I thought it would be fun to start this post with a hidden picture of the house on N Keats Ave. in Summer. It was late July, when we acquired the property, and then September when we returned to begin the ground breaking unceremoniously. As Summer faded into Fall, there was just so much overgrown in the front of the home. The hedge had overtaken the house completely, along with a Crepe Myrtle tree that just wouldn’t stop growing.
After trimming the hedges and mowing the lawns ourselves, one of us ended up with a bad case poison ivy! In due time, we gave a call to a family member who owns a tree service and had the hedges and the trees eliminated completely.
Admittedly, the house looked as barren as the Autumn trees after the removing the greenery. Yet, it seemed that like it might be fun to work with a blank canvas when replanting everything in the Spring!
Today, I plan to reveal the exterior progress that is happening on the property. You can see the initial inspiration photos for the exterior in my first Renovation Story. You may notice the vinyl on the side of the house was warping and not in as good of condition as that on the front of the property. The roof also needed complete therapy a.k.a replacement. Along the side of the home we planned to restore the original street facing side-door (just behind where the ladder is resting).
After the side patio and cinder blocks were removed, we decided to increase the front porch appeal by simply re-pouring the concrete steps leading to the front door.
Incidentally, we had opted to do a larger side patio and back patio in lieu of a more substantial front porch.
Next, the front windows are replaced and trimmed out with a thicker wood trim. Wood trims are something to carefully consider when updating a home. For this property, we made sure to keep with historic guidelines by preserving the original size of the windows and updating to an appropriate trim.
Then, we decided to replace the front of the home with a sturdier more appealing Hardieplank wood siding instead of vinyl. In the spirit of true conservation and green living, we reused the better condition vinyl from the front of the home as a replacement on the sides and back of the house, where the vinyl had aged more noticeably.
Here you can see the facade being prepared with plywood for the Hardie board.
Afterward,we reincorporated the original transom windows above the doors architecturally. It was super rewarding, when I received this photo because the home began to look like the original drawing that I had submitted to the Landmarks and Preservation team in summertime.
Above the flat-lap Hardieboard siding is primed, the sweet side patio is poured and the home was just about ready for painting, that is, until the Winter snow settled in!
The waiting time for snow to melt and temperatures to rise begins. It took months for the roof to thaw and ice to melt.
Lucky for us, with early February came the new Estate Gray roof replacing the former brownish one. The painters came out and painted the windows and door trims in Swiss Coffee. For the front of the home, I chose a shade of grayish beige called Cobblestone that I thought worked well with the slightly warmer vinyl siding.
Final touches included the oil rubbed bronze porch lighting, satin nickel lock-sets, blackish mailbox and modern address numbers.
As a side note, I have never officially seen the home in person since our trip to Kentucky in September, nor do I have any more pictures of the exterior facade.
At the moment, we have spread the seed and straw in hopes that new blades of grass will begin sprouting this May. I look forward to working with a landscape design company to layer in the shrubs and ground coverings. I am hoping the greenery of the landscape may soften the vivid red of front doors and incorporate the surrounding street.
Next week, we will step back inside the home to see the kitchen changing shape from beginning to end!
*Update* since painting these doors, I heard that both neighbors have painted their doors in shades of red. Now, I find myself searching for a different possibility…so please share with me your favorite paint shade for a front door!