Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Summer Plans

Last year at this time, we were knee deep in some major renovations. We're not done, per se, and plans and ideas keep wandering through our daily conversation. But, for now, for now we've decided to take a bit of a break. If you can call it a break. This summer is not going to be full of some glorious remodel, there will be no addition out the back come September and for once, we're not going to spend every weekend inhaling drywall dust and paint fumes.


There will be no sitting around twiddling thumbs. Oh no. We've still got plans, even if they aren't particularly big.

A little back story. When we pulled up in front of our little house for the very first time, I have to admit: I hated it. It was weird, ugly. There was no grassy, just concrete out front. A satellite perched precariously from the roof. The exhaust poked its way out of boarded up windows from the basement level, right out infront. The front porch was chipped and ugly and for goodness sake, why did the previous owners tile it with smooth, slippery, interior tile?

image via screen capture of Google Street View

Curb appeal? Whatever was there was not working on me.

Over a year later, I love our little house. I think it's cute rather than ugly. Its odd boxiness has grown on me and I've learned to see its unique face as quietly unimposing and welcoming. But I remember that first reaction to it and I know we have to do something to make sure such a reaction doesn't match with that of friends, family, or worse, potential future buyers.

We haven't done much with it yet. We've been focused on the interior and then, well, we hibernated for the winter. But I'm not sure if you've noticed... it's not winter anymore! So, what are we going to do?

A list!

  • Rip up the concrete pad on the right. It is not driveway, cannot be used for parking and is terrible for drainage and well, prettiness.
  • Pull up the brick, re-level our parking space and re-lay the brick. It has started to dip where tires tend to sit. 
  • Board up the basement windows properly and brick or stone a facade over them. 
  • Run the exhaust line to the side of the house instead of straight out the front. (Newish readers: you must check out this story from way back when we first bought the house. Our neighbours thought we were on fire!)
  • Rebuild the porch, including ripping up the tile, building new stairs and railing.
Now that I write it all out, it looks like a lot more than I think it is. But really, the whole focus of this project is the porch. Oh, it needs help. The Husband, being a very visual person, immediately pulled out a sketch pad of graph paper and set to drawing once we seriously started to talk about what we're going to do this summer.

Isn't it going to be pretty? Wide, wrap-around stairs, a brick pathway and just a little strip of perfectly maintained grass along our property line. What do you think?


  1. Julianne Van't LandApril 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Do our windows have to go? Any chance you'd want to dig window wells for any of the others, to let more light in? I love the wrap around stairs!

  2. The laundry room windows are SO badly installed, we are going to take them out. However, we'll put one back in so there will still be lots of light and space for seedlings!

    There might be an opportunity to dig out the front window when we get to the concrete pad. Not sure when that will happen, but definitely an option!

  3. That is to say, all input is welcome and appreciated! :)

  4. Julianne Van't LandApril 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    sounds great!

  5. And you would consider this whole big project, "a break"?! Your plans sound great! Can't wait to see the "after" pictures! A little something green in front of the house will definitely add to the curb appeal. You do have a cute little house, and it's just going to look that much cuter by the end of this summer!

  6. Love the porch renovation plans! It's going to look fantastic when you finish the project!

  7. Love it! We're working on our curb appeal this summer as well because we also neglected it last summer. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

  8. Ellie, your comment made me laugh!

    It's a break only in that we're taking it at a bit of a slower pace and it should be far cheaper than the interior stuff we did. But yes, there will be plenty of labour involved!