Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Progress in the Backyard

Well, when I last posted we were knee deep in some major fixing to the back of our home.
 It went from looking like this when we purchased the house last year...

To looking like this - mid reno...

We had taken down the deck to find that some of the parging on the bottom of the house was damaged.  McG had done the patch work and moved the stairs into place under the door, and we were waiting for the weather to co-operate so that we could get the last of the painting done.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and here we are all finished with the painting.

We are loving the contrast of the dark grey paint with the white of the window trim and will be adding an even wider white trim to the windows soon.

We are also liking how much bigger this area of the yard looks now that the deck is gone.  We didn't use it at all to sit on which is why we decided not to replace it and to just have the stairs leading down from the doorway.

McG added a rail to the stairs as well and will be adding another railing to the other side of the stairs. He also built a hose reel holder out of 4 x 4's.

Here's a look at the before and after of this area of the house...a GREAT TRANSFORMATION!!

We love how the new paint colour cleans up the look of the house and makes it more modern.  Stay tuned for a few more finishing touches and a FULL reveal of the back of the house!

Linking up @:  A Stroll Thru Life

Monday, August 10, 2015

This Week's Work

It seems that there are never ending projects right now and that our big House Painting Project has spurred some side projects that we weren't really planning on tackling right now.

Case in point....the back deck.  Here's what this area looked like last year just after we moved in...

It was a 10 by 10 foot deck that had seen better days and not one that we used in any way shape or form except for the obvious...getting out of the house into the backyard.  We had long ripped out the bushes and replanted the hostas to other areas of the yard.  We knew that we had some issues with the skirting of the house behind the deck, so before we start painting the back of the house these had to be address.

I want to let it be known, that I wanted to run and hide my head in the sand on this one...I just wanted to get the painting done, but now that the deck is gone, I'm glad we did it.

It's in the awkward in-between stage where progress has been made but it just not that pretty...so be forewarned...

When we removed the deck, a large portion of the cement skirting had been damaged and it was in need of repair.  Unfortunately I didn't take pictures at that point, but you can see where McG made the repairs.

There are still some to complete, as we  also dug out the garden that was here and leveled the soil back down to ground level.  You can see the staining on the concrete where the dirt had been built up for the garden.

This weekend McG was a concrete GOD and was able to patch up the skirting with a few layers of concrete.

We decided that because we never sat here on the deck (it's way too HOT in this corner because of afternoon sun) that we would not rebuild the deck, but just move the concrete steps back up to the door.  This was a feat in itself and took McG, our son, and McG's cousin the better part of a day to do.  And of course, it was almost 100 degrees with high humidity two weekends ago when they decided to tackle this.

This past weekend on top of finishing up the concrete skirting we also started to extend the walkway
to meet up with the old sidewalk.  Ideally I would have liked it to be all done in pavers, to match the existing sidewalk, but time and money dictated otherwise.

We had hoped that painting could resume tonight but it's been raining here again.  We are hoping to have this project completed by next weekend.  I will be sure and keep you posted...and to let you know when we can officially cross this house painting project off our list of things to-do!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Where does the time go?

July seemed to pass in a blink this year...Both of our children celebrated birthdays in July...our daughter turned 25 and our son turned 21.  Pretty momentous birthdays.

In amongst the celebrating we began what is turning out to be the biggest project so far...painting the house.

It is a quaint little ranch home that was manufactured in the 1970's.  This is what it looked like last fall shortly after we moved in.  It is aluminium siding except for those white squares under each of the windows, which is just painted wood.

If you follow on Facebook, and you should, you saw that we chose Sherwin Williams paint, that we had colour matched to Behr's Mined Coal.  A great dark grey colour with just a touch of brown to it. We wanted something totally different than the white coloured siding that the house was given 45 years ago.

We took off the shutters, which were also aluminium and saved them for a possible future project. Then we washed the whole house with siding cleaner that McG found in the garage from when his sister owned the house.  We purchased a Wagner power sprayer for this project.  Knowing that this project was a huge undertaking, we figured that the cost was justified.  First he painted the soffits and eavestroughs with Sherwin Williams Extra White exterior semi-gloss.  The sprayer made this task remarkably easy. The taping of the windows and doors was the hardest part of this project.

Weather was an issue on several occasions and delayed our project with rain and days that were very humid.  We also took the time to "cut-in" around the house with two coats of the grey so that we minimized the chance of overspray onto the newly painted soffits.  I was able to help with this portion of the painting so it went pretty fast.

Then it seemed that we were stuck in limbo for a few days as the temperatures were hot and threatening rain.  We took the plunge last Friday night and McG started the spraying.  We chose to paint the whole house the same colour and not have the bottom portion a different colour like it was previously.

We purchased an exterior semi-gloss finish which we are hoping will help with durability. We were able to save some money because Lowe's had this particular brand of paint on sale, buy one gallon get one FREE!  We had never used Sherwin Williams paint before, but we are very impressed with this Showcase paint.  It has a built in primer and it sprayed on beautifully.

Because we both couldn't paint since there was only one sprayer, I was the runner and ladder mover.
The sprayer definitely made the job much easier, the hardest part of using it was cleaning it when we were done for the day.

Last weekend we painted the front and the driveway side of the house.

I was so excited to pull the plastic off the windows when it was done and to get my stuff back onto the porch and into the gardens when all was dry.

It made a huge transformation in the look of our home.  We had so many people stop to comment. We even had some people honk as they drove by. One little boy about eight years old was riding by on his bike and yelled out "Your house is looking good Mister!!" which made us both laugh.

Since we bought the house last year from McG's sister and her husband, we have been working to make the house feel like "ours".  This, to me, has accomplished that task.  Still to be done are painting the trim around the windows and adding an additional while vinyl trim around each of the windows.  Those sections under the windows that are wood are going to be getting an accent siding, once we can decide and agree on which one to use!

We LOVE that the porch just seems to POP off the dark grey colour and it shows so much more!

Here's a side-by-side look.  This new colour really puts a fresh and updated look on the house.

We still have to finish up painting the far side of the house and the back.  It may take a couple of weeks because we have some prep work and another project to finish up back there before we can proceed.  I will be sure and show those projects and the back of the house when we are done...STAY TUNED!!

Linking up @:

A Stroll Thru Life
Savvy Southern Style
Cozy Little House