This was the picture of our house that I found off Google Maps before we bought it. It's hard to tell from this picture but the outside of the house was almost in sorrier shape than the inside. The previous owners had lived in it for 15 years (the house is 30 years old), and it was very clear that they did little upkeep inside and out.
The house needed to be repainted, it BADLY needed new windows, and it also needed to be re-landscaped but when we moved in we had to focus on the inside- the areas we'd actually be you know, touching on a daily basis. The outside of the house had to wait, as much as that depressed me. But we declared the year 2012 as the year of the outside of the house. And we got to work!
Here is the first picture of me taken at our house. Classy right? My sister had the camera and I was mugging. If I would have known this would be a good "before" picture I might not have looked so ridiculous. Oh who I am I kidding, yes I would have. (See the stickers on the upper right window? I love America as much as the next person but uggh, DO NOT PUT STICKERS ON WINDOWS!!!)
This picture was taken after we re-did the retaining walls (look for that in my next post) and after the house was power-washed by the painters.
Not only was the paint in terrible shape, but so was the siding. The people we hired to paint our house did a lot of really great work to it. Seriously they were angels. They gave us a banging deal and did an AMAZING job.
Some progress pictures before the shutters went back up.
And voila! We decided to go with black shutters (and new ones to boot as the old ones were broken) to go with our tan exterior. The color before had been much more yellow.
And then best of all? NEW WINDOWS!!!
After a lot of deliberation (and a sweetalking salesman) we decided to go with Renewal by Anderson windows. The cost a PRETTY penny and are by far the most expensive renovation we've done to the house. But they look great, are easy to clean, and do an EXCELLENT job keeping the elements out. The original windows let in hot and cold air like crazy, and these windows have helped us a LOT in keeping an optimal temperature in the house.
As you can see in the above picture, and many of our other pictures, we use window a/c units for the office and nursery. Our house faces due West and absolutely bakes in the afternoons. It would get unbearably hot with the old windows in, but now even the hottest day is manageable with these small units. We considered putting a swamp cooler on our house, but the cotton tree in our backyard would have made upkeep a real pain. And the ones we had appraised were just too expensive (especially after what we paid for the windows, haha.) Air conditioning was the same way. Just too expensive for the need. These window units aren't the greatest looking things in the world, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do!