Jill and I bought our house in 2004 – its a much larger house than the one we had before, and a much larger lawn to deal with. Here is a photo of the original look…
It’s an old house, built in 1908 originally as the home of the Swedish Consulate. There was not really anything dramatically wrong with the house, but certainly it had experienced years of neglect and one or two remodel projects that didn’t exactly work out (like, renovating the kitchen into southwestern style, in an Arts & Crafts era home…WTH?). We were extremely fortunate that the structure of the house was largely unchanged, and the original quarter-sawn oak trim, cabinetry, and other features had never been painted – a real find after 100 years!
But there was a lot to do – and given our love for all things outdoors, that is where we decided to start (after painting a few rooms – getting rid of some hideous yellows, mint greens, and brick reds inside). That fence had to go – and those 42in tall Juniper balls? Gone!
First was the fence – Elcar was called upon to take care of that project. Then we were fortunate to find Kevin Crehan at Solara Designs – great guy and fantastic landscape architect! He designed a fantastic landscape and planting plan, and gave a great deal of assistance when it came to the install (which we did most of ourselves). Right off the bat we were able to take out about a third of our bluegrass lawns, saving mucho water!
We knew all along that we were going to have to replace the roof at some point, and some of the trim and structural components were going to need to be replaced. Through my 1% for the Planet connections, I found Jason Elliott, owner of Acacia Builders, and in fact referred my friend Mark Holloway to work with Jason. Turns out we needed to have a great deal of trim work and some structural work under the porch done. These guys did a great job and were super easy to work with! Back to the roof – Jason referred us to Dave Evenson of Troost Roofing, who gave us a very honest and critical assessment of what we needed to have done. We had them take the old roof off, all the way to the rafters, and re-sheet and re-roof the whole house. What a project that was! The best part was the coordination that Jason provided throughout that project – very well done.
After all of the exterior trim had been replaced however, it became clear that all of the trim needed to be painted. So we asked around (oh, Kate!) and were referred to Megan Schlegel at The Color People. What an absolute joy it was to find her! She quickly consulted and put together a color plan for the house, even building a detailed map of the colors for each part of the house, and recommending a couple of painting contractors who she had good luck with in the past. Her top recommendation for us was Mile High Painting and the owner Glenn Griffin. From the first meeting we knew that this was the guy we wanted to work on our house – but the estimate was SO much higher than the amount of cash in our account (insert screeching brakes sound here). So we had to live with a multi-color travesty of a house for 8 months (the primed trim all over the house attracted some interesting comments from the neighbors).
Early 2010, we decided that the paint was a must – but added in one more factor. The aluminum storm windows were in hideous shape, and half of them were broken in one way or another. We decided on Lyons Historic Windows and certainly could not have been happier with the choice – they were also great to work with, and the new storm windows (wood frame, quality glass, historic design) are fantastic. Again, coordination between the painters and Lyons was important, and went seamlessly.
Finally, the paint project – 4 weeks of having a team of guys crawling all over the house. But they were fantastic – the project could not have gone any better, and I don’t know that we could have had a friendlier and more considerate crew. Check out the results!
And another view, from another front angle.
Of course, there are still things to do…lots of spring planting and we are still dealing with that southwestern kitchen, but we are getting there…