Our Secret Weapons

In honor of father’s day I thought I’d share a little bit about our fathers, our secret remodeling weapons. You see both of our dads are carpenters and although Flannel Man & I have never remodeled a house before we’re not strangers to the construction business. We both grew up around shops, tools and construction sites.


After working at a lumber yard and some small construction companies my dad started his own milwork business. He made custom trim, moldings, and other specialty wood products. He helped restore historic buildings like churches, government buildings, and residential homes by cutting custom blades that matched the existing trim and matching the stain color. I remember going over to his shop and being amazed a how he took curved solid wood for large church windows. He also did things like fancy receptionist desks for banks, inlaid hardwood floor patterns, custom doors, and anything else you could throw at him. He became known in the area for his high quality of work that resulted from the fact that he’s a type A perfectionist (which is a trait I picked up from him). Where most new businesses last only a year or two his lasted 11 years. He finally closed it so he could spend more time with us and now works as a maintenance supervisor for the multiple state research farms in our area.

Since I love pictures here’s some old family pictures:


My dad’s old shop. [Note: Some of these photos were scanned in from the scrapbooks my mom made through the years so that’s why they are funny shapes.]


“Helping” my dad stain.


I loved that hard hat!


See I’ve roofed before! The shed wasn’t my first time.


Breaking ground on the new house my dad built (I’m the oldest in the back).


Sitting on the beam of our new house. My dad and I are the only ones smiling because my sisters were afraid of falling. (View Image to enlarge)



Flannel Man’s dad is also a carpenter. Papa Flannel also worked for some small construction companies before starting his own business. But his business was building residential homes where he specialized in log homes. He built log homes all over the area for 8 years before deciding to work for a local large construction company. He also was trained to be a home inspector so he knows the ins and outs of home ownership. It was common for Papa Flannel to gift FM hand tools when they began to wear out and FM would take them with him everywhere. One gift in particular FM remembers…

“One year my dad gave me a 5′ long wooden step ladder. I loved that thing and dragged it all over the house much to my mom’s dismay. I would bring into the living room and watch TV on it, I would put in the kitchen to eat my cereal on it, and I would bring it upstairs to read books on it. I loved that thing.”

And of course here is FM’s family pictures:


Note the needle nosed pliers his dad had given him.


“Helping” paint.


Honestly, could this picture be any cuter? FM was bringing his kitten to see what dad does.


The Flannel’s displaying Papa Flannels business hats. Flannel Man is in the middle.


Flannel Man has also helped roof before.


In Papa Flannel’s bobcat.


Our other secret weapons are our wonderful grandpas. Both are extremely handy and like to help any way that they can no matter their age. Flannel Man’s grandpa was a painter. Last year at 80 years old he was up on the roof helping Papa Flannel re-roof his house.


My grandpa was a farmer and later worked for my dad’s business. Here he is helping build our house:


We are truly blessed to have such wonderful dads and grandpas. I hope they had a great father’s day.


And on a side note I want to wish a happy birthday to my youngest sister Sara!


3 Responses to “Our Secret Weapons”

  1. 1 hookedonhouses June 16, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    These photos are so much fun! -Julia

  2. 3 emily at thirtyeight20 February 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    How interesting! Our lives sound kinda similar. My dad is a specialty carpenter too. He does a lot of the same things your dad does, except my dad’s favorite things are restoring antique furniture and building custom kitchens. He also teaches woodshop at the local high school. I grew up in an old farmhouse that my parents were restoring, so that’s probably why I’m still sane among all the crazy renovating stuff at my own house. My father-in-law is a commercial plumber, so my hubby grew up around all this building stuff too. It definitely helps to have that background — and to have our dads’ free help and expertise when needed!

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This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
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