October 25, 2013

The House: Part 07: Outside! Exterior!

I should start by saying that it took two full days of plowing and digging and raking and shoveling in the back yard to even realize we had a beautiful brick patio. TWO DAYS. In the end, the outside took three weeks of work (spread out over the year) to get it to where it is now. We removed several trees, built a new deck and fence and tirelessly dug down 6" in nearly every nook and cranny of yard space in order to rid ourselves of fifteen years of mad ivy takeover and gobs of poison sumac. The final piece to the yard puzzle was seeding in September and building a fire pit.

As for the exterior of our house, the work was extensive and thankfully, most of the big ticket items were contracted out. :) We had a new roof put on, asbestos siding removed, insulation blown in, our maple was trimmed away from the house and new siding installed. I installed new windows in much of the house and we painstakingly updated the porch by removing lead paint, replacing rotten posts and painting the door, posts and porch ceiling. There was also a mess of an awning that adorned our sidewalk entrance, which was a delight to smash down and then reuse to build Stella a small tree house. A little landscaping went along way.

This is what our house looked like when we first laid eyes on it (siding caked with asbestos, half of the window trim was rotted out, layers of lead paint caked on everything and missing gutters). It's hard to believe we could fall in love with such a mess.

Some progress shots: 

And the finished version...


Estoked said...

Incredible! Thanks for sharing it looks amazing!

Melissa said...

That is nothing short of spectacular!! I am speechless. Such a beautiful and incredible job!

Christine said...

Looks awesome! You guys worked so hard on it. Good for you. Your hard work has paid off. :)

Brooke said...

I loved seeing this. Well done!

Veronica said...

Looks stunning. Nice picks in colour and finishes

Gwen Jackson said...

Seeing this house from the get go . . . you guys poured your heart and soul into this house. Amazing turn around!

Unknown said...

it's beautiful!!!! such a work of love.

Jamie said...

Amazing!!! Looks SO good!

Martie V. said...

Brilliant work, sir.

rosaleebills said...

Very cool! Incredible work Josh and Kari!

::athada:: said...

I have some native prairie seeds if you want, though it looks like your space is fully and judiciously used. Stunning... you deserve it, I can't imagine all the work! Not just renovation... restoration!

Vicky said...


Tash said...

SO much hard work. You guys are amazing and the house looks amazing!

The Flynnigans said...

Wow! Looks like a completely different house. What a head turner, it looks great :)

Megan said...

I cannot get over this transformation! I had no clue what an overhaul you were into when we met up for our play date. Great job, guys! The new owners are beyond blessed.

Amanda said...


kerry kind said...

Restoration. I am thinking that different elements of the house may individually have looked good at one time. (At one point, the patio was new. At another time, the fence was new. Another time the house got a new exterior, etc.) But I am thinking that it has never had all these parts restored and beautiful at the same time, inside and out, not even when it was brand new! You have not only worked and earned a fair return for your labors. You have restored an important artifact of our society into usefulness and beauty, one which will probably last beyond our lifetimes, when it was actually in danger of being completely lost.

Unknown said...

I wish reading your blog was interactive. Like being able to see my face as I view your photos and read your words.
Because it is not, please know how deeply touched I am by your story.
It's amazing. This is amazing.
Just like Margot.
and Stella.
and Leo.
and you and Kerri.
Thank you.
My favorite quote that I tuck away,
"It's hard to believe we could fall in love with such a mess."

Unknown said...

Your old house is falling in love with you. Restorations of this kind, saving the old and unique because nothing will ever be like it, make the hair stand up on my arms. Well done.

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