Archive for the ‘before’ Category


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.

Slat Screen Finished

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010



The slat screen is about 90% done. I took some pics while the sun was setting and the color seems to appear a little more yellow than it normally does especially compared with the pre-sealing color.

A few small finishing touches, a little sanding, a little more oil and we will be set to move on and start painting the rest of the exterior. We used Penofin Brazilian rosewood oil (an idea gleaned from this redwood deck) to seal and protect the wood from graying and the elements. The redwood does get a lot of protection from the overhang, but we really want to make sure this installation lasts. It’s been working wonders on the late afternoon heat in the living room.

We finally decided to use Amazon Paint in Whipped White (WHIP) in a satin finish. Well I think…we still have to check it out in person.