to be large enough for a firefighter in full gear to enter the room via the window. Of course anyone can exit but that's not where the mimimum size code comes from. :) The media room can't be classed as a bedroom but, as you say, I believe the office can.

      As for sq ft and tax, ARV etc. I believe the sq ft being reported it's irrelevant to the ARV that DIY has given. The ARV is the value (including the artwork and personal pieces from Victoria) that DIY gives to the priize. As others have eloquently stated the winner should, immediatlely, get the house and artwork etc appraised by several licensed appraisers and use the averaage or median figure for income tax calculations. Income tax can ONLY be levied on the RMV (Reasonable Market Value) not the ARV, unless he winner delays the appraisal. Then the tax man can claim the ARV is a rasonable value. o.0 Good luck everyone.

      Clive on September 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    • Vicki, it's funny. I thought your response was to a link I posted yesterday on the DH blog.
      It wasn't there so I thought your post went to Never-Never Land!

      DeerSpring on September 21, 2012 at 8:01 am
    • The sitting room actually has a fold out sofa bed. So maybe that is what they are considering a 4th bedroom ???

      Myra on September 22, 2012 at 12:56 am
    • thanks DeerSpring for the article.
      If you look at the picture of the guest room, you can see into the hallway. You can see the door to the kids bedroom there, same as it was before, opens into the hall. It's not a sliding door like master bath one, like someone was saying earlier, now we know why you don't see a door in the pictures..

      home_girl on September 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    • You're welcome!

      DeerSpring on September 21, 2012 at 7:56 am
  6. Thanks DeerSpring, loved the video and the article.

    SweetLiz on September 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm
    • SweetLiz, I like the photos in this link, too. It gives the rooms a different perpective! You can click on
      the photos to enlarge and see the different paint shades.

      DeerSpring on September 21, 2012 at 7:59 am
    • DeerSpring, I really like these photos too. I think DIY did a great job with this house. If I were luck enough to win and be able to keep this house I would possibly make two structural changes. 1. I go back to the original plan for the laundry and half bath. 2. I would turn the message center into a closet with a door. The only furnishing addition I would do is add a sofa in the living room facing the window. Good luck to you and I can't wait to see who wins and where next years house will be. Thank you DIY!

      SweetLiz on September 21, 2012 at 8:41 am
    • I like your ideas. I would add a trap door in the floor of your new closet to access the cellar.

      Clive on September 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm
    • Excellent idea, Clive. I had thought about a trap door, but hadn't figured out where to place it. Was it you that works for GM and can't enter because GM is a sponser?

      SweetLiz on September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    • I don't work for them but a member of my wife's family does. That's all it takes. Cést la vie. I'm not alone in being excluded this time:'(

      Clive on September 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    • That seems SO UNFAIR!!!:'(o.0 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm
  7. Why does the south side of the cold climate Maine house, which gets the most warmth & sunlight, only have one window? Maybe the whole 1st floor plan should have been flipped? Put Master bed on north/darker side of house and put a sun filled kitchen on the south. Future consideration. More energy savings. Just sayin..

    idplacemaker on September 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm
    • As Anniesown stated:
      One noteable quote is …." the house primarily serves as a venue for the network’s various home improvement shows." That probaably explains why it seems to not really come together in some aspects. It's a fantastic house in a beautiful location but many would agree that it needs a lot of expensive work to make it a really functional home (even a vacation home).
      IMO they did not truly take the homes location into account then they reconfigured the floor plan. Starting with the front porch not providing protection from the elements. Following the open mud room/entry. The blast of cold air whenever the door is opened, to having to stare at dripping wet boots and coats on display. Having guest go into the Master to use the bathroom. The entire design doesn’t work.
      May-be next year.

      Eugenia27 on September 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm
    • On the show, it did show storm doors on the original front doors which they failed to put on the new front door. I don't think these designers have ever lived in a cold winter area! My own house is starting to look better and better to me . . .it is winter ready! They should have asked the landscaping guy . .he said he was from the UP of MI and that's where we live and he would know how to deal with winter.

      karen on September 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm
  8. I pray to God my family and I win this house, it’s so beautiful my husband has stage 4 cancer and we have 5 kids and adopting another we’ve never owned a house and would be such a blessing to be blessed by wining this home! God bless everyone and Ty everyone for making this house so beautiful

    Linda on September 21, 2012 at 3:09 am
    • Linda, I'm so sad that you and your family have been carrying such a heavy load. I pray God's special touch, provision and comfort to you and yours. Ty has not been involved in this effort, but lot of other wonderful people from DIY and HGTV Networks have, as well as a wonderful group of friendly Bloggers. Keep looking at that perfect love, which you obviously must be blessed with, with the large Family God has Given into your care, for love that comes from Above, that is, from God, casts out fear–may you have such strength and may God touch and give your Husband and you Peace. :) <3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm
  9. WOW.. nice job.

    Sharon on September 21, 2012 at 11:52 am
  10. This is a great renovation. If I win I will definitely raise some chickens in that barn. I am a painter so would love to experience this beautiful place and let it's beauty inspire me. My Dad's family is from Maine and some still live there. It has always been my dream to move there. Maybe dreams do come true, if not for me than for one of you! Hope all have a great day! Kat ♥

    Kat on September 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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