Winter’s End?

Nearly a 1 year hiatus. Yes, and although I’ve often considered updating, I’ve been learning how to manage my full time job, living with family, and keeping friends on the weekends. With quite a few projects in between also. What have I accomplished over the past two years, since I got really lazy journaling about home improvement projects? Let me think:

  • Primed the entire house exterior
  • Painted the entire house exterior
  • Painted front & side entry doors
  • Install all new window trim and moldings through entire house
  • Stained or painted new window trim (the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen have painted woodwork)
  • Ordered raised panel vinyl shutters (not my favorite material, but inexpensive and zero maintenance won this time)
  • Primed & painted vinyl shutters (4 pairs)
  • Hung shutters on front & side windows
  • Blown cellulose insulation into attic (insulation value at R-60, baby!)
  • Painted main living room (boring white was getting old)
  • Hang living room curtains on new sturdy drapery rods
  • New laminate countertops & tile backsplash in the sister’s kitchen

Most of these steps I didn’t document, but I can highlight the finished outside of the house!

Below is the completely untouched “before” picture. Other than maybe a few plants and the park bench, this is how the house looked before I started working at all. Complete with rotting windows, vintage door, and fading bland paint job.

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Here is my rendered “after,” with the intention of all new windows, doors, shutters and a new and noticeable paint scheme.

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And here is the “after!” All the work I mentioned is complete, it’s only taken a little more than 2 years!

ImageOops, apparently this was before the shutters went up. But you can see how nicely landscaped it looked last summer, with fresh mulch, plenty of rain, and such a beautiful shaded green lawn. It has definitely spruced up the entire corner. What was before an almost unnoticeable little house is now a home that just looks loved and well maintained. And a little bit of personality thrown in there too.

ImageI really liked how the landscaping with its large radios curved edges has really softened the strong horizontal and box-like lines of the house.

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And here is the house (with shutters) earlier this winter, about mid January.The shutters are actually a color called Urbane Bronze (Sherwin Williams), but it is a strange color. Some days they look brown, some days they look black, and in the photo above they look blue gray. Since we didn’t replace the dark gray roof, I thought a gray/brown shutter color would help tie in the dark roof and brown paint scheme. And I think it accomplished that.

Although you cannot tell in the above photo, thanks to all that snow. NW Ohio has gotten in excess of 52 inches of snow this season, more total snowfall since the Blizzard of 1978! But the fancy Nest thermostat and medium efficiency furnace kept up just fine. Although I can’t compare until the winter is officially over (yes, I do keep utility bills each year so I can document the homes energy usage and compare it after I complete energy upgrades), I would dare to say the energy usage this winter is probably lower still than any winter before this thanks to the energy efficient and air-tight windows and doors. And you can also see how, thanks to the attic insulation, we have very little heat loss through the roof, as the heat from the house doesn’t escape from the ceiling to melt snow off the roof.

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