Renovating an old beach cottage– Not for the faint of heart

Lakeview Beach

The Beach


Hug Cottage
Sheffield Lake, Ohio

August 2, 2021

My friend you ask if we have gotten to enjoy our little Lake Erie cottage yet? We will in time, but now, only rarely. I tell you (if perchance you are considering it), renovating nearly a century old, 700 sq. ft. beach cottage into a livable home is not for the faint of heart. Nor is a task lightly undertaken by old fogies in our late 70s like us, especially when you are doing all the work yourself. Sometimes it seems like a nightmare from, well you know where. Still we took it one.We fell in love with its charm. It spoke to us … so here we are.

And one of these days it will be paradise.

The cottage has its moments. In the early of the morning we enjoy coffee in the pergola to the music of the birds. An eagle in a tree this morning less that 100 ft from us. We often get to watch the deer come to drink from the little creek that runs in front of out house. In the evening, a glass of wine enjoying the lake breeze and her ions. Last night we sat on the beach with our wine and watched the gently lapping surf. All a reminder that we made the right choice and that in time Hug Cottage become exactly what we envisioned.

To bring you up to date: The hideous interior paint scheme, after several coats of paint is now a thing of the past. With the painting of the wood floors and a few changes it is beginning to look like a beach cottage home. We’ve pretty much have disposed of all the crap left behind (including literal crap). A big bonfire in our neighbor’s fire pit. Another to come. I am sure the trash guys hate coming down our little lane on bulk pick day. Probably what has been the hardest to deal with — it is driving Lorraine crazy — is all of the hidden issues we are discovering. Especially when it seems that some of those issues were hidden on purpose. Our inspector did the best he could with what he had to work with.

The main bit left inside is to finish up the bathroom renovation: tub with step-in shower and put in a larger vanity (the previous was 14″ deep, 20″ wide). What looked like a easy job became a full renovation of tearing out and replacing all the walls and floor and the removing of a closet. One can only do so much with an old bathroom where all “updates” were jerry-built. I must say that son David and grandson Nick keep plugging away with nary a complaint. Hopefully, this weekend will see the end of it.

And Lorraine and I keep reminding ourselves that Hug Cottage will exactly (well, almost exactly) the Forever Home we envisioned it to be.

Time for the glass of wine on the beach.

Looking forward to your visit.


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