Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Big Changes In Da House

Our future is kind of all up in the air right now. Matt's graduating in May, interviewing for jobs, and finishing his dissertation in the next few weeks. We know that, eventually, he'll get a job and we'll move. But we don't know when, or where we'll go.

The one thing we know for sure is that, when we leave, we don't want to turn our house into a rental property. That means that, as soon as we figure out where we're supposed to go and when, we'll be putting it up for sale. And to do that, we needed to fix and update a few things on the exterior of the house, particularly in the courtyard section.

You remember when we updated the siding on the other side of the house, I expressed my concern about the siding in our courtyard, which is technically on the neighbor's house, though we're the only ones who see it.

It had deteriorated significantly in the eight months since I took this photo, and I suspect they were beginning to experience water damage or something, because back in January, they had some workmen come out and replace it. And HALLELUJAH, because it looks AMAZING now.

While we also needed to replace a few rotting trim boards on our side, and repaint our whole side of the house, the biggest thing that needed to be tackled was the underside of our balcony deck. The previous owners had covered the patio so that, when it rains, the whole area underneath stays dry, which is nice. Except that the way they made that happen was not the most attractive. They used clear plastic sheeting, and used cable ties to attach it to the upper deck, and they basically MacGuyvered it into place with crooked boards and weird attachments. You can see it a little in the top photo, and here's the next best picture I have of it.

While we could have lived with it, it was not pretty and it was impossible to clean. Years of rain and leaves and gunk and enormous wasp nests had gotten stuck up there, and because it was so close to the bottom of the balcony and not at a very steep angle, there was no good way to get a hose up in there to get it clean. It was just all-around disgusting, as you can kind of tell from the top corner of the photo.

Matt's parents and uncles once again generously came up to visit and spent the day repairing, caulking, painting and building this new patio cover that's much prettier — and hopefully much more functional — than the old one. It's now at a better angle, and lower so you can reach a hose up underneath to clean it. But even if you don't … well, you can't see through it now, so it doesn't matter! No more warped two-by-fours or random little boards holding it up precariously!

And the water can still run off into the flower bed. Which we will have to replant, because all our begonias are dead.

We are thrilled with how it looks now!

It got dark before everything was painted, but for one day, they did an awful lot of work! There's not too much else that needs to be fixed, as far as I can tell. After the painting is finished, I think we'll mainly be fixing cosmetic stuff, like getting the flower beds back in order. Possibly re-sealing the deck(s) too, which Matt has talked about doing since we got married, but clearly has not been a high priority. We'll see!


  1. I know how scary/exciting that must be to know that you are going to be moving. The repairs look great!

  2. Good work on getting all those pesky things done! I like updating my house, but I don't love those unfun, hard work projects. So exciting for you to get them done and to have some changes in the future!

  3. Whoa that made a huge difference! I would have never thought to do that below a patio but it's totally a great idea :) and thank GOODNESS your neighbors fixed their siding, right?!

  4. wow! what a transformation. sounds like you are creating a little back yard oasis for summer time. I totally have sunshine and summer on my brain :)

  5. It looks so much better! I can't wait to see where you guys start your new adventure :)

    1. Me too! Your guess is as good as mine at this point...

  6. Wow, big differences! It's so smart to start thinking about the changes you need to make now instead of in May. Way to be prepared!

  7. I'm surprised no one has mentioned that the new sidings were horizontal instead of the original vertical, which meant these were completely new, and not some restoration. Matt's relatives deserve a sumptuous meal with all of the work they put through at the patio too. I'm betting this would be enough for this to be sold in a jiffy!
    Dennis Phillips @