Sunday, January 23, 2011

Year 1, A Look Back - House Exterior

The past couple of weeks I've been writing about all the house renovation projects we have completed in 2010 as a way to look back and see how much we have progressed. It seems we are always looking ahead at what still needs to be done so it's great to take a few moments and remember just how much we have truly accomplished in such a short time. In November we celebrated one year of owning our first home! There have been many, many weekends of hard work. I believe though that where we have spent at least 75% of our time so far has been painting and repairing the exterior of the house.

We purchased our house through a short sale. If you don't know what a short sale is it's anything but a SHORT sale. 9 months it took, of waiting, placing offers on other houses but always loosing out to someone with a bigger offer, more waiting until finally the word came that the short sale had gone through! Well 9 months of nobody living in the house had taken it's toll on the landscaping. When we moved in most of the landscaping was dead. What was left was planted in bad locations and with no thought or design at all. In order to paint the house and eventually create a more cohesive and drought tolerant landscape we have pretty much ripped everything out. In the after photos you are going to see a pretty sad landscape but that will hopefully be changing soon! 2011 is going to be filled with many many weekends of landscaping projects, this is when we will really see the house come together, I can't wait!

So now for the before photos:

 So this is what the house looked like when it was put on the market. The landscape was living because there were renters living there taking care of it. The house was white with a light blue trim that was cracking and falling off of all the windows.

This is what the landscaping looked like when we moved in after 9 months of nobody living in the house and watering the landscaping.

All the windows were in really bad condition. There were layers and layers of cracked and peeling paint. Also, somebody had used caulk or something to fill holes in the windows and it had seeped through the paint leaving dark blue spots.

We had to strip ALL the windows and get them down to bare wood. This took several months and was not a fun job at all! We also repaired several of the broken sash cords which is the rope that makes these old windows go up and down.

All the hard work really paid off though! We went with a sage green color for the house exterior, a burgundy and cream for the trim.

The stairs use to be painted blue as well as the railings. The room to the right of the stairs is the kitchen. The hope is that we will eventually move this room out a little to make our tiny kitchen larger. Then we will add a large wood porch to the front. So for now I just painted over the blue stairs but this will hopefully just be a temporary fix.

Painting the exterior of your house is hard, hard work. If you have the money to pay a professional I highly recommend it! Also, don't skimp on the paint. Pay the extra money for good quality paint. You don't want to be out there doing it all over again in a few years. It's VERY time consuming and not cheap.

-Removed overgrown and dead plants.
- Stripped and painted all windows
- Repaired glazing on windows (the stuff that holds the glass in the window frame).
- Painted entire house exterior
- Stripped blue sidewalk going to front door
- Painted front porch and stairs (was blue)
- Painted blue railing black
- Repaired door bell

- Landscaping, lots of it.
- New wood porch on front of house (probably won't happen in 2011 but it's a possibility) 
- Get rid of ugly security gate on the front door and replace with a nice period style front door.
- New backdoor light fixture
- Widen driveway with bricks (in the works now, photos will be coming in a few weeks!)


  1. What's the square footage of the house?
    It looks so small!
    I love what you have done so far.

  2. Thank you! It is tiny. Just 820 sq. ft!

  3. I like the transformation, but it will look really good if you alter the burgundy and cream on the windows. Puffs of burgundy would make the house look more alluring. The roof also looks so flat. Maybe you should make it more edgy. After all, the roof is the crowning glory of the house. You can also have some flowering plants in the yard, to add attraction when they finally bloom. It will surely be a lovely home to live in, when everything is perfect.

  4. Interior painting and exterior painting both are required if we want to decorate our home.

    house painting aptos