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Mission Creep in House Renovation

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When you're giving a house a major facelift, Other Things are bound to crop up.

 They might include rotting window trim that lets water cascade onto your computer table and dresser. There might be roof vents that were never properly installed, that flap up in a westerly wind and let water pour onto your fine art prints in the upstairs storage room, considerably reducing your stock. There might be a set of old deck stairs that aren't worth ripping off the house. Which means you need a new set built.

There might even be a heavy metal awning over your front porch that needed 12 bolts when it was originally installed, but was only given (gulp) three, and they are on the bottom, such that the whole damn awning has pulled away from the house and is threatening to brain the house occupants. 

And all this time Bill had been telling me my hanging baskets were too heavy. 

Hey. They ain't heavy. They're my flowers. And I have been given clearance, with the awning freshly re-installed, to hang as many as I want. Craig said so.

Mission creep. It happens. The front stoop obligingly fell apart during the project, forcing the issue and nearly twisting the ankle of one of our brave crew. Note to self: Pacific red cedar is expensive, and it lasts exactly 14 years, and then it falls apart. Do something different this time.

What was different was Trex plastic board, made from milk jugs. Yay! In a fetching shade of milk chocolate brown. And there's that awning, newly re-attached. Whew!

I thoroughly enjoyed capturing the renovation in every light condition, every mood. These evening clouds. Good grief. Underlighting, anyone? Does it make me want to paint them? Yes, it does. Do I paint them? No, I have to clean the house again. People are coming...

Because Trex board sags, you have to build the whole stoop out of pressure-treated wood, and then put the Trex over that. It was a whole lotta building. I was surprised to find no rats or snakes holed up under the old stoop. Come on. Something...but it was innocent of tenants, nor any trace of them.

The finished stoop. We decided to take it all the way over to the kitchen wall, which essentially gave us another outdoor room. We've got a couple of chairs out there and Bill and I enjoy sitting out there in the (short) evenings, taking in the view from our new little verandah. Of all the changes, that porch is the one that probably pleases us most, and we hadn't even been planning to do it. Just goes to show you that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. 

On the shade of red we chose...Bill and I pored over paint chips and finally bought a quart of the red we liked best, the one that most evoked a barn, that wasn't too hot or too fire-enginey, that wasn't too maroon, that was just right. He slapped it on a goodly section of the tower, in back, visible from the kitchen window, where we looked at it for a couple of years. Yes, we move slowly, but when we move...We liked it in the chip, but liked it even better on the siding. So we bought a whole bunch of it and stored it in the basement. I told the crew when they arrived, "That paint's been sitting here for two years. Gonna have to stir it a bit..."

 My friend Orly from California pointed out that Norman Rockwell liked that color,'s his studio! Slightly darker, but virtually the same hue of weathered brick red. Validation from one of the greats.
Now, I would have added contrasting trim, but who am I to question Norman Rockwell? Fact is, that red sings against green and sky blue and cloud white.

from Wikimedia Commons, thank you so much!

The Locavore Science Chimp, processing pawpaws in the evening light. You see the garage is still sickly grey-green. Can't afford to do the garage right now. But we have enough Hardie board left over from the big job to do it! Mission creep! Just give us a few years...gotta write that best-seller.

Panoramic photo by Phoebe, taken with my iPhone. Amazing!


(but...: "They ain't heavy. They're my flowers" -- expect to hear from Neil Diamond's lawyers in the morning.)

Amazing blog provide really nice information about House renovation.
Remodeling Contractors in Palm Beach County

SEO4PC you are a cheeseball. I am only leaving your spammy comment because it makes me laugh. Go pester Floridacracker.

This old house most common comment-
"While we're at it we might as well..."
just insert the new project.
Looks wonderful.

How wonderful! Happy for all of you in your newly renovated digs! Love the color, the bigger porch, ... and no photobombing from Mr. Chet? Shocking. ;-)

I was so tickled to read your obvious admiration for Norman Rockwell. He has always been one of my favorite ARTISTS (no, he's not just an "illustrator," whatever that is supposed to imply). Love your renovations; so welcoming! And glad no one got hurt before all was fixed.

Beautiful color for the house - I'm glad you were bold!
I was in Newport, RI once and there are many houses in a wonderful red (similar to Rockwell's red house) - I was told they achieved that precise color by doing a first coat in dark blue then painting the red.

I am liking that red!

Wonder how that Palm Beach County contractor found you?

Twern't me.
Kathy in Delray Beach (Palm Beach County)

Posted by Anonymous October 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Wow, it looks great. I'm very envious, especially of the porch. Mission creep--I know it too well.

Wonderful color. Your house and porch look great. Those plastic decking products are amazing.

Yeah, it looks like the roof's gonna get the old heave ho. Fitting enough. You can't let a beleaguered or rotting material burden you so. Go with what should be best, even if it takes you having to turn the entire house on its head. :)

Byron @ The Roofing Company

Oh, help yourself to an ad on my blog, Spammy Byron Powers.

How envious I am of your windows ! That is where our project has come to a screeching halt as the inevitable wood rot and termite problem has prevented us from opening the Pandora's box and moving forward. Thank my lucky stars I have you to wax vicarious ! I'm loving the pastoral transformation.

Wow. Just wow!

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