October 2, 2011
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This past weekend, we decided to tackle the deck overhaul. Before we moved in, our inspector warned us that the railing on the deck was so unsafe, it needed to be fixed asap. We decided that it was better to remove the railing before it gave someone a false sense of security. The railing was removed in December 2010. We just finally put a new railing on this weekend. Here are some before pictures:
Don’t laugh – yes, it actually sat like that for almost a year. The spiral staircase definitely looked odd without any handrail. In our defense, there were soooo many things wrong with the original deck. The deck was installed after the house was built and wasn’t planned well. The original baluster posts were screwed the the house and attached to the deck improperly. There wasn’t any flashing between the deck and the house, which caused water to run into the office on the first floor (we fixed that quickly as it was causing some problems with the drywall). I can’t even remember the rest, but it was a fairly long list of problems.
In total, we spent about $450 on this project. We had to replace 4 of the planks across the deck, 8 baluster posts, handrail, spindles, and stain. We chose solid color stain and couldn’t be happier. We have never had a deck (we hate them) but we kinda have to keep this one because of where it is. We stained the bottoms side of the deck also, since you can see it when you sit in the hot tub. We actually love the deck now, but it is pretty much all because of that solid color stain. Here is the after:
The hot tub came with house. It was obviously barely used, but the hot tub cover is absolutely destroyed and needs to be replaced, like, yesterday. We have been holding off because we figured staining the deck above it would make a mess. Since is it now “fall” in Texas, we are prepping ourselves for hot tub season. Since the deck is finished, we can now buy a hot tub cover and fire that bad boy up! Also, we want to buy some nice screens to hang from the deck to surround the hot tub for privacy and shade. We are also debating painting the hot tub sides. The color just doesn’t blend well with the house, especially after looking at the pictures. Maybe we can do that when we run out of major projects and are bored (haha… like that will ever happen!). As with the entire house, this area isn’t completely finished yet, but at least the deck is done!!
April 17, 2011
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I promised a family member some outdoor pictures, and here they are. This is just a nitty-gritty tour of the outside of our house as of a week or so ago and some before/after pictures of some of the landscaping work we have done.
We moved those big bushes from the front to the fences along the sides of the backyard. Those bushes made the house look dark in the front. They also made the brick around the windows in the dining room and formal living room gross. Here is a closer view of our landscaping in the front:
As I pointed out above, we also installed new front lights and they look sooooo much better. You can barely see the old lights in the very first before picture in this post. They were beyond ugly and so small that they were useless. Here is another close up of the front landscaping (leaves everywhere, I know!)
And a better view of those lights! Love them! They are from Lowes. And we are starting to get grass in that bare spot in front of the landscaping (our whole front yard on that side is a bare spot, who am I kidding?!?!). Our to-do list includes washing all the brick, re-painting the outside of the house. In other words, the brick won’t look that crappy forever.
Moving on to the backyard. It was also a jumbled mess. Plants were not very organized or trimmed. We ended up pulling off 17 or so baby sago’s from the two big sago palms in the back yard. Here are some before/in progress pictures of the backyard. I say in progress because I will not be satisfied until there is a pool there. Just sayin.
I apologize if the “in progress” picture is a little choppy. I need a new camera! But you get the point. Click on any of the pictures to get a bigger view. And there you have it, an outdoor tour of our house!