Let’s talk exterior home details. I’ve been thinking about doing this blog post for awhile now, but I have been struggling on how to present it to you all! We have an older home (built in 1956) and a limited budget. Our goal for purchasing our home was not so much about our home per se but more about the school district and neighborhood. We knew when we were looking that it would have to be a fixer upper.
New Window, Gutters, Soffits and Landscaping: We started our journey of home renovation 6 years ago. It felt like everything needed to be updated. New windows, gutters and soffits were the first things that we tackled. These fixes helped greatly with our harsh winters and properly ventilating our home. Next was pulling up all that shrubbery in front of the house. A lot of it was dead and in need of maintenance. I laid white rocks that I purchased at Home Depot, which created a clean and easy to maintain space. Also, it helped to keep creatures from hiding out and finding a way into our home. I’m a fond believer that if you are in an older home it’s important to check the foundation for any cracks or holes and seal it up. We also replaced the outdoor lighting for something newer. (items linked below)
Painting My Home: By far the most difficult DIY I have ever taken up was painting the exterior of our home. Yes, you heard me right…we painted this. I got several quotes for painting the exterior and cheapest one I received was $10,000. I said to myself “surely, this can’t be that hard! I have ranch home. I can do this cheaper myself!” I gave myself a budget of $1,500 and the summer to complete it. My daughter’s babysitter was looking for some extra income so she and her friend came over and helped me. We spent 3 of the longest months painting my home. After work and weekends we would all gather and paint until the sun went down. We started out by scraping off any chipped paint from the wooden shingles, then we masked up, sanded and primed those areas. After we had completely sanded and primed the trouble areas we went about painting. We did it with rollers and brushes. I don’t know if I would have been able to complete the project without their help! But I will say, even after paying them for their time, I was able to stay on budget and it has held up beautifully.
Tree Removal and Outdoor Fence: Another big change we made was having those dead and pesky Pine Trees removed. We knew they had to come down because they were a falling hazard and were in very bad condition. Scroll thru Below to see the before and after.
New Roof: We knew one of the biggest expenses of our fixer upper would be our roof. Our roof was 24 years old when we bought the house. We knew that prior repairs had been done to the roof, but the fear was that it wasn’t done properly. This summer we made the decision to finally tackle it. After 13 quotes, yes I really did get 13 quotes, we found the team we wanted to work with. My advice for big projects like this, is to really do your research. I gathered together questions I knew I wanted to ask, timeline and products used. The goal in finding the right contractor to work with is to make sure they are going to do exactly what you discuss for the price discussed. Also, by getting so many quotes I was able to weed out who was over charging and get a baseline for what was a reasonable rate for the work to get done. Many of the quotes I got were very close in price, then it was a matter of selecting who I felt would do the best job for us. We used Sunset Roofing (linked below) and were so pleased with their work ethic, care they took in covering and protecting our landscaping and how quickly they were able to complete our tear off roof. They also repaired a water damaged section of our roof.
Final Touches: This year I decided to add easy landscaping. I added white roses, blue and white hydrangeas and added climbing ivy to our Privacy Trellis. I also plan to add window boxes under the small windows of our garage. Once I tackle that project I will be sure to blog it. Additionally I’ve added the patio we completed for our grill with the Privacy Trellis we created. Send me a message or add a comment if you would like me to do a blog post on creating the Privacy Trellis. Scroll over to see more.
Final Thoughts: Being a home owner of a fixer upper has been greatly rewarding and challenging. It’s fun to see the impact we have made over the years, but frustrating to think of all the time and money that we have put into our home. I look at it now and I am so pleased with how we have transformed our 1,600 sq ft house into our cozy Pretty Blue Cottage.