This never made it to the blog in real time due to all the chaos of moving and renting and having babies!
So here is a follow up post I have been meaning to share for a long time.
Here are the befores and afters of our first home be bought.
Starting with exterior updates:
One of the first things I did was garden beds next to the front steps.
I hated not having a defined area and it made it difficult to keep the grass edge crisp and weeds out.
I also wanted to plant some bushes to hide the ugly exposed foundation.
We added pavers, ground cloths, dirt and bark with a few new plants.
We also replaced the 2nd floor and basement windows from the original wood framed to white vinyl.
This left me with a bunch of cool vintage window frames to do things with!
I sold a few on Craigslist ( to a woman building a chicken coop), a few to my friend April to use for her wedding and kept some for my own arts and crafts.
The last four, I hung on the front porch with chains. I love that the new owners of the home still have them up too. I think they look so cool.
A post about that can be found HERE
Here is a view after we painted to exterior.
Having the old single pane glass windows out of the basement made me feel SO much safer inside the house. I hated being on the top floor ( where our bedroom was) and knowing someone could easier kick the old window out and enter the house and I wouldn’t hear a thing.
These also opened properly, which is a huge plus!
Next came painting the house.
I hated the fetus color from the moment we first saw the house before we bought it.
I never found out what the original color of the house was when it was built back in the 20’s.
All the photos we have are black and white!
But I know this tan shade was not original.
I also hated how it was basically all one color. The trim and the body all ran together.
We did all the prep and painting ourselves
along with the help of a few friends and a scissor lift.
Added a new back door
A post about that can be found HERE
On the front of the house I changed out the 505 house numbers to these way better house numbers.
I found them on Ebay.
We opted to keep the original front door. It was in excellent shape and during the entire renovation process we kept as many things original as possible.
We had an advantage since we were only the second owners of this home and very little had ever been done to it aside from a kitchen update in the 90’s.
We also repoured the front and back steps.
They were literally crumbling and pulling away from the house. The front steps were also not to code and very shallow. We hardly ever used the front door because of this.
This wasn’t one of the funnest projects. We had to jackhammer out the old steps and then reframe and pour concrete into the forms. They turned out gorgeous and made a huge difference in the overall look.
The previous owner put a bandaid over the problem on the back steps and built larger wood steps over the existing broken concrete.
That worked fine but didn’t look great.
Backyard space before
While we were in the middle of demoing out the old steps( and simultaneously remodeling the kitchen because we are crazy ), our basement flooded. So we had to put those projects on hold while we just put in a french drain right quick! When it rains, it pours. Literally. Then we resealed our basement floors and bottom couple feet of the walls. I wish we had done this before we moved in. It was twice the work when your basement is already full of junk!
We knew putting in a french drain was on our list of things to do. The house previously had this goofy makeshift PVC pipe system build around the back of it to connect to the down spouts and run the water away from the house. It was clear that there had been an issue at one point and this would need to be addressed. It is just a lot nicer to tackle things like that on your own time and not be forced into it by a small catastrophe!
And Finally we tore up the existing backyard and took out a few over grown trees.
We added in a garden area in the back corner that matched the pavers I had used out front.
Then put bark down in the opposite corner and made a sand box /toy area for Clark and a few raised garden beds for veggies.
Here is the backyard when we moved into the house
Short old fence with no privacy
The lovely tarp city our neighbors had going on behind us definitely needed to be hidden
Cutting down the tree
Grinding out the stump took forever
We refenced the entire yard and built a gate across the back where the driveway met the back steps to create a patio area and a way to close off the backyard from the street. The existing garage was being used as more of a shed for us, so gating this off wasn’t an issue.
Building the new fence
The Dad’s came over to help us out.
Of course I didn’t want just a plain old fence.
I needed to be extra.
The new gate to close off the backyard and back porch
Digging up the old yard
The old yard was 50% moss. The huge tree we took out shaded it a little too well. We rototilled everything and then leveled and reseeded the area. Here is Steve dragging a pallet to knock down any high spots. Of course Clark couldn’t pass up an opportunity for a free ride.
More friends and family we convinced to come help us out