Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Then and Now: Outside

The outside of the house is a work in progress.  I loved the storm doors from the first time we saw the house.  (I remember pushing the letter through the door when I leafleted the neighborhood.)

Adding new windows (even if they're UPVC instead of the lovely timber frames), repairing the roof and gutters, painting, clearing the garden and power washing has gone a long way to improve the look of the house.  

The back is where I see the most difference.

Cutting down some of the trees and reclaiming the yard space has made the back garden my favorite 'room' in the house!

We had the back yard cleared the first week we owned the house.   It was a big job.

I think there were chainsaws going for two days solid.  (Sorry neighbors.)

What was left was mature trees and a lawn (if you can call it that) that needed to be replaced. 

  Removing the two big trees on either side of the house let in so much light.

When we looked at the house the back window was decayed and broken.  

One day, before we bought the house, I was surveying the back garden (with permission) and noticed the glass had completely fallen out.  The sellers gave us the okay to board it up.  I drove to the lumber yard, got some ply and drilled it in ASAP.  I was so concerned about squatters or further damage from the elements!

Visually, the new window is not as large or pretty as the former.  We chose function over form here, raising the window to make room for the kitchen sink.  In time we'll tart up the back of the house.  (Render?  Paint?  We haven't decided.)

Believe it or not, this little shed/former coal storage gave me a lot of hope for the garden when we viewed.  I managed to maneuver myself back there and pry it open to get a look inside.  It was full of garden equipment, which seemed to indicate the garden was once well loved, but hadn't been managed for a while.

True to form, as the overgrowth has been cut back we've found all sorts of  different plants, sidewalks and curbing.  And now we have full access to store the garden tools.  (Someplace to store hang the hose is still in the works...)

The downpipes and guttering were rusted beyond repair, leaking straight onto the pavement.

The piping has all been replaced.

There is so much I need to learn about taking care of a yard in Scotland.  (Advice welcome!)  The plants are different, as are the growing seasons and watering cycles.  There's still a lot of work to do.  Like in the area next to the neighbors' garage.  Then...

Now.  (Not much difference.)

We don't know what we're doing with the garage.  Maybe taking it down for an extension?  The back door rotted off, so it's not watertight.  (Hey Robbers:  Things are stored in there, but nothing of value since it isn't secure.)

The front steps were falling apart.

Once we took them down to repair them, I realized how lucky we are that they didn't collapse!

And then we power washed, painted the door and got some greenery.  (Thanks Annette!)

Front bush before and after.  (Don't know if this little guy will make it.)

Best shot I have of before and after for the front doors.

Progress of the front of the house.

We got the wall repointed (so it won't fall apart.)  Once we power washed we discovered the wall was pink!  And the repointing is evident.  I guess it's preferable to falling stone...

Wow.  That was a long post...

1 comment:

propertygal983 said...

Wow Mitch and Niall,
What an improvement! You guys should be proud of one another. Most marriages can't hold together through one remodel let alone two.

You did and awesome job.
Aunt Joy