Archive for the ‘before’ Category


Monday, May 10th, 2010

Thanks to a tip from Melissa awhile back we decided to go ahead and commit to finally painting the house. That nasty primer white is going the way of the dinosaurs only after a year and a half of hemming and hawing over color choices. There is no going back now that we have 25 gallons of Amazon Whipped White in a semi-gloss finish.

What’s Amazon paint? Well…

“Amazon uses leftover latex paint to manufacture recycled content paint that is comparable in quality to virgin paint sold by national manufacturers. Amazon Select® recycled content paint is available in 12 pre-mixed colors, is environmentally preferable to virgin paints, and carries both the Green Seal and Master Painters Institute stamp of approval.”

We spent $240 (Thats about $40 for each five gallon bucket!) on the paint and another $40 at Home Depot on some better brushes, extra rough nap rollers, pans and all the fixings to paint this brick beast up. I am all about being “green” or whatever by recycling and reusing if the price is right and the quality is good. Amazon has really delivered; it’s such great paint!

The color is a little warmer than a true bright white (you can see on the difference on the back of the side wall where it’s still primer) but I think it works wonderfully with the redwood and isn’t as blindingly white as a pure white. It rolls on really well compared to the thin crappy primer plus I really love the finish – I’m ecstatic!

We spent most of mothers day painting and got about 1/4 of the house done. I think once all the prep is finished we could bust out most everything in a week of long days. There is still a ways to go with fixing the fascia as well as painting the stucco underneath the eaves (which is a bitch) but hopefully we can get it all finished before the desert heat kicks in.

I’m covered in paint! 2010 Year of the Exterior is progressing along nicely.


Thursday, May 6th, 2010

The Boy has been prepping our fascia for the big exterior painting of 2010 by sanding off chunks of flaking paint, patching holes and priming the wood. The fascia is in pretty decent shape but our flashing is in AWFUL shape. So AWFUL. Just AWFULLLL.

Its torn, bent and cut-up from someone removing the rain gutters that we assume used to be on the house. Why do we assume this? Well, there were all these ghostly outlines of downspouts where lazy painters slapped paint all over the brick. Once the downspouts were were removed the outline remained.

The solution is to try and nail it down and bend it as clean as we can in order to paint everything white for now. When we redo the roof the flashing will get replaced, but that’s a project for “The Future”.

Landscape Sketchup

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

By the powers of Sketchup! Make It So!

Well, I’m no landscape designer (obviously) but there are a few rules in how we need to approach this whole desert landscaping business – hopefully moving things along with the The Year of the Exterior.

1. Drought Tolerant Plantings (no grass, no horsetail reed, no Papyrus, nothing tropical…i.e. all the things I like.)

2. Simple to maintain (lots o’hardscape)

3. Modern, clean and cost effective (Use one thing and repeat repeat repeat for impact and cohesion. I’m cheap!)

The idea with the front yard is to use a combination of barrel cactus, blue fescue, mexican feathergrass, ocotillo with a palo verde tree thrown in. That big middle rectangular lump is supposed to be a lawn of mounding “blue fescue” but the stupid 2-D bush thing won’t stay put, and it’s not actually fescue at all. I’m having a hard time finding the right plants in the Sketchup 3-D warehouse.

Decomposed granite will function as most of the ground cover with insets of light gray or white pea gravel under the fescue, the palo verde tree as well as in the side yard area. Fun plans for that to come…

For the hardscape I want at least three big boulders and would like to pour rectangular concrete steps from the front door to the sidewalk. We also are planning to build a masonry wall on the right side of the house and along the neighbors property to replace all the nasty fence thing that is happening there now.

Here is plan view of the Brick House compound where you can see the insets of gravel on the DG.

I think kangaroo paw will line the side of the driveway, past the eventual “gate”, to soften up and disguise the orange fence a bit.

The “gate” I’m thinking about building is based on this gate design from Blake Dollahite.

Hog panels! I’m probably going to need to learn how to weld.

We also need to rebuild a more aesthetically pleasing mailbox.

So many big plans, so little money (and skill).

First things first. Paint the house. It’s totally going to happen! And soon.