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As I’ve dreamed about fixing up the front of our house, I have been taking notes on what the neighbors are doing.  Miss E and I go on walks with her in the carrier on most evenings, and sometimes in the afternoon as well.

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We live in a development built in the 1950’s and for blocks around, there are really only half a dozen floorplans or so (and their mirror images).  Since being built there have been several decades for the various owners to build additions, change the facade, move doors and windows, add porches, etc. etc.  This means that when I go on walks, I have tons of opportunity to take notes on what works and what doesn’t on our exact same house!

For comparison’s sake, here’s a reminder of what our house looks like.

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There are two houses nearby that I particularly like.  They haven’t done anything drastic but the homes are updated and have tidy front yards.

I really like gray houses with crisp white trim, which is part of why this one appeals to me.    It just looks spick and span in person.  The paint looks fresh and new, and the lawn is always taken care of.  That’s more than I can say for a good percentage of the homes around us!  All the windows have been updated and have mullions (hard to see with the reflections), which I also love.IMG_1552 (800x598)

This house has a simple ranch-style porch that fits well with the rest of the house.  It also looks beautiful at night!  They have pretty, low-care landscaping with grasses and mulch and perfect outdoor lighting.  It really makes things look high end for our modest neighborhood.  Isn’t it amazing how great lighting can have that effect?

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So as the Chief works on restoring our windows, I’m dreaming about the end result.

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His project will likely take all month at the rate it’s going so far – the old paint is diamond hard and tough to get off, then everything needs to be primed with oil based primer, let that dry, then re-glaze each pane with window putty, which takes weeks to dry, then paint it all white.  He’s working on it a sash at a time and is currently about 25% done.

Are we the only ones who go around cribbing ideas from the neighbors?  Or is this a common DIY tendency?

I’m delighted to report that the front of our house currently looks like this:

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It’s fall and that means it’s time for the Chief to stop working on car projects and switch to house projects.   I love this time of year!!

The front of the house has been getting me down lately.  The three original wood windows were in dire need of re-glazing because the putty was flaking and disintegrating.

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There were still paint swatches from a year ago next to the door.

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And there were stucco patches across the front.

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We decided to prioritize an exterior update this fall.  This is Phase One (of two) to complete our curb appeal update.

Phase One Tasks

  • Re-glaze windows
  • Re-paint windows
  • Trim out windows with new, thick trim
  • Paint front of house (yay, no more piebald look!)
  • Paint house trim white (currently dark gray)

This will definitely elevate the appearance of our home!  After that we will probably take a break before continuing with Phase Two in the next year.

Phase Two Tasks

  • Tear down ugly metal porch and build nice new one (I wish we could tear it down now but we need something to keep off the winter rains!)
  • Replace the siding and brick on the far right facade of the house
  • Pour concrete walkway
  • Add landscaping

Here’s what the house looked like at its best before we got started.

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And here’s the in progress shot from the top of the post.

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It always gets worse before it gets better!  I’m really excited.  I’ll be back this week to share some more details.

When fall arrives do you tackle big house projects?  What small updates have boosted your curb appeal the most?