Archive for the ‘exterior’ Category


Friday, November 20th, 2009

We got a refund out of our escrow account after our property taxes were reevaluated and lowered to reflect the actual purchase price of the house (actually a little lower due to the nosedive real estate market) instead of charging us the previous owners purchase price (which they have for a year and was WAY WAY WAY more than we paid). Another good aspect was that our mortgage payment was also lowered and now we are paying less for the house than we’ve ever paid in rent. So – good news overall.

The focus for using this little boon of cash has fallen on fixing up our crappy/weedy dirt driveway. Which is seriously Ghetto.

Here is a little layout map – and yes, our driveway is huge.

Driveway map

Here are some inspiration pictures I’ve been looking at to figure out what to do with the beast of a driveway.





19 house side

The Boy wants the whole driveway done in 1″ gravel. I want rectangular cement slabs with gravel divisions.

Like everything, it’s all going to come down to those DOLLARS. We definitely don’t want to overspend as this town is awful and going overboard probably won’t ever pay off.

If we go all gravel, we could totally DIY the driveway. If there are cement slabs, we will need pro assistance. We could always install those big cement pavers to kind of fake the look, and I know cement will cost way more than we should spend (We actually got a quote for $15,000 to do what I want to the whole driveway. WTF – we got other more reasonable quotes but that one just seemed insane).

It’s going to cost :

-$872.50 (including tax and delivery) for all the gravel.
-$250 for a 24 hour tractor rental to level and grade the dirt.

Thats $1,122.50 to DIY a full on gravel driveway.

So, my question for all you fabulous DIYer’s is this – what’s a good, cheap driveway solution? Have any of you gorgeous, charming, and witty readers put a driveway in and what are your do’s and don’ts?


Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I had to work late last Friday night. Late enough that I didn’t get home till after 11pm. During this free time The Boy invited a friend over to The Brick House to keep him company.

When I got home that night I found this (well, except it was darker cause it was nighttime).

And this.

Yes, it’s a tree. Cut down with a jigsaw? Whhhaaattt?

Look closely.

There may be a clue hidden under the leaves that might explain why this seemed like an appropriate plan of action on a late Friday evening…

Oh. That solves it. Classy.

In The Boy’s and his accomplices defense the tree did need to be removed. It’s one of these crazy quick growing trees that are all over the desert and it was totally screwing up the cement foundation near the garage and back patio. This wasn’t really the way I expected the problem to be solved but still it is kind of solved…soooo thank you guys? Good job, I guess.

No more drunk gardening.

Faux Brick

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009



(In progress with wood patch and Drylok paint)


The Boy ended up resolving the large mailbox hole issue by inserting and affixing a large chunk of wood in the hole and painting it with Drylok. Then he hand sculpted a faux brick (with mortar lines and everything) out of cement patch.

Now we just need to seal it with our exterior mortar sealer / primer and paint the entire exterior of the house. But first we have to decide on an exterior color.

He also drywalled and mudded the interior wall to close that big scary gap. Hooray! It’s a solid wall again.

BTW: It’s already painted. (As is most of the guest bedroom)…oh no, the suspense…