When Jon and I bought our home we knew the siding needed some TLC. Six months later when a flicker decided to create a hole on the side of our chimney we knew we needed to get on the repairs sooner rather than later.
That sooner rather than later turned into almost three years to the month we purchased our home. So many questionable hoops we had to jump through first before we started this project:
- Would Jon handle the project? He probably could. It would save us a lot of money and he’d do a great job.
- If so, how long would it take to complete? Most likely all month. Our house wouldn’t have adequate protection from the elements. So no.
- If we hired a contractor, could we afford it? We need to save for awhile!
- Completely tear off all the siding or repair only the areas we needed to and repaint the house? That was a big question!
- What color would we paint the house to go with the brick? Oh goodness, no idea. The brick is a brown/yellow and I hate it.
Before we even thought about how we would tackle this project we started saving. Christmas, birthdays, overtime at work, tax returns, all that went into the “house fund” and not until this spring did we hope we had enough saved to attempt our exterior fix-up. And boy oh boy did it need to be fixed up…
I doubt I need to point out everything that is wrong with our chimney in this picture: rotted wood, swollen boards, nails popping out, peeling paint, a replaced piece of siding—eww. What about the side of the chimney? Remember the flicker I mentioned?
Big gaping hole. Awful. When Jon had to pull out the scaffolding and replace the piece of siding that blew off in a wind storm this summer he also slapped some clear caulking up in that mess. From this side angle you can also see how the siding was swelling due to water exposure. Which if you don’t know anything about siding and water exposure it’s the worst. That’s what you want to avoid. And you avoid it by maintaining your home, keep it sealed up and repainting when you need to. Something the previous owners of our home failed to do and by the time we purchased it there was no saving the disaster.
Notice the small hole where a nail should be? The nail is still in there where it should be but the siding has expanded so much it basically came away from the chimney and left the nail as an afterthought. All because of water. Bad bad water. The big long gap with the crunchy looking area is old caulking that needs to be cut out and replaced. In this case the entire north side of the house was redone so all of it came down anyway.
All the old, and now unused, cable cords strung around the house like Christmas lights–I’m only partially joking–had fallen off in spots because the siding was rotting out and crumbling. We don’t have cable, or satellite, so we decided to have all the unsightly cords taken off but we left the main connector box in case someone ever moves in that does want to hook up; otherwise they’d have to dig up the backyard we’ve slaved over and the thought of that makes me ill.
This trim corner is on the northwest side of our home and the chunk you see missing actually came out because I was pushing on the board while asking, “I wonder if this part just needs the paint scraped off or if it needs repl…” I was going to say replacing but I was suddenly holding in my hand a small piece of what used to be pine trim and was now crusty debris.
No, a chipmunk didn’t decide to eat the trim piece for lunch. Instead that’s rotting caused by poor landscaping. When we purchased the home the grass, or dirt depending where it was, came right up to the siding. That’s another big no-no for siding on a home. Keep debris (leaves), water, dirt and grass from just sitting up against siding. The moisture will attack the wooden siding and slowly cause what you see up above. The concrete foundation, as you can see in the photo, is where you want any landscaping to stop and not come up any higher. We recently also worked to fix the elevation of the ground to improve rain runoff and angled the ground away from the house a little more. We put in the pretty rock there as an alternative to grass right up against the foundation line.
But all of that unsightly mess changed when the contractor came out and his crew got to work. Thankfully it didn’t rain that entire week and by Saturday we had a fresh coat of paint up on the house. The color we went with is called Smoked Trout CL 2683D by Kwal Paint and we love it!
Meet Rich, our contractor/owner/painter guru:
And meet the new trusty little sidekick paint sprayer that made it possible to paint our home in about two hours possible: