Blog Cabin

Nov 30

A Challenging Remodel

Blog Cabin 2013 As Is

Today, I am happy to post our first report from project manager Dylan Eastman, who shares some behind-the-scenes info about the state of Blog Cabin 2013.

When the house was surveyed, structural challenges, including 2×4 floor joists, 7′ ceilings and variances in floor height, were discovered. The porch, kitchen and mechanical room are also out of current construction code; the decision was made to rebuild rather than repair them.

1. The brother of the selling agent remodeled portions of the home in the early 1990s. A gabled roof was installed over the master bedroom.

2. Flooring is water damaged in areas where wind-driven rain seeped under exterior doors. Termite damage is also evident.

3. Several renovations over the home’s 150-year history have resulted in floor level changes.

4. Exterior wood shakes, now interior elements, are clues that both the kitchen and master bedroom were additions.

5. Ship’s ladder-style stairs to the second floor, originally a loft/sleeping space coined “the jump”, are not to code.

6. A second story existed over the main portion of the house prior to the addition of the space over the dining and birthing rooms. This is evidenced by the short slope of the ceiling paneling.

  • Posted at 6:24 pm on November 11, 2012
  • Permalink


  1. Now this is my kind of remodel. Lots of fun and challenging projects. I know it wont be easy but will make for an even more dramatic reveal. As a DIYer since the age of 15, I wish I could be there to work. I know I would learn alot.

    bigred7878 on December 4, 2012 at 10:45 am
  2. I find it interesting that Dylan Eastman wrote the blog about the initial condition of the cottage (posted above) on Nov. 11th but it wasn't on the blog until Nov 30th. I wonder it this is because they're still deciding what to do and how to do it?

    Anniesown on December 4, 2012 at 11:28 am
  3. Good morning All…It's a beautiful "Fall Day" on the East Coast of Florida, It is still Fall Season here, just the month has changed…Our leaves are always late falling…It's pretty windy and it's raining"Leaves" today!!! Woopee, can't wait to get out there and rake! The100ft tall Sycamore just keeps shedding, some of the leaves are dinner plate size…Last estimate was $4,000.00 to have it cut down but can't afford that!! This will continue til next March! I will certainly get my exersize in for the week!!!
    OK I have a burning question…From day one, I have watched the Sunrise and Sunset on the C/C and it looks as though when the Sun is rising, it isn't due East of the Cottage, but appears to rise more North of the Cottage and sets more South instead of West of the Cottage… I thought the ocean was due East of the Cottage. I know the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West..DUH…But the way the trees shade the property at different times of morning and evening, the front of the Cottage doesn't appear to be facing Due East to me……Has anyone else noticed that??? Please enlighten me!!!

    Jennie/Florida on December 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    • LOL. Aren't camera angles so confusing? o.0:S

      The side of the house that we see in the cabin cam is facing a few degrees east of south. The view to the extreme right, the cabin view, is north of the camera position. The camera has about 270 degrees vision panning from east, through south and west to the north. The quadrant missing is facing the next door house to the north of the cabin, extending to the east.

      With the winter sun being low on the horizon the camera sees the sunrise to the east and sunset to the west. In high summer it may well not see the sunrise but should still see the sunset. :) B)

      Clive on December 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    • Thank you Clive, that helps! Today the sun was totally beaming on the front side…Clive your last
      comment below to the bloggers, about the louver doors, what is a warer entry??? Just curious!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm
    • Jennie, I think that is water, not warer. Just a guess. But I do have this talent for reading a word speld more then one way LOL

      vicki_in_Utah on December 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    • Water it is. Just a typo to add to my 'sins'. :)

      Anniesown on December 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm
    • Hi Anniesown,That was Clive who made the comment about the warer entry! If I had read it more closely, I would have noticed it was just a typo and wouldn't have asked the question!!!
      So you can take that one off your, I have too many typos to keep up with! I do try to proof read when I'm not in a hurry….Have a good evening Anne!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 12:23 am
    • Jennie, if you look at the cabin on a map you can see the cabin is Core Sound but on a peninsula that turns it toward Styron Bay. The cabin cam water view at the left extreme shows glimpses of the outer banks across the water. Then as you pan to the right you see open water (exiting Core Sound south to the ocean) then, panning more to the right, the shoreline that shows up is the other side of the mouth of Styron Bay. I think I have that right. You folks down there please correct me if I am wrong! The wonderful thing is that this spot has views of the outer banks, open ocean AND bay!!! On the cabin cam I actually caught a trawler heading out about a week ago. Had to zoom to the max to identify it as such but that was a great camera catch!

      grammagail on December 5, 2012 at 10:00 am
    • Thank you grammagail, that was good and it helped. I haven't seen a good map that gives me the area in reference to the different waters and shorelines…I just need to find a better map!!! I saw the map from Zillow but wasn't too much help…Not to Worry!! If I win this Cottage, I will certainly find my way to the Beautiful little Cottage…But wait!!! I just thought of something…..When DIY has finished with the renovation..The cottage might not be Little anymore and we probably won't even recognize the cute "Little Beachy Cottage" anymore!! Can't wait for Mr. Eastman and crew to get started…I would like to see people or any movement on the property, the poor Cottage has looks awful lonesome for weeks now…OK time to go rake more Sycamore leaves…raked 8 garbage cans packed full yesterday, but the leaves just keep falling!!! We are getting drizzling rain today and some winds…..what a mess!!!. Have a good Day!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 11:35 am
    • That is…. the poor Cottage has looked really lonesome for weeks!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm
    • It's right on Core Sound and, while you can see the Banks if you look carefully, you can't see the ocean from the house. You were right about the trawler. On the nights that the local shrimpers go out, you can see their lights from the house and hear the humming of their motors. There's even a song my stepmom taught us when we were little:

      "Shrimp boats are 'a comin,' their sails are in sight.
      Shrimp boats are 'a comin,' there's dancing tonight.
      Why dontcha hurry hurry hurry home?"

      (I know you can't tell it's a song, but it is! Haha!)

      Alicia9981 on December 8, 2012 at 3:39 am
    • Alicia, Yes it is a song and I remember it! My Mother use to sing that song when I was a young girl…my that brings back Good old Memories!!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 8, 2012 at 11:21 am
  4. Here's a little question for all you eagle-eyed DIY bloggers out there.

    What is it about the pictiure attached to Dylan Eastman's blog above that gives a clue why the flooring of the cabin was damp and rotted? ;)

    Clive on December 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    • Hmmm, let's see……Aside from the fact that the door is open, (I know, it's an inside door.) how about the fact that one of the boards has been filled in with wood putty. B)

      Dghawk4 on December 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    • LOL. I should have taken a little more time to check the picture myself and I would have realized it was the MBR closet or bathroom door and not the door to the porch as I had assumed. :$

      However, there is an significant fault with the louver door. It appears to have been installed upside down. The louvers should be open at the bottom, not the top.

      If this had been an external door it would have facilitated warer entry. Oh well, back to my corner and keep quiet. :)

      Clive on December 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm
    • Had it not been for the obvious interior door issue, I might have assumed that the lack of any sort of threshold or bottom seals would have been the problem. I agree with you on the incorrect mounting of this bathroom door.

      DGustaf on December 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm
    • Don't do that. I hadn't noticed that the door was upside down. Looked fine to me.

      Dghawk4 on December 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm
    • You're right; this is the door leading into the master bathroom.

      Alicia9981 on December 8, 2012 at 3:07 am
  5. Hi, everyone!

    Sorry to disappear, but I've been doing a little moving myself … I'm off teaching in Korea at the moment! I'll do my best to keep up with the blog from over here. Anyone know how to get updates from articles like this one?

    Alicia9981 on December 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    • Hi Alicia, so glad you're back! What a great experience it must be to teach in Korea..How long have you been there? I'm happy that you will be able to blog with us…there were so many questions I had for you, but you disappeared and my questions have left me due to time span and probably memory loss! LOL But now that you're back maybe I can refresh my memory…I do love this little Cottage..Until then have a good night and stay safe!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 12:51 am
    • Glad to hear from you again! It is always a delight to hear the stories about growing up at the cabin. When and if you have time would you share some of the fun times you had there?

      grammagail on December 5, 2012 at 9:46 am
    • The to-do list in this article mentions the stairs … Ugh, those stairs. They're actually just boards (most are close to breaking in half) that are laid across an are resting on pieces of wood attached to either side of the staircase. This means that you could just remove any step you wanted.

      The stairs are also really steep. Close friends and family who visited regularly could maneuver them, but we had to tell visitors to walk up and down them sideways, holding on to the banister along the hallway upstairs. On more than one occasion, we had people who didn't listen and ended up sliding down the stairs (sometimes just the last few, sometimes the whole way!). My dad's favorite saying, "We don't charge for dust and the rides are free, too!"

      Alicia9981 on December 8, 2012 at 3:15 am
  6. Growing up in that house, we used to joke about how the whole house was held together by caulk and termites holding hands in the walls!! There's definitely a lot to be done in the house, and it's not surprising that they will have to completely rebuild sections. I talked to the selling agent about this once, and asked her whether or not they were planning on tearing the whole house down and starting over or not. While this was a few months ago she said, "If they just wanted to build a new house, they would have just found an empty lot instead of buying this house and ripping it down." Let's hope she was right! ;)

    Alicia9981 on December 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm
    • Your description of hand holding termites and caulk made me smile.
      I guess living there is different than looking at the pictures. I doesn't look that bad.
      Enjoy your stay in Korea.

      Eugenia27 on December 5, 2012 at 2:57 am
    • My dad was constantly working to fix things he knew were falling apart or rotting away due to the age of a house at the beach. I, on the other hand, always knew the old house wasn't in the best of shape, but I never really paid attention to how bad it was. Probably because I was never the one who'd have to fix anything!

      Alicia9981 on December 8, 2012 at 3:09 am
    • Good morning Alicia, I was just wondering where the Garage was located on the property before it was destroyed by a Hurricane. Was that Irene? Was there another building that was destroyed also? I think you mentioned there were pecan trees, were there any fruit trees? You mentioned somewhere about feeding the birds and how picky they were about the sunflowers seeds, here
      in Florida they are the same way. I have about 10 birdfeeders around my 1/2 acre and there are a variety of birds that shows up to get their favorite kind of seed…It's so much fun to watch there different personalities..I have Finch, Painted Buntings, Cardinals, Dove, Scrub Jays, Robins, Thrush or Song birds….just to name a few…They are so Beautiful and fun to watch. I did notice there are two places for swings in that tree to the left facing the Cottage only the seats are missing. Were those your swings? Thank you for sharing Alicia…Have a good Day!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 8, 2012 at 10:58 am
    • Your stories about YOUR home are fascinating. Really cool to read them as we learn more about the house. I think they should give you your own blog here. They should hire you to follow along and share your thoughts and stories with each new day of progress. How long did you live there? When did you move away? Was it still in your family when it became blog cabin? Will you enter to win it? What a story it would be if you won your own home back!!! I will enter too, but I hope you win it! love from Texas, T.

      tr15h64w on December 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm
  7. Little off topic…
    What do you all think of the dream home 2013?
    I think it's looks great and like just about everything about it. I liked the loft and the colors in the twin bed room. I hope they use a color like that in this home for that's the color I was talking about for up stairs room in this sweet little cottage.
    I think this little cottage will be great too; and I think I'll like it better for it's a little smaller and right near the ocean like the BC 2012 was.
    But then I like the NEW Smart House they are doing in Jacksonville, Fl. too!
    I like it when they do it green like the DH 2013 is and the smart home will be. I hope they do this BC 2013 a little green too!

    home_girl on December 5, 2012 at 1:48 am
    • Thanks home_girl. That DH has a little too much green for me, if I won I would have to take a paint brush LOL. I wonder if the SM is near Jennie/Florida?

      vicki_in_Utah on December 5, 2012 at 10:51 am
    • I don't know where Jennie lives, but that is a good question.
      I like green but not sure if I like it on all the walls, just like the BC 2012 had to much yellow tones in that house for me and I like yellow too, just not every room.

      home_girl on December 5, 2012 at 11:00 am
    • Hi Vicki and Rhonda, Jacksonville and the Smart Home is about 137miies North of me. Maybe an Hours drive!!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    • Wow, you drive fast! or is that by plane?

      Eugenia27 on December 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm
    • Funny, Eugenia! When you get on the interstate, it doesn't take long…OK maybe 2 hrs at the most!!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm
    • :D L-O-L!!! Must have jet propelled auto with Invisible shield! HAHAAHAHA!!! :p<3 Luv you. Jennie, but remind me not to hitch a ride with you! :) <3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on December 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm
    • Chicken!!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm
    • :) LOL! Hey Eugenia, may I hitch a ride on FL Interstate between Jennie's and DH–that is, if you don't mind hauling a , er, chickat, chick_itty, Kit-chicky or something similar to what Jenny called me yesterday??? ;) :pB)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on December 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm
    • Good Morning Dear Kitty!! You have to know I was kidding you! You girls missed some of my wording as I estimated the milage and time it would take to get to the Smart/Home in Jax. from my home… Words like…Smart Home "is about" 137mi from here or "maybe" an Hours drive and ending with OK "maybe" 2hrs drive at the most.
      That would tell you right away I was guessing as to the milage and time it would take to get there….I called you Chicken in jest and I promise you my dear, if you ever need to hitch a ride, I would be the perfect driver for you because "I am" a very careful driver and value My life and My Passengers' Life!!! "My jet" has been out of commission since I was a Young Girl and that has been quite some time ago…..Luv You tooo!!!

      Jennie/Florida on December 7, 2012 at 11:58 am
    • Hi, Jennie!!:) Of course I knew you were kidding!!!! :) That was so funny playing with what seemed exaggerated time and picturing the drive, with chicken feathers flying out the window all over the place, blowing in the wind… You are so on the ball always and so funny sometimes I just HAVE to jump on the bandwagon!;):p:*<3 Loveya! Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on December 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm
    • estimated the mileage

      Jennie/Florida on December 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm
  8. WOW….Nice Surprise… New Thread from Mary and Mr Eastman so soon!!!

    Jennie/Florida on December 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    • Thanks for Super Sleuth Jennie! B)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on December 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm
  9. Hi Mary,
    thank you so much for the update. It is going to be very interesting to see what the team comes up with for this Blog cabin.

    Laura on December 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm
  10. You guys seem to have a LOT of work to do. I know people would rather repair than to rebuild especially when it comes to old homes and bringing back the natural beauty as it sits. Sometimes it is just not feasible and would cause more of a problem in the long run. I think you guys are doing the right thing. It is always better to do it right the first time then to have to go back again at a later date. I LOVE this old home and its surroundings. I am sure it will be even more amazing when you finish it. I can't wait to watch each and every episode as you go along. Best of luck!

    Rebecca on December 8, 2012 at 9:47 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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