Thursday, January 12, 2012

House Tour: The Exterior -- Before & After

Welcome to the first of an ongoing series of our latest flip...the one in which we live! I plan to take you room by room through the empty afters and update them as we decorate and "finish" each space.  As I reveal "afters," I'll add them to the home tour on our main page.

A little background...

This home began as an investment property and the biggest flip we would tackle in our short house-flipping history. I think we were about half-a-minute into the process before we decided that we really loved the house and wanted to move into it instead of sell it and live happily forever after. Never, ever moving again. (ha.)
Anyhow, that light-bulb moment changed the project from a quick flip to all-consuming project that took waaaay longer than it was supposed to. We encountered delays in nearly every aspect and had one of the most daunting professional painter experiences you can imagine. Usually in our flips Kevin takes on the painting (although he capital-H HATES painting), but this time around he decided to leave it to the pros. I'm pretty sure we interviewed about a dozen painter and had a variety of declines, high prices, and long wait times to wade through. We settled for someone in the middle that seemed reliable. Turns out...not so reliable. In fact, when his assistant showed up one day letting us know that our trusty painter was behind bars for stealing deposits from his customers, we knew that our deposit was also long gone. But that's another story for another day.

Yes, this time around we learned many, many hard lessons. It took a long time -- and, in fact, is still happening because we aren't quite finished yet. But, I love this house. Adore it. And really, really can't see us moving. Ever. So we'll see...

But, I got off track. We'll begin at the beginning and show some exterior pictures of before and after. There is much more to do out here. In truth, we have done the bare minimum in this department.

("Now, it's up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Well, like Brian, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile." Office Space? Anyone?)

We replaced an enormous wood shingle roof with a steel roof. (Pretty awesome and changed the look of the house tons. I call it my Suburban because I'd rather be driving it than living under it.) We also started the back-breaking process of cleaning up the landscape and we removed a tree and a weird fence. Aside from that, we haven't done much and I'm excited for Spring so we can really tackle the rest. Oh boy! In the meantime, here's where we are so far.

The Stats: 

Built in 1994
3,844 square feet
.75 acre lot
4 bedrooms
3.5 bathrooms
3-car garage
Formal living/Dining

Here's the gross, overgrown before. Note the roof falling apart (yes, it leaked) and the months of neglect on the landscape. It was vacant for awhile once the bank took over and the yard paid the price. Many of these bushes lost the battle with last year's ridiculous summer temperatures.
Exterior *BEFORE*
Exterior *BEFORE*
Exterior *BEFORE*
Exterior *BEFORE*

And here are some "after" although they should probably be called "in progress" because we have a lot more to do out here. We plan to revamp the column situation on the front porch with some new stone columns, and add shutters to the side windows. I know we could polish up those copper awnings, but we can't decide...we like the patina.

Exterior *AFTER*
I plan to put Blue Atlas Cedars on either side of this window. My favorite tree! (And one that I've killed a couple times in the past.)

Exterior *AFTER*
Lots of plans for this garden area. I had annuals here until fall when I ripped them all out for the season. We also lined these beds with stone.

Exterior *AFTER*
The side yard where those scary bushes and fence lived. We still have so much to do here, but we've managed to replace the door (although we still need to paint it). We have long-term plans to put a gate across the driveway so the boys can play in this side area safely. Plus, it will be pretty.

Exterior *AFTER*
Future to-do:
Major landscaping -- everywhere
Replace front porch columns with stone
New front porch lights

Repair mailbox
Add wood shutters to front windows

Decorative iron gate across driveway
Paint side door
Iron accents on garage doors

Okay, that's all for now. I'll save the backyard for another day. Not too much progress there yet. And I'm hoping to do these posts every couple of days until we make it through the whole house. Thanks for joining me for the outside look. I'm excited to share more!

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