April – Before.
When we purchased the house, the siding was the original “press board” siding from the ’70s. The chimney had cracks almost to the base due to an earthquake 10 years ago, I think. The very narrow entrance to the front deck was to the left of the door, along the side of the window, with peeling paint and thin boards. And of course the drab, dingy color you see in the photos with a hideous purplish/maroon trim (the barn out back still has these colors but eventually we will change that too). Not pictured: rear deck was stable but again had peeling paint, thin boards and the former owners apparently made a weekend project of putting a porch cover on so it wasn’t up to code for snow load/slope.

Sept – After.
Brand new siding (yay for no house painting!) in a bright cheery light yellow/cream with black shutters and white trim. I wanted something different than the traditional shutter; we were kind of worried these would look too country/farmish but they came out looking really good.
The chimney was torn down to about 3 feet off the ground, rebuilt and stuccoed for extra support. No painting it like the previous owners. Apparently, water got behind the paint and eroded at cracks. Luckily, we got the bank to pay for half the repair in our closing agreements.
Complete new front deck with a 5 ft entrance facing the street for easier access for moving stuff in/out. It’ll make it much easier when Catalina’s here with car seats and strollers 🙂

Complete new rear deck, with 2 wide entrances (instead of just one narrow one) and a new porch cover (up to code of course). We plan to make a paver stone patio to the right of the deck, off the 2nd entrance, probably next summer. I might even try my hand at gardening but from past experience, my black thumb and I don’t get along with growing plants very well. Maybe we’ll just try something pretty, like rose bushes 😀

The exterior completion was actually perfect timing (even if it was a long time in the making) because my baby shower is 2 weeks from Saturday! In that time, we want to complete the mural in Catalina’s room, move everything out of the dining room & put the kitchen table and chairs together, move the decorative stones from the front (they were used to border a non-existent flower bed in front of the old porch) to surrounding the fire pit, finish hanging the rest of the pictures, and of course, cleaning!