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Updating A Ranch Home

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Here is what the home we are looking to buy currently looks like on the exterior.

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Okay, be honest, what are your thoughts when you see it?

What I see is brick that is not a pleasing color, an undersized porch that by the way is not functional, the door is sheet rocked over inside. True story,  A porch to nowhere.

If and when we are able to purchase the home the following will be part of the three year plan for the home update.

Add a long metal porch. Look at the porch added to this home on Fixer Upper (Click Here to See all the photos from the episode). We will be adding cedar posts with rock bases the length of the porch.

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Before

french country

After ( Do you see the porch addition and the painted brick?  Look past the French country because that is not my style.)

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I love this porch roof from Gem Homes. I like how it attaches to the shingled roof.

We also want to make the gable the appropriate size to match the scale of the house and add a walkway with a new door. Oh, and make the door functional.

We will paint the brick. Yep, paint that brick. I have done the research and feel confident that we can correctly paint the brick so that it lasts as long as any other painted surface. The reaction I get when I mention painting brick is a little funny to me. Painted brick is not something new. Most brick from before 1870 was painted because it sealed the porous surface and extended the life of the brick.

My daughter and son in law live in a painted brick home that I think is stunning.

rachel's home

I wish, wish, wish I had the software and skills to redo this home virtually, but I already see it in my head. White trim and a darker gray tone paint, shutters, and posts out of cedar, with a metal roof and a carport at the end of the home that is part of the roof line, not a $600 pre-fab job.

I am hoping it will look something like this:

HOUZZ

painted brick

posts

This Old House

It will make me smile every time I drive up if this happens.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the color I should use.

Blessings,

Karen

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Selling Star Hill

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Well, we are taking the plunge.  Star Hill, our near the lake cabin in Coldspring, Texas is going on the market. We planned to meet with a Realtor Sunday to discuss selling our near the lake house, Star Hill. She actually could not come because she broke her leg, but we will be putting the house on the market very soon. I decided to do all the research I could in her absence to make sure we are ready to sell this place and buy the property we are dreaming about near our lake house.

Having someone you don’t know walk through a place you poured blood, sweat, tears and time into when selling your home is hard. Being judged on your effort is hard. Loving the place and wanting whoever buys the house to love it, too is our hope.

After doing the research on getting a home sold quickly and trusting my gut I have composed a to do list.

Exterior:

Get concrete work completed on porch.

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Paint porch rails. ( The dog is not for sale.  Every time I get out the camera she manages to jump into the shot. )

Clean out flower bed, trim bushes, get leaves up.

Fix deck boards and popped nails then paint deck with sprayer.

Star Hill in January

Garagemahal:

Clear porch of items except patio set.

Move cedar from my cedar windfall to boat storage.

Finish outstanding projects. I have three that need to get knocked out on the first dry-warmish day.

Clean, clean, clean.

inside the garagemahal

Interior:

Continue to declutter. It will probably mean moving some furniture to storage. The cedar cabinet provides great storage but it makes the guest room feel small. The Western Dresser can go to storage, one of the night stands in the front bedroom. The shelving unit in the back closet along with the skis can go.

We have a large list but can get it knocked out if motivated-and we are motivated.

We plan to list the home with a realtor the first of March but we honestly hope it sells sooner by owner.

I would love your input on the list and suggestions from those of you who have sold second homes.

Here are some shots of the house this weekend.

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Master Bedroom

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Exterior

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Front Room

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Blessings,

Karen

Getting The Backyard Sale Ready

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Our city home is on a funny lot. We have a great big corner lot with established trees and a huge side yard but our back yard is a narrow L shaped space. This lack of a private back yard has not been a problem for us. This is a front yard neighborhood. We hang out with our neighbors, their kids and grandkids. We have watched them practice baseball, walk to the bus stop, learn to ride bikes and even learn to drive. Years ago Hubby, the kids, and I put in a rock walkway and flower beds back there along with a pergola. The rock we chose did not hold up well, sooo out it had to come. The flower beds haven’t had the care they needed the past two years so they were a weedy mess. Hubby has done all the work up to today, but I have been recruited, drafted, enslaved to get the back yard finished up and ready for its close up inspection.

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Yep. This weedy mess was our backyard.

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Gross.

Don’t judge us. We work a lot of hours. I know, it is pretty gross right?

Step 1- power washing the concrete. We were able to borrow a power washer which saved us a ton and allowed us to use it in stages as needed. It is amazing how much better the concrete looks clean.

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It was too icky for me to even be outside. I had to wash the windows when he was done.

Step 2– lay down landscape fabric under the path. This really does help keep the weeds out and in the sub-tropical climate we live in weeds are ever present.

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Step 3– the heavy lifting. Moving 700 lbs of flagstone and 2 yards of crushed granite, adding sand under the rocks as needed to level them. This took a while. Hubby sprayed down the house with a pump up sprayer full of diluted bleach to kill the mildew on the siding while we took a break for lunch. There was some yelling during this point. We were both hot and tired. 87 degrees in March.
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Step 4– Power washing the siding and laying a tarp down on the path to throw the weeds on. We then weeded the beds. It looks better already, but by this time the dirt yard was closed. Hubby had to get mulch after work Monday.

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Step 5-adding some color, cleaning the windows and sprucing up. We have a borrowed bistro set in the back yard. It got the power wash treatment along with everything else. I added a tough hanging basket that should survive our neglect and new plants to the wall hanger along with a few annual plants are all we are doing because we are afraid of the upkeep right now. The two chairs where the kitchen patio is we’re faded so they got spray painted turquoise fusion paint. A metal table from the hoard, a chandelier I bought on clearance last year and some votive candle stakes added a little more interest.

Here is the almost finished project. We still need to add in annual plants to the beds. What do you think? I wish we had done this sooner so we could have enjoyed it more. We will be getting colorful plants once the wind dies down.

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