Adding some nice curb appeal

Phase one on the front of the house is basically finished. Here’s the front yard 16 days ago and then today.

Front garden and lattice finished

What a difference!

As you can see, the garden is well on its way and the lattice and joist have been repainted in our new grey trim we’ll be using elsewhere on the front of the house. The plants have grown noticeably in just 2 weeks and change. Oh, and i had the old broken water pipe for the hose (sticking up in the first shot) replaced and run through the joist. So I don’t have to borrow my neighbor’s water anymore.

In the case of the joist, I stripped it down to the bare wood (in the first photo) before sanding, rinsing with mineral spirits, priming and painting it. (Kilz oil-based primer and Behr Medium Base Porch Paint.) For the lattice, I pulled it out, rebuilt the lower half of the frame that had rotted away and replaced a few missing sections, primed and painted it. (Same paints.) I prefer the look of wooden hand-laid lattice to the uniform plastic look of the cheap stuff from Home Depot, but I rescued the old lattice mostly to save myself $50 and a trip to HD. That took up my Sunday a few days ago.

Though I was so excited to get the lattice and joist painted and finished, I told Rachel that it just made the porch itself and the railing look more awful.

Which brings us to the second phase of what we’re planning for the front of the house. (Why phases? Makes me feel like I’ve finished something.)

  • Finish stripping concrete steps and pedestals. After they’re stripped clean and sealed, all the concrete will get painted in the same light grey color that we used on the lattice and joist.
  • Paint all the beige trim white. (Polar Bear White is the color, probably Behr paint as usual.)
  • Rebuild front porch railing from scratch. I found a pretty accurate replacement for the beveled top railing at Community Forklift for just a dollar or two. The rest of it will be mostly new pressure treated wood. Spindles and the bottom will be white and the top railing will be grey to match the lattice/joist.
  • Paint the interior porch ceiling a lighter shade of blue we’ve already picked out.
  • I want to replace the entire porch surface with new tongue-and-groove period appropriate slats, but I’m not sure where to find some. A house that got remodeled a few doors down replaced the old tongue-and-groove 2-inch slats with standard 4-inch decking. Doesn’t look nearly as good to either of us. I’m not sure if it’s worth the trouble or expense though. Sounds like a future post.

To recap, here’s how the yard looked before we started this project, and then where it was April 24 after the first 2 days of pulling out the fence and digging up the yard.

Pre-closing: exterior

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