Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Larger patio to play on

While the painters where working on getting our house all beautiful, and Tyson was busy getting the fence up, we were busy with a couple other projects at the same time. This was one we could have done ourselves, but sometimes it's best to let others do the work. We had a bigger patio put in on the back of the house.

You can see in this picture that there was a small patio already on the house. It's that area surrounded
by that ugly iron fencing.
We like to do things outside, and we wanted a bigger area to play and to entertain. Really what we want is to duplicate what we had at our SD house and have it here at our CO house. Eventually the back will look a lot like this.
We eventually want a covered area, but that might not happen for awhile. Other things are on the list of to-dos first.

First thing we had to do was to get rid of the iron railing that was around the little patio. That is what teenage boys are for! Nathaniel had a great time sawing it off. We had to move some of the rocks too, that was a family project. Still more of those to move, but not sure yet where I want them.

After that was completed we called in our 'workers' and had them take over. They got it all squared off and the base prepped.

Then the cement came! The first thing to pour was the boarder. We have a little bit of detail around the edge and I picked a dark gray as the color. I didn't want anything to strange that might clash with a yellow house. The house is bright enough that the patio needed to be more muted.

Once the boarder was set the middle was poured. It's just the normal gray cement color. We needed to match what was already there.
Patio is poured and set. Nothing too exciting, but it will make this backyard so nice come summer. As you can see in this last picture, they are working on another outside project. We added a detached garage. The one connected to the house is really small. Two cars do fit in it, but not much else. And with 4 kids and a bunch of hunting and camping supplies, we need more space. That is what the new one will hold. So many projects happening at once! very exciting...and expensive!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Clearing the jungle and putting up some privacy.

One of the outside projects that needed to happen was clearing of all the over grown bushes and trees that lined our property. Behind us is a church, and while they are good neighbors, we still needed to get a good 6' privacy fence around our yard. When we bought this house there was an iron rod fence around everything. That's good to keep somethings out, but we didn't want all the cars that went by, and the church goers, to see everything that we are doing back in our yard. Kids need to play without people staring at them, and I need to just sit and read a book back there without everyone wondering if I ever control those kids.

I realized as I started writing this that I don't have any pictures of what it looked like before, at least I can't find any. To the casual observer, it wasn't bad, but if you are trying to take out one fence and put in another it was a lot of junk back there! We cleared out enough trees and bushes to fill our trailer up four times! Good thing it's free to dump it.

Here is what it looked like after some cleaning up.

Now that it is all cleaned up it's time to pull out the old fence and put in the new.
Once Tyson got this fence out, we sold it on Craig's List! Love getting money for something we would have thrown away. And since someone bought it we didn't have to haul it anywhere. They came and loaded it up!

I know, it's a beautiful fence.

Tyson put up a 6' cedar fence where this one use to be. I thought I took some pictures of him and the kids working on it, but I can't find them anywhere. This picture is of our big dirt pile which will one day be our garden, and behind it you can see the fence. Of course the boys are on the dirt. Boys and dirt are like magnets.

It's so nice to have a real fence up! Now we can be in our backyard and no one can see all of our doings. And with all of our doings lately everyone looks as they drive by.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What to do first?

When we looked around our new home we tried to decide from our long list what we should do first.

There was nothing majorly wrong with the house, just some minor things needed to happen. This house had not been lived in for at least the past two years. The previous owners would visit now and then, but that was about it. A house needs to be lived in or things just start to go wrong. Or things just aren't taken care of the way they should have been.

Since it was the end of summer when we moved in, we decided that the outside should be worked on first. Then the inside items would get attention when it was too cold to work outside any more.

This house hadn't been painted since it was built in 1999. You could start to see places where the paint was peeling and wearing off. We had different options, we could put new siding on. Possibly vinyl siding and never have to worry about painting it again. Or we could paint it and then again in about 10 years need to paint again. The idea of siding didn't appeal to me. You are stuck with that color forever. What if I didn't want the house to always be white, or green, or whatever color we picked? And painting is quite a bit cheaper. We chose to paint. And since we were painting I was definitely NOT going to pick white. White is boring. It looks nice, but it's just boring. And to me this house was screaming I NEED TO BE YELLOW!!

I didn't know how hard it was going to be to pick a simple primary color! The first color I had picked was an interior paint. That wouldn't work. Then while talking with the paint store guys I came to realize that certain yellows would fade out to white in just a couple of years, if not months. Not good there, either. So I started looking again. Luckily the color I liked was on a brochure. Sherwin Williams had it as an example house and it was exactly what I was imagining in my head! If it was good enough for their example it was good enough for me!

I bought a sample can to make sure I wanted that color. I went home and painted a section on the back of my house so that I could go out at different times of the day and see if it was the color I wanted.
I/we determined that Humble Gold was the chosen color! And we were going with it. Shutters would be Caviar (black, obviously), and the front and back doors were going to be Salute (which is a red).  I love paint names, they are so funny.

We got the OK from the HOA and we found a painting crew we could afford. We decided to have someone else paint it instead of us doing it ourselves. They would be done in a couple of weeks with something that would have taken us the rest of the summer and into the next. Plus, they would do a much better job of it.

I'm really glad we had someone else do the work. They took more time than I would have into getting it clean. The shutters had to be removed, and that hadn't happened since it was built about 10 years ago.

They were filthy underneath. After watching them power wash my house I was glad we had them do it.

After posting this picture I remembered something else we did before the painters came. See the little scallops there in the peak? Tyson installed those. Cute, huh? It was a little touch that Tyson thought of, and I really like it.

Once they started painting the weather turned for the worse, of course. What they thought would only take about a week and a half turned into almost three. It rained some, and that made it a day they couldn't paint, it turned to almost freezing temps, so that took things to a halt for a bit too. But they finally got it done!

I took pictures almost everyday at 10:30am, but I'll only post a few of them here so you can see the progress.
10-21~ Garage side started

 10-21~ road side started. This wall took them the longest since it was just painting and painting.

10-27~ The front is being started. The painters really wanted to get the front done so everyone who drove by could see the transformation even better. 

10-28~ Front and garage front done! All we need are the shutters put back on.

10-28~ Road side done. Now all the people taking their kids to school can see what is happening to our house. We have gotten so many people asking about it.  Great way to meet the neighbors!

10-28~ Shutters getting painted Caviar.

10-28~Silly painters. They were good guys who worked hard and were pretty enjoyable to have around the house all day long.

10-29~ I told the painters they needed to hurry and get my door done. The previous owners had it purple (who knows why) and with my yellow it made things look like an Easter basket.

10-29~ door painted, I feel so much better.

10-30~ I decided I wanted the backdoor the same and the front. Most people would have painted it white, but I spend more time in the back and I wanted another splash of color back there. I'm glad I did it.

10-30~ The shutters are on and now the front is complete! I love the new color of my new (to me) house!

11-2~ The back is done!

I'm glad we started with the painting of  the house. I can't believe what a color change can do for a place. And it's been easy to tell people where we live. All we have to say is the yellow house at the front of our subdivision and they know exactly which one. We have had many people tell us that they drive by our house to see what we are doing to it. Gotta love small towns. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ready to show the world!

I've been posting pictures of what we are doing on Facebook, but sometimes others want to see more of what we have done. And the easiest way to do that was for me to jump into the blogging world and set this up for all to see.

This first post will show what we started with. This house is what we found online when we started to think about moving here.
It was nice as it was, but we could see that it could be better. These other pictures are a few that were on the MLS. I wish I would have taken all of the pictures so you could see more, but this gives a good idea of what we started with.

Here is our entry way.

The beautiful dining room!

The family room.

The kitchen (looking from the family room)

The dining area in the kitchen.

The master bedroom.
The upstairs bathroom (another beautiful room of wall paper!)
The backyard.

It has potential! Luckily for us, most people who saw this house didn't see the potential that we saw. They looked at the wall paper and ran! We looked beyond the wallpaper. We saw that this nice house had a large back yard, was in an amazing neighborhood, right next to a great school, and close to everything in our town. After some long hours of work, this house could be something really nice that we would enjoy living in for a very long time.