Cistern Room Progress

Once again the space we call the ‘cistern room’ is undergoing a transformation.

When we first moved in it was enclosed at the back of the house with screen, plastic lattice and a screen door.  It was dark and a haven for spiders and a place that any sort of country varmint or reptile might like to hang out.  I hated to go in there to get anything so we didn’t use it for much other than a place for the garbage cans.

We decided we would utilize it more if we removed the screen ‘wall’ and open it up to make it brighter and less inviting for who-knows-what.  Now it became a space filled with all sorts of stuff that we didn’t know where to put yet, the recycling stuff, garbage cans, even the lawn mower was in there all last winter.  It was a great storage space but with it being open to the elements we were limited as to what we could store in there.

We were also tired of dealing with frozen pipes (the ones directly behind the kitchen wall) each winter so we decided this was the year that we would officially close up the back wall of the ‘cistern room’, make any necessary repairs and insulate it well.

This has been a slow process all summer because early on we decided to purchase the materials only when we had the extra money.  Well, enter an 18 month, same as cash, coupon from Lowe’s!  Our last same as cash Lowe’s purchase will be paid off in December so we decided to go for it and purchase the bulk of the necessary materials so that we could finish this project before winter sets in and be able to easily pay it off before the 18 month period ends.

So, let’s see some photos shall we?

Here’s a reminder of what we started with after removing the vinyl siding…



That was all torn off, plumbing was relocated, repairs made to any rotten studs, insulation put back and/or added and then covered up with barn wood siding.

Here’s that wall in progress…

random photos2

That wall is now finished and the patchwork ceiling has been replaced as well.

CountryBoy added a light switch for the existing light and another outlet on the wall to the left.

After a long days’ work yesterday here’s what it now looks like.

cistern n diffuser 2

Straight ahead is the wall behind the kitchen.  You can see at the bottom of the photo the plumbing that runs into the house from outside.  These are the pipes that would freeze whenever the temperature was in the teens.  By enclosing this space we are hoping that the days of waking up to frozen pipes will be gone.  Oh, we did find a leaky shut-off valve which very well may have been the problem or at least added to it.  We will add a removable wall or some sort of trap door to cover the pipes but be able to access them if need be without tearing anything up to get to them.  To the right of the photo are the studs for the exterior wall.

cistern room window

Above shows the last thing that was done yesterday – framing out and adding the window that you saw in the first photo into the new exterior wall.

I talk as though I have worked right along side CountryBoy but the only thing I’ve done is occasionally hand him some stuff and I held the window in place until he could secure it.  I can now say ‘we’ enclosed the cistern room, can’t I?  Haha!

We are anxious and excited to finish this project.  This space will provide some much-needed indoor storage and will fill up quickly with beekeeping paraphernalia, empty canning jars and canning equipment, our chest freezer, recyclables, root vegetables and so on and so forth.  It’s amazing how much equipment and space one needs to homestead.  How in the world did our ancestors do it without all this stuff?!


Here’s really what I was doing while CountryBoy has been working on the cistern room (well, besides working at one of my jobs!)…

purse, porch, plants 1

I made this market bag out of a discounted remnant I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  I have been coveting this printed duck cloth ever since I first saw it in another Hobby Lobby while in Florida for the annual quilt retreat I attend.  When I found a piece of it on the clearance rack I snatched it up.


Other clearance items I like to look for are plants…

purse, porch, plants 12

I picked these sad little houseplants up at Lowe’s.  Everything was drastically marked down – even the ceramic container but all these plants needed was a little bit of TLC.

Dead leaves plucked off, the Spath repotted in the new pot and some MiracleGrow…

rescued plants

I think it likes its new planter!

As I was purchasing these plants it dawned on me that I love to rescue things… animals, plants, remnants, antiques, furniture, appliances, etc.  It gives me great joy to provide a good home for something or to refurbish something to its former glory.  I wonder if there’s a business in there for me somewhere.  Although, I would imagine I’d have a hard time parting with most of it after all the hard work, ha!

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