Archive for the ‘Roots Ranch Renovation’ Category


Do you guys remember Tater’s first shower experience HERE? Our well pump went out day 1 of living here.

Another problem we had the first several years of living here was poor water pressure. We couldn’t do more than one water thing at a time. If someone was taking a shower, I had to hold off on doing laundry or getting a drink of water from the sink. Here is a look at our poor water pressure. It also made a funny noise.



We needed a new water pressure tank. All we had to do what find the old one that was buried. That seemed easy, right!?! The digging began.


We probed many spots and thought we had found it several times only to find a rock after digging. It wasn’t found until after digging almost 360 degrees around the well. 😬 It made for a unique and fun playground for the kids though.





Did I say it made a really fun playground? I meant REEEEAAALLY fun. We made our own kind of swimming pool.


They slid down the sides and were throwing mud at each other. It was a terrible mess, but wonderful memories were made!


See that blue thing? We found it!!!


We wanted to bring the new pressure tank into our basement and not bury the new one. Meanwhile, we were reworking the electric to go from the barn to the house.


Trace helped us with trenching from the house to the barn. We ripped up a portion of our deck to run the wires.







All ready to switch to the new tank. We were not sure how long we were going to be without water. Good thing we were prepared. 😉

Yikes… see our peeling countertop above? 😩 It looks like another project is coming. Our sealer we put on our concrete counter top didn’t stay. More on that later…


Getting our yard back in order and filling in our muddy swimming hole.





Our new pressure tank has now a nice home in the basement. We are so thankful for running water and better water pressure!!

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We did several wood projects below:

First of all, Landon made a Farmhouse Address Sign for our house a few summers ago for 4-H. We got the idea online and wanted something similar for our place. Here are the details if you are interested in making one!




  • Old barn door wood
  • Stainless steel screws
  • Caulk
  • House #s
  • Plastic bag
  • Potting soil
  • Succulents


  • Table saw
  • Compound miter saw
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Tape measure
  • 4-square
  • Caulk gun
  • Pliers
  • Awl
  • Rubber mallet


Here is what the old barn wood started as. We used a chisel, hammer, and pry bar to remove old hardware and nails out of the wood.





Then we were able to cut it to the size of our liking using a circular saw and table saw.




Next, he measured the reclaimed wood for the planter box.


He used a 4-square to mark the wood.


Then we used a compound miter saw to cut the wood for the planter box.


He drilled partial holes in old door supports and used screws to make the sign more sturdy as the old nails had loosened over time.



Then they attached the planter box to the sign using screws.


Then he ripped more barn wood to the thickness of the sign.


They used the compound miter saw to cut wood to make a frame.





They secured the frame with screws.


Next up were the house #s. They used an awl to mark the location of the drill holes.



We caulked the back of our numbers so that insects could not make nests and burrow in behind the numbers.


We drilled holes for the numbers slightly smaller than the stud that was on the back of the numbers. After that, we used a rubber mallet to tap the numbers in place.


Looks like a sign! Now the fun part for me.


We lined the planter box with a plastic bag to keep the soil moist after watering and not drip mud onto our house siding. We filled the bag with potting soil and planted our succulents. 


Ready to hang on the house!


It was a fun project, and he ended up getting Best of Class. I love seeing it hung on the house knowing they made it in love for me. 


While working on the address sign, another wood project was going on.  Tater made me a huge planter box for our front yard. You may have spied it in our house painting post. It was not yet painted. He used my parents old siding. We have used their siding to make so many things! The girls enjoyed using it to play in for the day.




He also added a nice wood back to our dinner bell and hung it on the house. 😍

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Our house definitely needed a facelift. It’s amazing what a little bit A LOT of paint can do. We were painting for daaaaaayyysss, but to see the transformation made it all worth while. This project took all summer.

Here is the house before. Shutters are off. Ready to begin.


Here is the barn before. Doors will be painted white.


White trim also needed refreshing.


We pressure washed and removed old chipped paint.




We also found some rotten siding. We replaced it with nice and new siding.


What are these children doing on the roof!?!?  😅


I spy my boys up high ready to get started!


We painted the house first. This took several months. We did two coats.





Having way too much fun with daddy and seeing how high they could go.


We worked into the evening hours on many nights.




We had excellent help, and he added fun to the job!



My dad even painted while we enjoyed the summer day swimming right next to him. What a man!


Finishing up the back of the house.


We had to leave on vacation as a big storm arrived. NOT COOL when you’re painting and all your downspouts are off your house. We tried to collect and dump what we could before leaving. This happened another time when we had the downspouts off. It filled up our basement window well like a fish tank adding nice puddles of water on the basement floor.



On to painting the barn. This took another month. Here we are pressuring washing it first.



I did what I could during the day. When Tater got home from work, we would conquer the high places I couldn’t reach together.




I’m not a fan of heights. I prefer the lower level. One night we worked late into the night high up on a lift with stars all around us. Kinda romantic… kinda. 😉


My parents came to help again. My dad sacrificed his favorite new pair of jeans for us!


Thankful when we finished! Such a beautiful rose colored sunset.


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It’s a new season for us… with a lot of changes.


Numbers-02_3First off, our business name has changed 


Roots Photography & Design, LLP


Roots, LLP

Our vision down the road with our business is to not just be solely photography. We hope to have branches under our name like farm life, products to sell, photography, and so forth. We will see where it leads.


Numbers-03_3Next up, projects and house changes


This was my Mother’s Day present made by Tater and the kids this year. I was not allowed to go into the barn for an entire week. They kept it a good secret. I had to close my eyes as they walked me out to this beauty:




It’s a 20′ 1″ table with two 18′ benches… all on rollers for easy movement. It works great for our big family. The kids left me little notes that already washed off from the rain. We plan to paint it someday and set it out on the back patio.




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We have finished adding the sills and casings in our home and have spent hours getting splattered paint off our floors.

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Our son’s room































We got rid of the extra closet to make his bedroom a bit bigger.



Other closet before:















































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Numbers-04_3Many new babies were born this week


Roots Ranch has had a change of pace lately: A combination of taking care of our sickness indoors and special announcements coming from outside in the barn.




One of these things is not like the others…



Found our cat nestled in amongst the chickens with her own little one.



Snuggling together



The girls checking out all the activity going on in the barn and coming in to let us know of all the updates.



Numbers-05_3Lastly, we have decided to take a break from photography for now. This will hopefully be for just a season. Not sure how long the season will be. We will play that by ear and let you know when we decide to pick it back up. The main decision for this is to focus on our kiddos right now and really invest in them. They are at such fun and impressionable ages and the days are passing quickly. Photography is something on the side that we can put off for now. We thank all of our faithful clients and will miss each and every one of you!! These past 7 1/2 years of business have been fun. We will still try to blog and keep our skills up with random updates and post. And, we will still be honoring sessions with those who have gift certificates with us, so please don’t be shy to still contact us! We look forward to completing the sessions that we have scheduled!




Thank you to all our readers. We love you!

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No more peeping toms when trying to go to the bathroom. Our knobs are installed, and we can actually lock the doors. It’s the little things that get us all excited, but I have to admit… I did love seeing those little eyes and smiles peek through. 😉






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Hallway BEFORE (during first day demo actually).








The hallway has 2 round skylights. We love the natural light we get coming through those openings. they had a simple bulb with a frosted round bowl. We removed the bowl when renovating and later decided to add hanging lights to add some interest.



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Our 3 girls share a bedroom. They did at our other house, and we knew they would here. The only difference was they were getting out of the baby stage and getting bigger.

Before, the 2 older girls had shared a bed and the other was in a crib with no rail (aka: our version of a toddler bed). We knew the crib had to go, but we were not sure how we were going to make their new space work.

Thankfully, we were given bunk beds at just the right time. We painted the one for the girls’ room white.


This is what their bedroom looked like on closing day.









We had fun with this room. We used a lot of things we already had and changed them up a bit.

The dresser was once black. We used it our other house to hold frames and props in our studio. We painted that white as well and sprayed the knobs gold. We also sprayed an old frame that we had and turned it into a mirror.

We didn’t know what to do for a light in that room. I had thought of using this chandelier that we used for photo shoots. It seemed to drown in the space and didn’t seem quite big enough. is when we thought of adding this medallion at the top. Yep, we sprayed that metallic gold too.

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This was a fun idea that we got from Tater’s sister to hang more of the girls’ things. Hobby Lobby antlers painted all girly.



We randomly spaced wall decal dots from Land of Nod (They are easily removable – love them).



Tater made another mirror smaller in size for the girls room. Wood used from my parents home. I love how I think of them every time I look at it.

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We decided no doors for the closet. They came into the room too much making it feel smaller. We plan to add curtains or something to frame that space better and have the option to close it off.



It is cozy, but the girls don’t seem to mind. The beds pull out so the bedroom can sleep 5. Slumber party, anyone?



Goals for this room:

  • Finish window casing and add window sill.
  • Add curtains and rod to frame closet space.

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Things are coming together. Working on electrical. Actually I should say Tater is. I’m just nearby holding a flashlight asking…

“Are you sure that wire is not hot?”

“Ya sure?”

“I just want you safe, Honey.”

“It’s not hot, right?

…I’m not sure how much of an assistant I really am. 😉

Our large living room only had one ceiling light. At night it got dark, so we knew we wanted to add additional light at some point. Tater has been thinking up these chandeliers for some time now, and I am beyond thrilled with how they turned out. He came up with this idea one day when he found these cages in a barn. By adding a few other things, we now have 3 chandeliers going down the middle of our living room.





Ready to start the project.



Wire was carried throughout the length of the room.




Before hanging the lights, the girls enjoyed using the shades as pretend animal cages.




Deciding on the bulbs was a family vote. We originally had put in vintage light bulbs. We loved the look, but the light it put forth was too orange. The round bulbs won.



Tater put them on a remote controlled dimmer. He has completely spoiled me.

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We have SO much more light now. It is so bright. Love it.



At the beginning of the month, we put in our backsplash. This was our first tile laying and grouting experience.

And yes, I’m loving the oven we waited 8 months for. We had to sand the concrete countertop a bit and cut into our cabinets to get it to fit, but we are thankful for the bigger oven and a microwave that works!

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Just for fun. A reminder of what backsplash was here before. Super cute animals I do have to say. The ironic thing is that this was getting torn out exactly a year ago!!









We got the backsplash tile from my brother-in-law at Hartter Interiors. We also have been getting a lot of questions about our “wood” tile that you see in the above living room picture. That was also from Hartter Interiors. It has taken quite a beating with Christmas decorations, projects, kids, and moving furniture. haven’t worried about it for a bit. The fake wood flooring has been one of our most favorite investments!

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We are plugging away with our trim. The baseboard on the main level is now complete along with the upstairs room. We have enough to upgrade our basement trim down the road, so we are excited about that. plan to now add casing and sills to a lot of our windows.


December was a great time to get kicked out of our bed while we finished our bedroom and closet trim. Who wouldn’t want to relax and sleep by a glowing Christmas tree and a wood burning fire?


Here are some more before and after pictures of where we were a year ago and where we are now:


Bathroom by kitchen BEFORE:

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Goal for this year:

  • Finishing casing and sill around window.
  • Make a light above the sink.
  • Add a door knob (I’m sure all of our guests will appreciate this one. So far we have been dealing with peepers or stuffing wash clothes into the door knob opening.)


Laundry Room BEFORE:












Goals for this year:

  • Add casing and sill to window.
  • Finish off ceiling can lights
  • Add doors and barn door track system to be able to close this area off


Under Stairs BEFORE







Bathroom by bedrooms BEFORE

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DURING – We closed off the extra door and got rid of the closet opening up into the hallway. This allowed us to have a double vanity.








Goals for this year:

  • Make a light for above sinks
  • Fix vent area above shower
  • Add door hardware for this bathroom too!

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We closed on our home a year ago today.


I still remember the nerves. The excitement. The unknowns. It was a new chapter in our lives. We were out of the baby stage. Our kids were growing up, and we were ready for this new change. A place where our kids could run, have animals, and make memories.


I remember entering this place we were now to call home. After the closing, we walked into our new home when excitement quickly turned to sadness after we found a black moldy wall staring at us when taking down the previous owners curtains. Bummed that it was not found during inspections, we knew God was faithful.


I’m not going to lie. This past year was a hard year.


I look back at our lowest point when we both were sitting in the hallway on the floor exhausted during the midst of it all and looking at each other…

One said…“Let’s sell the place.” The other said, “Oh really, I was thinking of burning it down.” Neither statement is what we really wanted to happen, but it shows us at our weakest point.


Through this past year, I remember the tears. The fears. The mess. The exhaustion.


I also remember the family memories that we have built, praying together through it all, watching the many talents of my hubby, and how this entire experience has made us stronger. Closer.


The mold in the walls was only the beginning. There were other issues as you know from our previous posts, but it helped us move forward with the renovation of this house as otherwise we were not planning on doing so quickly.


So here is a look back. Some before and ‘1 year later’ pictures of us turning this house into our home. 



Outside of House ~ 


Nov. 1st 2013



1 Year Later…



Outside goals for the next year:

  • Fix all leak problems. Tarp on chimney gone.
  • Some new flowers and bushes
  • Remove tree stumps
  • House siding, shutters, and fence painted or repaired
  • Build chicken coop



Living Room ~


Moldy wall – before and after


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1 Year Later – Fireplace raised. Conversation pit gone.



More before and ‘where we are now’ pics

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Other side of living room – Before






Goals for the next year:

  • Finish trim/door knobs
  • Make 3 hanging chandeliers
  • Add rugs


Kitchen ~








More before pics















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Goals for next year:

  • Oven
  • Backsplash
  • Make light above dining table and fix outlets
  • Finish painting and trim



Old Beverage Center ~


Before with wallpaper already ripped off









Well there you have our main living areas. We will be posting the before and after  ‘1 year later’ pictures of other areas through these next few weeks. Thank you to all of you who supported us last year whether you ripped off sticky wallpaper, tore down walls, brought food, helped tear down fireplace, help rebuild fireplace, helped get water pumping back into our home … the list goes on. We are so thankful and love you much.


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What’s up? Here are our updates:


  • Sessions! It’s that busy time of year for photographers. We have loved all of our fall shoots. Thank you to all of our amazing clients!! Maybe we will get around to posting some… but we also don’t want to ruin any of those Christmas card picture surprises.


  • Room #1 trim done. The bathroom. We got our vanity in and sinks working!! Can I get a HALLELUJAH!?! We did have to make a trip one night when we went to take showers only to notice that our toliet was still in the shower. Thankfully Tater’s parents live close, and we were able to shower there. Obviously, we didn’t think ahead. Currently working hard on the additional trim in our house!! We hope to pass up our 1 room a month goal.






  • Butchering chickens. A new experience for me. Not sure it was my favorite, although it was a very entertaining night. The kids voted that I was not a country girl. What!?! After all that feather picking, pasture mowing, pest killing, mud and poop steppin’, and nasty barn cleaning,…. you all still don’t think I have any country in me? I finally had one child vote yes, because I think she thought I wanted her to. haha. I have yet to convince them… and maybe myself too. 😉

Saying goodbye to our roosters. Things got a little messy. Yes, that’s blood folks. We don’t quite have our system down yet.

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Working late into the night.



  • We got 2 miniature horses from a very special couple. Mother/daughter horses named Taffy Apple and Tootsie Roll. ♥♥



They are the sweetest. Painting fun!





The kids had a ball. Still painting and braiding the tail.




Learning how to clean them.



Riding the carts







  • Limestone was put into the horse stalls. The kids worked so hard, and kept chanting a teamwork cheer. We were trying to beat the rain and nightfall that was quickly approaching. It was not the most enjoyable job, but we made it a memorable night by working together and finishing the night with a pizza party.



  • We had 4 curtain panels in the kitchen that were a couple of feet short. My mom sewed additional material on so that they would go to the floor. Thanks mom! 🙂




  • NO – another roof leak!! 🙁 We had it fixed last winter when we found the mold, but it wasn’t enough. Roofers are scheduled to come out hopefully soon to completely redo 3 areas on our roof.



Tater snuck away during his lunch break to help cover the main problem area. It was POURING. I stood below under an umbrella praying that he didn’t fall and was there in case he needed anything. So thankful for him. You didn’t know that a tarp on the roof is the latest trend?!



  • New handmade mirrors made by my hubby… He was working on a project one weekend, and I didn’t know what he was up to. He surprised me by making a very large mirror for our bedroom. This mirror was the old vanity mirror in the master bath. It is extra special to me because he used the old siding from my parents’ home as the frame. I love how it turned out! He also made a small one for the girls.







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