Four Year House Tour: Part 3

For the last part of the four-year tour, let’s look outside, at our first impression.  Initially, the neighborhood, lot, and views piqued our curiosity.  Enough to look it up online, which only fueled our discussions.  If for no other reason, we had to see the inside just to get it off our minds.  Clearly that didn’t stop the swirling ideas, instead, we would regret not moving forward.  The house had been lived in, but neglected.  Many parts hadn’t been updated since the house was built.  Some work had been done, but not completed.  Landscaping all over grown.  The picture of beauty, right?  Maybe not, but at least potential.


Before replacing the siding, we decided to take the opportunity to make the house more energy-efficient at the same time.  We wrapped the house with insulation, then started with the pretty changes.  A mixture of dark gray painted lap siding, warmed up by rusting CorTen vertical siding.  Horizontal railings modernize and compliment the boxy structure of the house.


In the back, a large fountain sat centered on a weed filled paver patio.  It looks like there was landscaping done before, but had all grown over.


To create a more usable outdoor space, we pulled out the patio and fountain to create a large deck with a more natural looking water feature-a waterfall.  Though unconventional, the deck is made from reclaimed structural beams.  A DIY natural gas fire pit is a great gathering space for parties and s’mores roasting.


Near the house, there was a small landing area created from rock with several steps leading down to the patio area.  It wasn’t ideal and broke up the area without adding function.

New-House-Back-Yard-Stairs April 13 2012

We chose to remove the steps, lower the door, and make everything one level.  Over time, I’ve slowly added plants, turning the drab landscape as lush a possible.  There are areas I’d love to fill in for maximum coverage.


Before, the large space felt very compartmentalized and single use.


Now it’s our private oasis, perfect for relaxing, eating al fresco, and watching the kids play.


A steep hillside quickly goes up from the house level, but the lack of landscaping looked dull and lifeless.


It’s been a long process, but the work has certainly been worth the effort.


That sums up our four year house tour and progress.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the before and after comparison and updates.  Thanks for the encouraging comments and suggestions!

14 thoughts on “Four Year House Tour: Part 3

  1. What did you end up doing with the slate-top dining table that went with your chairs? We have the same one, but rectangular shaped rather than round. After just a few years of having it, the top is totally coming apart. I’m brainstorming ideals to “fix” it (a la small wood frame around the outside and maybe a concrete center) but the table is already so dang heavy!

    1. Hi Kristy!

      We still have the table, and some of the slate tiles are coming off. It’s not too back, but we have mentioned creating a wood top or something if it gets too bad.


  2. The exterior improvements are amazing. I never would have guessed at the beginning how far this house could come. Congratulations.

    1. Hi Barbara!

      So you’re saying the exterior didn’t have you sold?! Haha, it wasn’t the prettiest house before, that’s for sure. Thank you so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments along the way. 🙂


    1. It’s a big change, isn’t it?! It’s so funny to look at the original photos, because so much has changed. Some of it so slowly over time that it’s hard to really remember each step of the way.

Now it's your turn! Share your thoughts and opinions, stories and links. We love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s