Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Slight Detour in the Renovations

ADD has struck again, another project has been started, before the first 5 have been completed.

Our back deck is in sad-sad condition.  When we purchased our home, the decking and entire back-side was engulfed in ivy, with roots the width of tree-trunks!!! (quite scary to rip down, I might add!!).

We've since removed ALL of the ivy from the house, power-washed the walls to strip the paint, and have done some painting, as I believe I've noted.  We've also since removed some of the overgrown greenery against the basement walls.

Here's a few pictures of the progress thus-far.

(A quick photoshop I did of how the basement walls will look once they are completely finished and painted)

Anyway, onto my point (there goes the ADD again...wait, what did you say?)

So, while we were removing the ivy, Hans (my boyfriend) leaned up against one of the railings, and it just FELL RIGHT OFF!!!  Fortunately, he's quick on his feet (it must be some mullet-super power), and didn't fall off with it.... So, we are now installing all new railings, and stripping (sanding with a hand-grinder!) whatever paint is left over from the last 50 years (about 3 coats of green, gray, turquoise, and a few other shades I couldn't quite make out), and resealing/repainting the entire deck.

Oh Happy Joy! another project (when will he learn that 5 projects is ALREADY more than enough?!)

So, while all of these "small" projects are going on, he also decides to tackle painting the one side of the house.  

The house had been a bit neglected (ok, VERY neglected) over the years, and about 50 years worth of dirt and mildew had built up on the exterior shingles.  I tried brushing them off, with a sponge/soap/water... but the truth of the matter is.... it's just WAY too big, and WAY too tall for that to be practical.  

Fortunately, a very nice friend of ours, loaned us his paint sprayer (and the angles sang, and the heavens opened up!).  This thing is AMAZING!!!!  

To anyone that is even entertaining the thought of painting their house... GET ONE OF THESE!!!  They are not very expensive at your local hardware store.  We used I believe the smallest model available.  We nuked out the entire side of the house in around 4 hours, total, two coats.

We used a Behr paint, that was a paint/primer all in one.  Semi-gloss white, with a mildewicide (their words, not mine!), and is paintable in temperatures as cold as 35* (Now, I don't know about you, but there is no WAY I would EVER be outside painting in 35* weather, that's just crazy-talk!).

Here's some pictures of before, during, and after.  It really is amazing how much of a difference it made on the whole appearance of the house (you will also note another man in the pictures, it happens to be the gentleman that sold us the home, lives next door, and has been kind enough to help us out with all of the outside projects we have going on.  He truly is an amazingly generous, and kind man, and I thank him greatly for that).

We will be painting the bottom exposed concrete a black/dark gray, same as the soffets and trim.  Along with putting in a raised plant bed, because we are having some drainage issues due to soil erosion against the basement walls.

That window really does look so lonely up there... doesn't it?


  1. So the guy who lives next door and sold you the home, did he used to live in that house? Just wondering what he thought of all the much needed renos going on!

  2. He inherited the entire corner of the block... which includes a large home on the corner, an empty half-lot next to our house, behind that lot, is two apartments above garages (he lives in one of those apartments), next to that is our house, and there are 4 row-homes next-door to us on the other side.

    He was the care-taker for the older gentleman that owned the properties, and when he died, he left everything to this man. He still lives in one of the apartments over the garages, and still takes care of the properties (and is slowly doing the repairs to the properties and listing them for sale one by one).

    He mows our lawn, and told us to not worry about shoveling in the winter, because he's used to doing it, and will shovel it for us. He's such a wonderful/sweet man. We've walked outside some mornings to clean up the mess we made while weeding, or trimming our trees, to find that while we were at work the day before, he had cleaned up the debris on the ground. He even brought our garbage pails to the curb this morning for us.

    He's always asking if he can help us out with anything, such a nice man. I'm going to make an early Thanksgiving dinner, and invite him over.

  3. Oh, the power of the super mullet!

  4. Wow! Imagine inheriting a whole corner of a block!! Even if they need work. Sounds like a great guy.