Sunday, November 18, 2012

Before and After: Front Yard 2012

As you all know, our house is on the market and we've been feverishly working to fix it up for the sale. The front yard was one of our proudest accomplishments even though we didn't have the money to finish it off. (We decided to only get out a signature loan for $10K to do any and all upgrades that we had to do to make it ready. The yard was the last of what we spent it on.)

So, here is when we moved in:




We actually had more grass then! This was about the time the drought started and a lot of our grass died. I don't know if I have a pic, I'll see. Nope--no dead grass pics, but trust me, it was brown city.

Okay, and now for the afters (I know I have more than one of those):

 So, here's what we did. First, we painted the outside of the house a much lighter beige. It brightened up everything! We also put one of my green stars in the middle of the eave (is that what they call it?) just to give it a touch of character.
 Josh and Seth got up in those trees and trimmed the Dickens out of them! That also brightened things as they were shading the majority of the yard and covering up part of the house.
 We removed all of the dead or scraggly bushes and plants and trimmed the ones we wanted to keep.


 We would have loved to put siding on the house, but that alone would have taken the majority of our renovation budget. We hired professional painters and had them put on about 4 coats of paint! Even the edges of the windows and doors are the lighter color now.
 You may not be able to tell the difference, but the grass is much greener from watering it regularly. We also uprooted all the plants that were around that left-hand side tree and put a hardy helping of mulch around the bottom of both. It looked so much better!

 I mentioned the drought before. We had to put down new grass on the back half of the left-hand side of the yard. You can actually see where the new grass ends. That was also the end of our money and why we didn't put matching grass everywhere in the front yard.

 Oh, and did you notice our door? Not chocolate brown anymore, but a much brighter lovely green. We tried orange the first try to match the pillows. Ha! It was a joke. Even the painters were laughing (after they knew I also thought it was extremely bright). I'm talking, sherbet orange!! Anyway, I went to an old hole in the wall used renovation supply store and bought a gallon of Benjamin Moore in this green for $10. I have most of it left over for a future project. Yay! Anyhow, my hubby did the painting on that door. Looks good, huh?
 We also put dirt in all around the house. That's a little bit of a story, actually. The drought had the entire foundation edges exposed! I was horrified and called a few people to give me estimates on repairing the foundation. All but one said the foundation was still stable from all the previous work (see old photos of hallway and you'll notice the big square plywood patches), but it just needed a little tweaking. It would've cost about $5K. So we had some choices to make. We found out that our plumbing was fine but very old--the iron pipes they used to do back in the '50s. Well, they said insurance would usually cover the pipes being replaced for modern PVC, but it would take longer than what we had. However, if we did the foundation work, we couldn't go back and do the pipe replacement, because they were going to pump a dirt/concrete mixture under the house. Huh! So...we decided we'd rather take $5K off the value of the house and leave it up to the next home owner to decide whether they wanted their plumbing changed out before repairing the foundation. So, we just filled back in all the dirt around the edges and disclosed the problem.
 Here's a better picture of our new door color. And see the new baby bushes? We uprooted the old and put in new. It tidied up everything with dark rich mulch and new plants.
 I love how the new grass makes the whole front of the house look newer! I also created a little seating area and we bordered around the concrete patio. It was a really awkward place, so I wanted to display it as a useful space.

I just love the way the seating area turned out! I did this myself for about $15. The chairs were thrift store finds for $6 a piece and I spray painted them in Heirloom White (if I remember correctly). Then I put out the Iron skillet Wenzel box we got at Sam's years ago. You can find that in some of my really old pictures. Then I bought that little blue box--another thrift store find, and filled it with a fake plant and garden tools that I already owned. I threw a couple of outdoor pillows on the chairs to give it some color, and wha la.

Okay, let's take one more look of before and after.

Before:


And After:

So, how do you like my front yard now? I LOVE it!!





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