Yesterday, I (finally) posted some “after” pictures of the new paint on the exterior of the house.  Today I wanted to share some of the other updates that we made to spruce up the house in addition to painting.  So, here goes:

1)  Installed two new sets of patio doors in the sunroom.

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In the front.

 

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In the back.

This was actually our first step in the project to paint the house and it was done way back in March/April … but we’re still counting it!  :)  You can read more about the new doors in this post.

 

2)  Cleaned up exterior phone & coax wiring in back.

No more wires!

No more wires!

It’s funny how quickly you forget.  This was such an eye-sore on the side/back of the house and I’m already having trouble remembering how bad it was.  We had done a bunch of prep work over the last year or two to replace most of the wires on the outside of the house with ones running through the walls inside, so we were just waiting for the painters to yank the old cables off the house and fill the holes.  And, tada – no more rats nest of cables outside!  That was such a glorious day!

 

3)  Switched from overhead to underground service for all utilities.

The old, overhead service.

The old, overhead service.

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The new, underground service.

I was super nervous about this change.  I was so convinced we would have troubles getting all of the utility companies here to do their part.  But, it turned out great (you can read more about that whole process in this post) … and, aside from some landscaping work to try to get grass to grow over the trench, it is totally complete.  Again, it’s funny how quickly you forget all of the old wires, but we’re loving not having to look at them any longer!

 

4)  Fixed the back railing … and roof.  

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This started with the railing on top of the back porch area looking a little less than stable.  So, we called a carpenter out to see if he could repair it.  We thought he’d likely be able to replace just a few of the bad pieces and tighten the rest up with some new screws and we’d be good to go.  But, no.  By the time it was all over, pretty much the entire railing had been replaced with new materials (only the top and bottom horizontal rails and the metal caps on the end posts were able to be re-used) … and we also had a new rubber roof on the porch area and a bunch of new framing under that.  It turns out that whole structure had a ton of water damage and was thoroughly rotted.  Ugh.  It cost a bundle and, in the end, looks a little straighter, but otherwise about the same as before.  Definitely not my favorite kind of home improvement project.

 

5)  Took down the trash can fence.  

Before.

Before.

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After.  The trash and recycling cans normally sit in front of the window well … but today happened to be trash day.

We had this old picket fence corralling the trash cans on the deck side of the house.  I guess we’d never paid that much attention to it, but when we started talking about paint on that side, we realized it was actually kind of an eye sore.  We really thought we’d probably want to replace it with a new fence that was styled better to match the house, but we started by just cutting the old one down so the painters could access the siding a little better.  And, whatdaya know, we figured out we actually like the area a lot better with no fence.  It’s easier to get to the trash cans and we think that (even though we’re looking at a couple of trash cans now) it’s actually less cluttered.  And, as an added bonus, the raccoons haven’t been making quite as much of a mess with our trash now that they don’t have a fence to help them climb up.  Win-win.

 

6)  Updated the mailbox.

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The new mailbox. (Please ignore the sickly looking flowers.)

Would you believe that this super plain and boring mailbox had to be ordered online?  It’s true – I totally don’t get the selection at the home centers.  Want green ivy?  They’ve got it.  Want a plain, sturdy, functional mailbox?  Not so much.  Anyway, I ordered one from Amazon, the painter painted it, and here it is on the garage.  I feel like it’s not quite right – maybe we need house numbers or something?  It feels a little blah to me.  Or maybe I went too plain … guess I could always go back and get the ivy one!

 

Anyway, that’s it for the “add-on” projects that we completed along with painting the exterior of the house.  We still (believe it or not) have a few things left to finish (fingers crossed) before the end of summer, but I’m hoping to be able to tackle them at a much slower pace now that the painters are off-site and we’re no longer trying to be one-step ahead of them.  Funny how all of the extra stuff adds up to be almost as much effort as the painting part of a project like this, huh?

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