As Amp and I work on renovating our home, we will be sharing tidbits of the renovation process along the way. When we bought her, our house was a hodge-podge of low-budget style and diced-up floor-plan. The only rooms possessing any original character were the living and dining rooms , which have beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows, 9 inch baseboards, and original hardwoods. The rest of the house had patchwork linoleum floors, an abundance of crooked cabinetry, and cat hair everywhere.
And the cosmetic nightmare wasn't reserved to the interior but spilled out onto the exterior. The previous owners--despite the fact that our home is smack in the middle of a brick row--had put vinyl siding onto the home, completely concealing the painted brick. One thing I love about downtown Frederick is the rainbow array of Victorian paint colors on the row homes. Our house should have been part of that colorful picture--instead we were a drab eye-sore, the color of old biscuit gravy. Not terrible, just not appealing and definitely out of keeping with the home's time period and the rest of the neighborhood. The picture below was taken in the fall but gives you an idea of what the house looked like. (On a side note, check out our beautiful stone flower bed. Our neighbor made that for us for just $100! It now matches his flowerbed! I love it!)
So wonky cabinets, weird walls, and ugly linoleum aside, our first order of business was the vinyl siding. We wanted to reclaim some curb appeal and revive the downtown-ness of the home.
Do you now how hard it is to pull off vinyl siding? My poor husband undertook that mammoth task all by himself. Below, I dodged falling metal and nails, cleaning up the mess peppering the sidewalk. For the most part, the several-day effort went smoothly, except for one horrible moment when Mark's crowbar efforts knocked his glasses off. My legally blind husband was atop a ladder--blind. Thank the Good Lord his glasses didn't break, and he was able to feel his way down the ladder to reclaim them. Ugh. Gut-wrenching moments aside, the vinyl came off to reveal the brick, in good condition and painted minty green. Having neighbors stop by--some even from a few streets down--to complete our work and thank us for removing the vinyl was pretty encouraging and awesome, I have to say. Apparently, we weren't the only ones who thought the house was an eye-sore.
Yanking off the siding revealed some beautiful architectural details, previously concealed. We found the original dental molding, some lovely brick arches, and a spot for a transom above the front door. Why the previous owners wanted to hide all these details, we truly do not know. I guess, for some, convenience and easy maintenance is more important than beauty.
Once the vinyl was removed, we selected our brick paint colors: dove grey with black trim. Back up the ladders we went, this time with paint brushes and rollers in hand. The end result was pretty fantastic, allowing us to accent the brick work and original architectural details.
While we were at it, we replaced the outdoor light fixture, added a stained glass transom, and repainted our mailbox. We had the transom custom-made through this glass shop based out of Baltimore. I was tired of looking at our wonky mail box, complete with its crooked, off-center address number. A few coats of metallic grey spray painter later and with the addition of some bright stick-on numbers, we had a good-as-new mailbox!
Needless to say, I'm glad all this exterior work is behind us now.
What's a big renovation project you have tackled ?