Sunday, June 23, 2013


Hello, old red door
Goodbye, old red door
Down to the rough opening - and a decent look at our current interior construction zone
New door!  But we still need new trim...

We tackled some smaller jobs this weekend, repairing the old walls and blending them in with the new sheetrock, priming the old walls for new paint, and repairing a handful of window trim pieces that got a bit damaged when the drywall guys were using compound near them.  So, there isn't much by way of pictures except for today's project, replacing the front door.  The old door probably had a negative energy efficiency rating given how drafty and inefficient it was.  We bought the new door several months ago and it's been taking up space in our dining room while we waited for the last of the drywall to come into the house to make sure that the door didn't get damaged in the process.  But, with the drywall installation done, the painter in the house today necessitating an open door for ventilation, and good weather, we decided to check this one off our list.  The new door is fiberglass in a faux wood finish with a nice chunky shelf so it's much more suited to our style.  We also reversed the entry to the right side rather than the left so that you now enter and face into the (soon to be built) mudroom rather than the living room.  We haven't put the interior or exterior trim on the door yet so you can still see the rough opening and the insulating foam but we'll tackle the finishing touches some evening this week (with more pictures to come!).  In the meantime, it's good to have the new door in and another project checked off.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Before and after

I keep looking at these pics and thinking about all the steps involved over the last year to make it happen. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it. We keep staring outside and saying how nice everything turned out. That probably happens several times a day. Currently we don't have a dining area inside so its really nice to be able to sit outside since the weather has been perfect lately. Almost time for some parties!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Outdoor Revolution

It's hard to wrap my head around the idea that anything in this house might actually be well and truly finished but we're getting very close to that point with the yard now.  Now that the sod is getting well-established, we spent the weekend cutting out planter beds, installing a stone walking path, planting annuals and perennials, planting a herb garden, putting down landscape fabric, and generally getting the yard tidied up.  We still have some work to do - we'll be getting a big delivery of mulch, courtesy of the town's mulch service, in two weeks and so until then, the beds won't be fully finished, and the front of the house still needs some touch-up paint and a new front door, but it's starting to look like a thought out yard - a far cry from the neglected and construction-debris filled eyesore that it was just a month ago!  See for yourself....

Let's start with a little trip down memory lane...not too long ago, the front yard looked like this...
And the backyard looked like this...

Also, like this..yes, it was bad...

And now, here is the back garden, on Saturday morning - better than the picture above
but still looking a little unkempt

Back garden in progress

New back garden, with herbs on the left and flowers between the trees
Side garden in progress with rose bush waiting to be planted (apparently we forgot to take an "after" shot so this will have to do!)
Side patio garden with two more knockout rose bushes added - and bamboo screen filling in nicely in front of the fence

New stone walkway to the garage!
New window boxes on the side of house
New flowers to go with the old (and getting big!) grasses

Adding flowers to the front flower beds 
Front porch, complete with new adirondack chairs and hanging flower baskets

It's been quite a change around here!  Since I use this blog as much to record-keep as anything else, here's the rundown on what we planted this weekend - back garden has the two willow trees that we planted about two years ago.  They were one of the first things we ever added to the yard and they've really developed well.  To the left side is a Southern wax myrtle bush that we bought last fall and relocated today, and in front of the myrtle is the herb garden - sweet basil, spicy island rosemary, mint, oregano, and English thyme.  Between the willows are four coneflowers (also planted last year and relocated), with three black-eyed susans in front.  The window boxes and hanging baskets have wave petunias, and the front flower beds have Everlast Orchids (the pink flowers) and Derbys (the yellow ones) in front of maiden and porcupine grasses.  We also added zinnias to the side patio garden and planted some more knockout roses in the side beds...but I think I've hit my picture limit so we'll have to wait for another day to upload those!  All in all, a very satisfying weekend and an amazing change to the outside of the house.  We may not be calling this project finished just yet, but we're definitely happy with the progess!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Garage Reorg

About five times last week I couldn't find some tool or something in the mess that our garage has turned into. It was time for some container store and some organization. The drywallers were working inside so it got me out of their way and now we can find whatever thing we happen to need. All the wood I used was leftover from our inside framing. Most of it was slightly warped or twisted enough to not use it while framing, but it's still useful for shelving since it doesn't have to be perfect.

I also power washed the driveway and front porch for good measure. I'll throw up a pic of our cleaned up front porch and new furniture. Next weekend if the weather is nice we will plant the rest of the landscaping and just about call the outside finished.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Drywall hung

The two man drywall crew got everything hung and are currently taping everything. We have them user contract to prime, sand, and paint so we should be finished in another week with them. Then just some flooring and trim and this house will be livable again. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Drywall starting

Our contractor got all the supplies delivered yesterday and they are currently moving about ten times faster than I could. This is money well spent on subbing out in our opinion. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Although it wasn't exactly instant as it took six of us about 7 hours of hard, hot labor today, but it was instant gratification at the end. Yesterday we got all the dirt moved around and semi-smooth and the extra hours we put it this week for prep really paid off. Today we attacked it starting at 7am with the help of our friend Adam and 3 laborers. First everything had to be smoothed out and all the hard edges needed to be cut in so the sod could butt up against it without sticking up. Everyone did an awesome job and the end result looks amazing. Now we just need to keep it watered and hopefully it will stay green forever. Or at least until we sell this house. In a couple weeks we will cut in some planter beds and plant a few perennials to make everything really pop.

As a side note I'm not sure how anyone would do this without a bobcat. That thing paid for itself many times over. I damaged some driveway pavers, but the amount of moving and lifting that thing can do in a short time is a life saver. Get yourself one. You won't be disappointed. No, you can't borrow mine.