Oct 17, 2012

Double Facelift

Over the labour day weekend (yes, it's taken me that long to write this post) Tom & our next door neighbour gave our mutual house-fronts a bit of a facelift.

We live in a semi-detached house so we share one wall with the neighbours. While it's not a hard-and-fast rule, it is better when both sides make the same changes to the front of their houses. It's a good thing that, so far, our tastes and ideas have matched. Last Thanksgiving the boys replaced the garage doors, and this year they replaced and repainted the trim under the upstairs bay windows.

Our house is about 13 years old and the wood around the bay windows is starting to rot. Actually, "starting-to" is understating it - on the neighbour's side the wood pretty much disintegrated when it was pulled off. You can see the bad cracks in the wood on our side - and ours was the better of the two. Not to mention the horrible paint colour. I call it "Crayola flesh". The trim around the garage doors and around our front door is the same colour. I think they were trying to blend with the brick - but don't you want your trim to stand out?

Would you call this board & batten when it's outside? I have no idea.

They started by pulling down all of the trim below the windows. All of the boards needed to be replaced, so they weren't careful about tearing them down.  The backboards were in pretty good shape so they decided not to replace them, but just scrape and sand. Pay no attention to the lack of safety measures demonstrated in the picture below. I think a couple of rum and cokes had been consumed by this point.

Tom spent the next day (a scorching hot day) climbing up and down the ladder measuring and cutting the trim. There were all kinds of funky angles he had to measure and cuts he had to make. He switched it up by joining the trim at 45 degree angles instead of the 90 degree angles they were at before.The old boards were 1 x 3s, but they decided to go with 1 x 4s here. The wider wood gives it a heftier look - more substantial.

Tom left his pencil beside the saw so many times that he finally tied it to his hat with a piece of string. Genius, I tell ya! Unfortunately, in a not-quite-genius moment, he didn't put on sunscreen and had his back to the sun all day. He was a lobster by mid-afternoon. Even the backs of his legs were glowing. Late in the season, but at least he finally got a tan.

Here is how it looked at the end of the second day. The fresh new wood looks so good! It's an improvement already.

On the next next day they puttied all of the nail holes and caulked the seams. You have to give credit for bravery here - our neighbour is terrified of heights but got up there to do some last minute sanding. He even did all of the caulking.

Once the caulk was dry (cured?) they painted everything with white paint & primer in one. When Tom was up doing the second coat, he decided he also wanted to paint the area above the window. It had been painted previously to match that lovely flesh colour, but he thought white would frame the window and make it look larger and more uniform. I think in this picture he's ever so politely informing me that no, he won't let go of the ladder to wave to the camera.

Painting above the windows meant he had to extend the ladder to its full 20-foot height and stand at the very top. Being on ladders scares me (but heights don't - go figure) so I'm glad it was him and not me up there. Since he couldn't do the entire thing from one side or the other, he had to do a little dance where he moved the ladder back and forth - first the middle to do the edging, then each of the sides to do the edging there. Then he had to climb down to swap out the brush for the roller, paint half the middle, then move the ladder to the brick to paint the side he was just on, then repeat again on the other side. It was complicated.

Let me show you just how far up he was. Barf.

Through all of this I was holding the ladder steady. Not that I would have been able to do anything if it had started to tip or if he'd fallen off. However, it did give me an opportunity to get this shot. You're welcome.

I was also in charge of painting the trim around the garage doors. We were going to paint the doors themselves, but - 1. we couldn't decide on a colour, and 2. the guys liked the factory white and didn't want to have to paint the doors every few years when they faded (south-facing house means the doors get all the sun). I keep going back and forth on whether I like the plain white door or not.

So far our side is completely done, we just have to paint above the neighbour's window. Hopefully I can add pictures as we go along. That might have to wait until next year though as it has been rainy and cold or windy every weekend since that one.

But this does sort of give you an idea of the before and after. Don't you think the windows on our side look bigger? I'm really glad Tom thought of that. I may have to keep him around.


JoAnn said...

Hi! The white gives a nice clean and fresh look - very nice "face" lift!

BarbSteadman said...

Thank you! Now if we could just get it done!

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