The Beach Shack

9:15 AM Katy 6 Comments

At the end of 2011 I purchased a disgusting wreck of a house by the beach, which I tore down and then rebuilt a tiny house (using as much salvage from the original as I could). This page is an organized record of the whole process, which took me about 2.5 years because I had to save up money and I was a single mom of 3 - this was NO JOKE the hardest thing I've ever tried to do.

The Beginning: How Building a Tiny House Opened the Door to a Dream
 The Beach House Nobody Wanted
(and some more nasty pics of the original rotting structure)

beach shack (all posts)

Salvaging from the wreckage: Crap from the Shack
Using Auto Paint on an Antique Iron Bed
{Refinishing the old clawfoot tub and sinks:
The magic cleaner
How to patch porcelain and color matching}

My Brother & The Tetanus Video

Phase 1: Demolition

Phase 2: Meeting the Architect & Engineer
and: The Finished Plans!

Phase 4: Building the cottage!!! We finally started in Sept-Oct 2013, and we finished in April/May of 2014. This is an approx. 850 sq ft "tiny house" built to hurricane/FEMA code, on Tybee Island GA.

the barn-style sliding doors (before barn doors were everywhere and totally overdone.  ha!!)  over the Washer/Dryer:

Powder room - all the plumbing fixtures in the house are refurbished vintage (pre-war):

kitchen sink -

main bath - top floor - (I have since switched out the door so it swings into the hallway instead)

(refurbished clawfoot tub, subway tile, schoolhouse light fixtures, and vintage reproduction fabric. I am a little obsessive but I do not regret it. The floor is plain white hex tile.)

the front balcony, where I drank wine out of my plastic cup and soaked up all the UV rays - (mostly I think I was trying to recover from the stress of this build) -

I think this is my favorite picture:

kitchen! the place where all the wine and shrimp were kept:

my mom, my 3 nieces (who, along with my 3 kids, were always on my mind when I designed this house) -- and TURTLE PURSES. yes.

next... bedrooms?

and gotta get a shot of this railing, designed by my builder - George Feehley and his awesome supervisor, Missy!  (this was before the track was covered with trim):

It was a long, hard, stressful 3 years. It didn't end well - I lost my job suddenly, right before the house was done, and this caused me to almost lose it. But in the end everything worked out. All 6 kids (and the rest of my family) totally enjoyed it! (Before I sold it, that is...)

I'm not sure what the lessons are in this saga. Looking back on it, I think I was too hopeless. I was trying to build some hope into my future with my own skills - which is not a truly solid foundation.

I don't operate in panic attacks or hopelessness anymore, because my "lens" has been corrected. The Lord is faithful. That's all I've got to say about that.


  1. Would love to see more pics of how the beach house is coming along!

  2. OH MY GOD what a wonderful blog and what a lovely time you all must be having in your new "shack"! Love the colors, the textures, the whole thing! Congrats!

  3. I am beyond impressed!! I stumbled upon your blog as you were just deciding to purchase the land. I remember being scared for you and praying for the best. Life took over and I stopped checking in, today something jingled a memory and I searched/found your blog again.
    A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to you on a job well done, a dream realized, and an outstanding example you are to yourself, children and countless web folks!

  4. Katy, I was just flipping through an old issue of HGTV magazine (June 2015), when I turned the page and found your house! I was like, "Wait a minute! I know that house!!" What a little cutie! Proud of you, friend!

    1. Hi Kristie!! HAHA I think the house will live on in doctors' offices all over the country, just from that little picture in that magazine! :) thank you <3


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