Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Before and After, Backyard: Fence, Playset, Siding and Doors

We have finally started the first projects of our home renovation! We'd initially hoped to do this before, or soon after, moving back into this house last October...but things never quite go exactly as planned!

Our home was built in 1972 and we bought it from our friends in 2007. They had done a lot of work to get it functional, and they did a ton of projects like tiling, paint and other things themselves during the years they were here. Since we've owned it we've mostly only been able to fix what's broken, and the renters who leased it for three years while we had a job relocation did a great job at upkeep. 

But now we're at the point where we've pretty much decided we will stay here for the near future. We wanted to start with getting the exterior of the home weatherproofed and safe. Next we will finally be able to put our own personal touch on the interior of the house, namely the bathrooms and kitchen.

Right around Christmas we were finally able to put in a new fence, and in January we got the new big playset. Here are some "Before" shots...

When we moved back into this house (Oct 2014). Those bushes on the right were as tall as our garage!

After we had the bushes trimmed and were about to replace the fence last winter (Dec 2014)

Our new fence! (July 2015)

New playset and fence

Next we had some major drainage work done in the yard, along with a lot of pressure washing of the house, porch, patio, and driveway. We had new french drains added, some trenches with bull rock put in, and we tore out a lot of landscaping in the front. These things will all keep the water draining away from our house and down to the street! We will be adding some new plants in the coming weeks, along with new front shutters and maybe a new front door too. I'll share photos of that when it's complete.

This summer we've been preparing for a refinance and the other things needed to start this renovation. About two weeks before closing, we found out the bank needed us to replace the rotten wood siding, so it was a very quick project.  I was so glad to have gotten an Angie's List membership (only about $7/yr), and I contacted about 7 different siding companies. Three of them came out on such quick notice, and one was a kind of creepy guy who kept asking questions about the kids and such. The other was priced really high and wasn't available for the work on short notice, and the last was this contractor who was wonderful and had a very reasonable price and quick turnaround. He got this done in less than a week and was a pleasure to work with. He will be doing our roof next week, our windows in a few weeks, and then will probably be our main contractor for the interior renovations.  He and his guys did an excellent job!

Here are some photos of last week's project:

Apparently this wasn't even an exterior door. It was always getting stuck, was falling off the hinges, and it was allowing water to leak through on one side into the sheet rock.




This door was probably the worst part of the exterior of the house! It had a broken doggie door, was rotten on the bottom, and the knob was so close to the frame that everyone's hands would get stuck in the door!

This makes me so happy!


This window area is one part that isn't finished yet. We're going to order a big no-pane picture window, and so they'll replace the framing around it when they replace the window. We'll go with all-white trim and all white on the fascia under the roof as well. I'm hoping to figure out a better patio furniture plan. Maybe I'll move the picnic table into the grass and find a wrought iron table set with chairs to go around Steven's fire pit. We will see! One thing I'm so thankful for is our local online classified website where you can find almost any kind of furniture in great condition at an amazing price!

Here's a little snapshot of what they had to face when they pulled off that old wood siding! Scary! They ended up replacing all the insulation.

There was a lot of wood rot on the bottom of this wall.

They even added an electric outlet, so now we can use Steven's new grill over there!





These projects felt like the big first steps in fixing up this house! It's so pleasant to walk into the backyard now or to open the back doors! Next week we'll be putting in the new roof, and then the windows. Hopefully soon after that we will start the interior renovations, which will be the best part! I can't wait!


Mary said...

Wow Blair! It looks great! Its such a good feeling to get problems fixed that nagged in the back conscious. It's so fresh and clean!

Shannon said...

So great, Blair! Love the pics!

theresa EH said...

WOW!!! Could you email your contractor to Canada, what excellent work.

Darryl Smith said...

Your backyard looks lovelier now and that playset looks cool! The renovation that you did with that old door is fabulous, and everything turned out looking fresh and new. I'm sure you're all going to have a great time bonding in your newly renovated backyard. Great job, Blair! :)

Darryl Smith @ Franklin Window and Door

Unknown said...

Wooooow,It looks great!
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Windows And Doors Las Vegas

Rebecca A. Maynard said...

It was a very time consuming project, but we’re really happy with the result. vinyl fencing

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