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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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Me Maw’s Garden Shed

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My friend, The Social Planner, Tanis also has another name.  Me Maw.   She has three precious grand babies who call her that.   One of the things that  Tanis has wanted to get started at the Rockin F was a garden.  She started her gardening in container gardens growing herbs.  She also has quite a few potted plants.  The big garden will be coming once the land is cleared of roots and stumps.  Here is what the land looked like 8 months ago: Rocking F

Living in the country like this couple does means that they had to put in a well.  The well needed to be covered so a well house was built.

water pump building

Isn’t it great?  They built the pump building large enough to store things that are needed around the house but not attractive.

The Social Planner, AKA Me Maw, looked at that building and thought instantly that a shed should be added on for her gardening.  Her husband recruited help and got busy.  Step one was to add a roof and support beams to the shed.
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Larry got his recently retired friend, Rex to help with this part.

Step two was to add in some counters to use as work space.

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Larry’s brother in law, Ted helped with this part.

Step three was to add a gravel floor and walkway.  Finally, Tanis got to move in.  She added her personality to the shed.

Here is the back wall of the finished shed.  This area is most protected from the elements.

Tanis added a  little bit of whimsy here in the potting shed.  I love that she is using an old rake to hang things.

rack as hooks

She found interesting shelving and waterproof containers to keep items in.

potting shed shelf

Me Maw's Garden

Sign is courtesy of her daughter in law, Lauren with hand prints by the kiddos.

fun touches to shed

It looks like she is ready to pick berries or flowers.

My all time favorite part of the shed is the sink.  We saw this done two years ago at Round Top, Texas.  It inspired us both so much that we both came home and bought old sinks.  Sadly, mine is still sitting in the Garagemahal waiting for a counter.  ( Hint, Hint… it sure would be awesome in our new back yard!)

reusing old window

Love that view out her re-purposed window.  The sink hooks to a water hose when needed so that you have real running water out there.

garden sink

She found this water faucet towel ring and soap dish that I LOVE!  It looks perfect out in the shed.

fall decoration

The business side of the shed is the potting bench.

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It is a place to pot plants without making a mess.  The dirt falls right through the wire mesh to be reused.

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She found a burlap sack to serve as a trash container.  I especially like the holder that she found.  I so want one of these.

Tanis put up two screen doors to serve as a visual divide at the corner.

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The shed has a gravel floor with paving stones to stand on.  If you are wondering why I didn’t get any outside shots, it was open house weekend and the place was crawling with people.  It was also pouring rain.   I got to stand in the shed and listen to the rain on the tin roof.  It was so very relaxing.   I will be back to get some additional shots but I wanted to share her progress. I will try not to be too jealous of the finished shed! 🙂  I think my buddy did a great job!

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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