The perfect old house repair…

costs at least $500, is hard work, takes a LOT of time, more patience and persistence, and when complete, looks just like it did before.  Sigh.  I can’t wait to tackle a project that makes an actual visible improvement.



We are still awaiting the new window, which is (naturally) now a week overdue.  School begins next week (sob), so we are hoping it arrives SOON!  Once the window is in we can finish up the siding and paint. Oh, we still have some trim to repair on the far left of the above photo, behind the blue stepladder.  It looks just like the green & white trim in the below photo, except rotten.

Since the photos were taken, Dan re-installed the gutters — boy, what a tedious task!  Tip of the day — a self-serve carwash does an excellent job of cleaning gutters.  Ours looked practically brand new after washing.  We threw them in the back of Dan’s truck and took them to the local carwash; 6 minutes later, they looked great.

We painted the house 8 years ago, so on the whole I’m pretty happy with the paint job, and I am still loving the yellow color, and the extra effort we put in to paint the trim; the house used to be a very blah beige shade.

Front perennial garden 2008

This winter we will do some major pruning of the lilacs to the left of the top photo, and the flowering crab also seen in the top photo.  The in the spring, we will need to work on the perennial beds seen in these photos.  At right is a photo from July 2008 showing its current configuration.

We will set plants back further from the foundation, and between the foundation and the plants, put down a layer of industrial strength landscape fabric and cover that with gravel to keep the front of the house drier, and prevent the same rotten problem from developing again.  I’ll have all winter to come up with a plan….


7 Responses to “The perfect old house repair…”

  1. Robin Says:

    Hey, it’s looking good. I know what you mean though about visual improvement. All the stuff we had done last year you can’t tell because it was structural stuff. One day though. I never thought about using a car wash for gutters. :)

  2. julie Says:

    Great progress Ali and Dan. Remember, “slow but sure wins the race.” After saying that my new woodstove has been sitting in the “big” room since April waiting to be installed. This weekend DH demolished the hearth while I painted the front of the house. Since we build our home 29 years ago, town codes have been revamped, hence a new hearth. I know “Rome was not built in a day!”

  3. Daphne Says:

    Even if you can’t see a big difference you KNOW it is there.

  4. Sara Says:

    I know that feeling, one of our first big DIY projects was roofing. It was satisfying and all, but at the end of the day, how much do you really look at your shingles?

    And the projects people notice are often just superficial cosmetic changes.

    Your project looks great, however, it’s such a sweet house.

    • Ali Says:

      I’m impressed you did the roof, that is hard and scary work! We outsourced that project.

      • Sara Says:

        Ah, it’s a little one-story house with a low-pitch, pretty much the easiest roofing project to start with. And we were younger….and more naive then we are now, HA.

  5. jeannie Says:

    Great work you two :)[-< :)/-<

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