Friday, May 23, 2014

So much change

So we moved into our house in February, 2005, and since that time, as you've all witnessed, we have done one home improvement project after another.  We've done the majority of the work ourselves, but other than painting our porch, the front of the house and plantings around the property, the outside has been sorely neglected.  We needed a new roof, new gutters, and the whole house needed to be scraped clean of it's peeling paint and get re-painted.  This was something we couldn't do ourselves and we certainly didn't have the fortune it would cost to get it done.  So everything waited, and decayed, and began looking more and more shabby. 

We thought we were going to take care of everything two years ago, but then decided to wait.  Well, this year it could no longer wait.  We knew the roof could probably last another couple of years, but the gutters had to be replaced because they were rusted out and leaking all over.  We began talking to people about doing the gutters, but then kept seeing more and more of the paint peeling off in big strips.  So then we started talking to people about whether to paint the house or wrap it in aluminum siding.  Everyone said the painting should be last, do the roof and gutters first, otherwise any paint job we did would get scratched up.  

So then we began getting estimates and sticker shock, prices had doubled in the two years since we first started looking at the costs of all these repairs.  Still, it had to be done, so we also began thinking about colors, and looking at other American Foursquares (which is the type of house we have) to see what choices other people made for their houses to get an idea of what we liked.  At first we were thinking of elegant taupe, with black shutters and white trim.  Then we though of yellow, black and white, but nearly every house for miles around was white, yellow, taupe, or gray.  How boring.  We would see the occasional blue or green house, we even have a purple house on our street, but none of them were to our taste.

Still, we had to come up with a color pallette because the work would have to be done soon.
The old girl was in desperate need of a new hat and dress.  We finally found a house in the neighborhood that we liked, it's blue with black shutters and white trim.  We asked the owners about their paint color, but they didn't keep a record of it.  So I began getting paint samples and bringing them to that house, but I could never match the color.  So we began getting paint samples and painting stripes on the side of our house, trying to find a blue we could love.

This is kind of the type of blue we decided we liked, but we couldn't find the right blue at our paint store, they were all too bright and circus-like.  Just when we were about to give up, I found a teal blue that looked awesome when we painted it on our house.

The color we picked is on the bottom of this picture.  It was interesting, people in our neighborhood were coming by as we painted different blue stripes on the house and weighing in on which blues they liked.  Ninety-nine percent of the neighbors liked the teal as well.  So now we had a paint color, now for all the work to begin.  First the roof had to be replaced.  The original roof was still on the house, covered in multiple layers of asphal shingles.  Everything had to be removed down to the rafters.

Above is a shot of the roof being removed.  Below is what the attic looked like from the inside.  I really wanted to add big dormers to the attic to get more headroom and light, but we just couldn't afford it.

The roof was ripped off and a completely new one put on in two days.  We went with a charcoal gray architectural style shingle for the roof.  

It's hard to see the ridges and texture on the roof, but trust me, it's a great improvement and looks so much better.  Here's a picture of another house that has them and you can see the detail better.

So once the roof was done, the weeks long process of scraping and re-caulking the house began.  It was a messy, tedious process and it made the house look like hell, but it had to be done.  We were chomping at the bit waiting for the actual painting to begin, but the painters were slow when they showed up, plus the weather kept turning to rain delaying matters further.  Also, can you see that window down there on the far right and bottom? There used to be two large double-hung windows there with a previous homeowner, but that homeowner removed them and never framed the new window properly.  Also to the right of that little window is a dark silver (metal) vent cover that is disconnected and walled over in the kitchen.  That needed to be removed and then re-side that part of the house.  M suggest we just plant trees in front of it to hide it like the previous owner did, um, no.  Next up, finally a little color with the primer, and the repairs.  You will not believe what happened with the repairs.  


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Looking forward to the next step! You all have done AMAZING work on your home.....! Congratulations on this next BIG Step!!!

CyberKitten said...

WOW! Now *that's* a project....! Good luck with that. I'm guessing that it'll look amazing when finished. I look forward to the final result.

CyberKitten said...

Oh, when you have a spare moment [lol] I posted a book review on Thursday you should find interesting. It's on WW1.

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