Shingles…the Wood Kind

Shane and I have been working on some outdoor projects in preparation for getting the house all ready to sell! I have to say, we are getting the the house pretty spiffy! I wish we would have done some of this stuff years ago. Oh well, I guess the new owners will get to enjoy all the fruits of our labor.

Last spring, Shane and I put a privacy fence in our backyard. To date, that fence is still one of my favorite things we’ve done! It’s nice to feel like we have a private backyard and space that’s completely our own.

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The fence was a big project that took a VERY long time. In order to keep the fence level, we had to cut each individual board. That left us with a bunch of these…

board pieces

Right away I had ideas! I love craftsman exteriors and I’ve seen several that have the “shingle” look under the front porch.

Shingle

Isn’t that gorgeous? I love the extra detail. it’s just gives it a much nicer look. So, when I saw all those fence board scraps just about the perfect size…This was happening! We just jumped right in.

Porch Progress

Since we had all different sizes, we just went for a random pattern, making sure each row stayed level. We nailed all four corners of each shingle. This is a project you want a nail gun for.

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I have to say… We love it! It ended up looking even better than I could have imagined.

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Clearly, I need a new doormat. This one is pretty ugly…

Because our house is so old, You can see places on our wood siding where layers and layers and layers of paint have been chipped away.

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Although we have scraped and repainted it, it’s nearly impossible to get the boards smooth again. Luckily, It’s really only noticeable when you are close to the siding. if you are standing back more than a few feet you can’t really see it. That’s what made this project so great for the front porch. Now, one of the only places you get close enough to the siding to notice the imperfections is completely covered with the new shingles.

I’m incredibly happy with the decision to do this. In fact, we were so happy with it that we ended up doing the back side of the house too!

Back

I can’t tell you the difference it has made! We LOVE LOVE LOVE sitting on our back deck, and now it feels even more quaint and perfect. We plan to paint the shingles the same color as the house so it flows a little better and seems a little more like a cohesive and natural part of the house. We first have to let the shingles weather and dry out for a few weeks before painting it. It’s always a good idea to wait a while for pressure treated wood to dry out before painting or staining it. I can’t wait to see it all completed, though! Of course, I’ll be sure to share it with all of you!

 

Spring Fever and Back Yard Progress

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I don’t know know about you, but it seems like everyone in this family is in desperate need of some vitamin D. All of our dogs spend their day laying in whatever sunny spot in the house they can find.

This past summer we transformed our backyard. Since the dogs and I have spring fever pretty bad, I thought it might be nice to see pictures from the summertime!

Our backyard was pretty horrific to start with. We had a huge tree (that was mostly dead) shading our entire backyard, very little grass, and the saddest excuse for a deck ever. We changed all of that. We hope to really fine tune the back yard this summer, but it’s a huge improvement for now.

deck

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These are old pictures, and our grass is doing much better now. We also have vines climbing the fence and filling the top portion. I can’t wait to show you more pictures this spring and summer.

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Here are the before and progress pictures..

The old, sad, little deck…

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The deck not quite finished…

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The start of the fence and the new shed…

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Let me tell you a little story about the fence. Shane and I were less than thrilled at the idea of building a fence. We knew it wouldn’t be a fun job at all. We decided we would rather pay someone to do it for us. We got a quote and quickly changed our minds. They quoted us over $4,000, and we got the job done for under $1,800. It wasn’t fun, but well worth the savings in the end.

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Shane’s concrete fire pit…

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The backyard revamp included:

-having 3 trees cut down (It was necessary as they were dead and too close to the house.)

-tearing off old deck and building a new HUGE deck

-creating a patio area with pavers

-pouring a concrete fire pit

-building a privacy fence

-building a storage shed

-spreading grass seed, then spreading some more

-adding pergola to one side of fence for additional privacy

-purchasing new outdoor sectional and umbrella for shade

Things we still plan to do

-A lot of landscape fine tuning

-siding the house

-build outdoor coffee table for seating area