Monday, September 14, 2015

Exterior House Renovation...

We have a transformation taking place the next couple of weeks at our house. We had our home custom built 24 years ago. We designed the home ourselves and had an architect draw up the plans and chose a contractor to build it.At the time our oldest child was about 12 years old and our youngest 2 years, and we had five children in between the engine and caboose. When the house was finished it was everything we could have wanted in a home at that time in our lives.

Fast forward to the present... my husband and I are empty nesters, and we still love our home.  In the last few years, however, we've needed to do a lot of renovations both on the interior and exterior of the house. Among other renovations to the interior, all four bathrooms have been stripped down to the walls and modernized. A couple of years ago we replaced all the windows in our home and were amazed at the difference in heating and cooling costs it made. Last year we replaced the roof, which was another big expense. Now we're ready to update the exterior paint, add board and batten shutters to the upstairs windows, replace our existing garage door, and add new outdoor lighting. We're also going to have to replace those poor pathetic little bushes under the window on the left. They were practically killed by a frost last year, and they never regained their strength this summer.

I've only chosen exterior paint colors a couple of times in my married life. The first time I did, I chose the paint color from a tiny 1" x 2" paint chip and bought all the paint without first testing it on the house. Big mistake. Colossal mistake. Gargantuan, enormous, and monstrous mistake that one only makes once in life. {My husband had years of ammunition to use against me from that blunder.} We lived with that very green paint color until we sold it a few years later. Oddly, that house has had several other owners since we sold, and none of them ever changed the color of the paint. {Shudder.} We chose very conservative exterior paint colors when we built our current home and have never changed the color. I'm more confident these days though, so I decided a change in color was in order.

Because I am still a little traumatized from my first encounter of picking out exterior paint {some experiences continue to haunt you well into old age}, I have taken two weeks to pick out the colors to paint our house and tested them on the front of our house. Mind you, the difference between a, b, and c in the photo above are not exactly drastic, but they are different enough that I have asked delivery men, neighbors, our postman, strangers walking their dog, and family members who drew near our home to choose their favorite color and kept an itemized list. I figured it's a lot better to have others chime in, so I can point my finger at them if the color doesn't turn out as expected. After tallying up the responses I was happy to see that most agreed with my choice -- "c" for the siding of the house. "C" is a custom color matched to the garage door we are having installed. The white paint will be the trim and the navy blue will be the color of the front door and shutters.

Last week the hubs and I went to Home Depot and bought the boards for the board and batten shutters. I wasn't thrilled with light-weight plastic ready-made shutters that you can purchase, so we decided to build our own. How difficult can it be to attach a few pieces of wood together, like this...

We decided on "Cellular PVC Trim" from Home Depot. It came in 8' lengths which ended up being very economical because of the lengths we needed cut. We had the wood cut to the proper length at Home Depot, so we didn't even have to bother using a saw. Last week I painted the boards, and we'll assemble them sometime this week. I'm very excited about this project!

I'll check back with a few updates as the project progresses!