This Old House
2008 - 2011

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In August of 2008 we purchased our first old home.  This house was built in 1931 and has suffered a bit of neglect along the way.  Neither of us have ever been much for "fix it" people, but we're learning fast!  I'm using this page to document some of the before & after pictures of our projects.

Here's a shot of the house before  
we did any work on the landscaping .


Here's another shot of the house before - 
after a little work had been done. 

We had removed some of the yucky
bushes and low-hanging limbs that used
to crowd the house - plus we had a new
roof put on by this point.  


These shots show the front yard "flower beds" - if you can call them that.  
Also notice the scraggly condition of the grass, this is another project we undertook at this time.

We moved all that rock to the back yard by hand and wheel barrow.  We also hauled about
40 loads of dirt across the street to our neighbor's yard. (We even got permission first!) 

It is too soon to have after pictures of this part yet, but it is going to look awesome.

Here is a work in progress shot.  At this
point it took a lot of faith to believe we 
are actually making improvements.

After this was a sprinkler system, and
now a fresh, green fescue lawn, with 
lots of flowers in the flower beds.

Here's a more recent view of the  
lawn and flower beds we put in.   

   The flower beds from another angle.

Here are some pictures of the front porch in its original state.


And here we see them after a weekend of power washing, mortar work, staining, and weather-proofing.


This shows the work Eric did by repairing the fence that runs along the driveway.  
I also relocated some plants to complete the transformation.

This is a before shot of a project of Eric's - repointing the brick work
all around the house.  The original mortar has turned to sand and 
there are some really awful old patch jobs as well.



 Eric spent many, many hours repointing this area.
 Some of the bricks were nearly falling out when we
 moved in.  

 We are also very happy with this Japanese Maple
 tree we splurged on this expensive tree and think 
 it is really beautiful.  I also put in some Azaleas 
 and Hawthorne bushes, and a giant Yew that didn't
 survive the awful heat of 2011.  

 This area was terribly overgrown with giant, unkempt
 strange bushes when we moved in.  The dirt was also
 way too high and was up on the brick, this was bad
 for drainage and asking for bug trouble.  

Through our neighbor, Nita, we found a great guy for mortar work.  
He repointed huge sections of the front of the house.  The three 
pedestals in the front of the house were in really bad shape so he
took them completely apart and reassembled them like new. 

If you need mortar work done, call David Moynihan.

Here's a shot of the back yard - Eric has actually already
cut down a bunch of trees along the garage at this point
and we had already piled the rock from the front yard out
here, but you get the drift.  It was just a square patch of
Here's a shot of the back yard with
some flowers going on.

 Close-up shots of the two flower beds I put in the back.


 Here you can see the condition of the deck steps when we moved in.  And over here you can see the difference a power washer makes.


Ahh, much better.


Here's a view of the garage as it was - unpainted wood trim, evidence of the vine we tore down, and rotting wood along the eaves.  


Here it is after Eric replaced the rotting wood and we gave everything a fresh coat of paint. 

The best part of all was that Eric dug a trench to get electricity out to the garage and for my
birthday in 2008, he installed me a garage door opener.  What a luxury it is to use the garage!

In 2010 I decided to try my hand at gardening, 
so Eric and I put in three raised bed garden plots 
in the back yard.

It did great in 2010 and spring of 2011, but the 
endless, brutal heat of the summer of 2011 
killed almost everything.  I still have kale though!

The approach to the deck from the driveway used
to have a large root across it, surrounded by mud.

Eric learned some paving skills and built us this
mini patio landing instead.  He also added a 
French drain so that water would not collect there
during rain.



I don't think I took a before picture of this area, but
it was ugly too.  (Makes you wonder why we bought
the place if everything was ugly!)  

There was an old, rotten fence on the right and an old,
rusted metal gate on the left.  Only weeds grew in the
strip of land next to Nita's house.  

I can't do this project justice with pictures, but it was a big one.
When we moved in, many of the windows had rotten wood in them,
most of them wouldn't open, and most of them wouldn't lock.

Eric took each of them out, took them in to be refurbished, fixed
the weights on them, and we had them all stained.  

Also there had been climbing vine all over the west side of the house
so I replaced all the screens that had been ruined by the vines and
cleared away the vine debris.  It's nice to have windows that work!

Another of our big projects was to paint most of the inside of the house.
These pictures do not do it justice, but the house was painted in very
flat, dark colors that soaked up all the light and made it very depressing.

It was also done in a very sloppy way, which paint splashed all over the 
ceiling, trim, and fixtures.  It looked like someone let a 10 year old do the job.

We repainted in lighter, satin colors that brightened up the house a bunch.

Here's a link to the page for the basement.

We did so much work there, it gets its own page! 


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