Monday, July 20, 2020

Farm Renovations: Curb Appeal

Oh my convoluted plans and schemes. Hubby really suffered for this one. 

So...way back at the end of May I decided that I had had enough with the ugliness of the front of our house. The house has been neglected in favor of barn projects, but we hit a snag at finishing the latest barn renovation when items were significantly back ordered and my wandering eye lit upon the disaster that was the front yard. 

Embarrassing. I don't even have a picture of the tree stand blocking the far right side because I hated it that much. 


When we purchased the home, there was a massive stand of trees hiding the entire right hand side of the house which also happened to be a newer and very pretty addition. Why the previous owners didn't cut these down to open it up, I will never know. The trees were creeping close enough to nearly touch the house and we had them removed last fall. We had no vision for this area and left it go to waste while we returned to the barn projects. 

I hit upon an idea middle of May and we began to gather the supplies for the project. All was looking good until the gravel was delayed due to the dump truck to deliver it being broken down. Not wanting to give up on the idea of a nice front yard, I turned my attention to the left side of the house which housed lots of weeds, some trees and an overgrown and poorly put in cement tile patio. This part was so awful that we never used the front porch as all you could see were weeds and it wasn't an enjoyable experience. 

Right before my COVID closure, we ordered three pallets of flagstone weighing in at a total of 12,000 pounds of stone and Dusty got busy doing the no fun part of ripping everything out and leveling the area. Due to the trees, there were so many roots to break up and rip out as well. I did absolutely nothing during this phase of prep work except watch and make comments.

Don't feel too bad for him - he loves any excuse to be on the tractor. We used all those stones you see piled up, plus needed to go purchase a third pallet as well. 


During this phase the thought of painting the house sunk in and took a firm hold. We were convinced it would be too expensive to have it painted, but there was no harm in having an estimate. Well, it came in waaaay under what we thought so we added that to the task list.

Everyone thought I was insane for choosing such a vibrant blue. It turned out amazing especially having them paint the trim and pergola white.


Once they were done transforming the exterior into something that gives me goosebumps every time I see it, we got started laying the flagstone. Dusty and I worked on it together for 4 straight days before he returned to work from his period of isolation and then I continued it myself while I was home. I lasted from about 8 am - 12 pm before the heat got to me and I had to stop, but eventually I got all the stone laid, leveled and stabilized. 

The stone work took forever. Each stone needed carefully selected like a jig saw puzzle then laid down and the dirt underneath taken away or added to until the rock was perfectly level. After the rock itself was leveled I used a larger level to make sure it was level to all the surrounding rocks. These rocks were heavy and it got really tiring really quickly.


Two weekends ago it was finally dry for two straight days so we were able to pour the polymer sand, sweep it into the cracks and water it down. This stuff is super cool and really easy to work with.

The sand in place and dried


After that was done, I got the hankering to get some porch furniture so we could sit and enjoy the porch. I knew I wanted a swinging egg chair and then a set of two chairs with a small table so that all 3 of us could sit out there together. This was the part I thought would be both easy and fun, but it was neither. Apparently summer is now over and we are into fall, because nobody had any selection remaining. We went to so many stores and kept leaving empty handed. I hate shopping as it is, add the stress of COVID shopping and then not finding what I wanted and just ugh.

Eventually we landed at TJ Maxx and scored it all from there. 

Close up f the furniture that took an entire day and half a dozen stores to find. Also, bonus Wyatt sighting. He has claimed the egg chair and I don't blame him - that hair is comfy.


This past weekend it was on to the finishing touches to really bring the space together. 

We found these nice Jack Daniels half barrels and Wyatt chose the flowers to put in them. 

This is a view I never tire of


I had left a small space for a garden off the steps and we filled that in this past weekend as well. The taller flowers were given to me by my mom and I am hoping they come back to life. 

I already can't wait until these take and fill in this spot with honey bee and butterfly approved flowers. 


Eventually we will add Adirondack chairs, small tables and a central fire pit to the flagstone patio as a lovely spot to roast marshmallows and enjoy the cooler evenings once fall sets in, but I am in no rush to do that with the summer heat and humidity in full swing.

The side from the porch to the left end of the house is now completed!!! It looks a million times better than when we started and I couldn't be happier with it. 


Next it is back to the other half of the frontage to get that space finished. We have all the supplies for it, we just need to find the motivation and energy now that I am back to work and our temperatures are in the upper 90s and low 100s. 




23 comments:

  1. Holy cow! That is one stunning transformation!!! I absolutely love the blue, the flagstones ... well I love everything. Will you paint the barn blue too?

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    1. It turned out better than I even hoped. The barn is in two parts: the back half is old and plain wood and the front newer and metal siding. I'm not sure the wood would look good blue so I don't know what we will do there.

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  2. What a transformation! It looks BEAUTIFUL!

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    1. Thanks! It was a lot of hard work and sweat but turned out great

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  3. WOW! It looks amazing - you guys did a great job.

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait to get the other half done now and move on to other areas of the property

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  4. That is gorgeous! That is certainly A LOT of work with those flagstones, but boy it really looks fantastic with the house. I will also need to look for an egg chair because I have forgotten how awesome they are and how much I love them. Love the flowers Wyatt chose for the barrels! It's all such a lovely transformation!

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    1. The egg chair is my new addiction. Worth every penny. I could sit out there with a book all day long.

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  5. i love the color -- and the flagstone patio!! what a lovely update!

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  6. Wow, the transformation is amazing! It looks incredible. I love it!

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    1. I'm so glad we painted the house. It wouldn't be near as nice had we left it ugly beige.

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  7. Wow, what a big difference! I bet it makes coming home everyday such a joy.

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    1. It really does. So much better than cringing every time I pulled down the drive

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  8. It doesn't even look like the same house!! Holy crap. I LOVE the blue with the white trim. Gorgeous.

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    1. Its amazing what some paint can do. I grew a little concerned about the blue when everyone was questioning how bright it was but it worked out.

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  9. Impressive! Can you come do the front of my house now? :-) Hope you have many happy years enjoying the view OF the house and FROM the house!

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    1. Thanks!!! It sure is a joy now to sit on the porch and relax a little.

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  10. This looks amazing! Nicely done!!

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  11. You painted your house TARDIS blue! I love it!

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