Monday, November 25, 2013

Gazebo Makeover

Before Fiona's second birthday back in September I reeeeeally wanted to have the gazebo cleaned up for her party.
Party ready it was not.

Just in case you didn't notice some of the flaws

So over the course of three weekends and 4 weekdays with help from family and friends we cleaned this bad boy up.
Somehow I didn't take photos of the inbetween so I'll bullet the progress

  • Old Shingles were removed
                 The shingles that were on the roof were cedar and moss covered. It was charming... except that a quarter of them were missing or falling off. So we replaced them with new shingles and tar paper. Uncovering the roof unveiled rot/water damage, so about half the roof needed new plywood.

  • Paint was sanded off and repainted
               This was not. fun. at. all. My brother-in-law and myself worked on the sanding portion while my husband, his friend, and my other brother-in-law did the roof. Sanding the poles was so very tedious. So many curves and odd nooks to get the chipping paint off. Once it was sanded it was hosed down and painted the next day (and following week). We painted 5 coats. Seriously. I was an idiot and bought paint without primer. My thought process was "it's already white! This paint will just glide on." Nope. Turns out the gazebo was actually a dove gray and did not want to hold onto my bright white. So that took about a gallon and a half of paint.

  • Caulking
            It's not very noticeable in the photos, but the gazebo has some awkward cracks where the boards meet up and caulking it made it a whole lot cleaner looking. I caulked around paint coat 3 and 4. It took me three caulk cans (cans? are they called cans?) and I only bought one at a time. The guy in the little hardware store in town totally thought I was weird.

  • Cleaning off the mildew
          Long story short- buy deck cleaner and a scrub brush. Do not waste your time scrubbing with an entire jar of comet and sponges. The deck cleaner was amazing. Especially the next day. Our deck was never sealed or stained in any way so it was really gross covered in slippery mildew. The deck cleaner sat on it for 30 minutes before we cleaned it and it basically bleached the wood. It looked even cleaner once it sat overnight.

Turns out I do have one photo haha. I was so excited about the cleanliness of the deck that I sent a photo to my husband at work. Just in case you couldn't see the grossness before, I zoomed in on the photo from above for you
Before deck wash

After deck wash!

  • Stain the deck
         It was the very last thing I did all by myself while Fiona napped. I bought semi-transparent deck stain from Walmart in Cedar . I didn't think it was going to be so opaque but overall I am happy with the results. Happy enough not to sand down and re-stain it. Here are the wonderful afters :)

 We also bought some happy patio furniture

Here she is getting ready for Fiona's party!

Full of treats and pom poms!

One final comparison

The whole project cost us somewhere between 200 and 300 dollars - but that did include tools we will be able to use again like the sander and caulking gun. Overall it was totally worth it. The gazebo is an even nicer feature now, I can't wait to get lots of use out of it :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We bought a house!

I'm back! Holy crap it has been over a year since I've posted. So much has happened in a year, like Fiona is now TWO. How is that even possible? She's growing so fast it is insane. She does something amazing everyday. In addition to Fiona being a little grown up, we bought our first home! It's a two bedroom (possible 3- well discuss that some other time!), one bath (possible 2- again, another time hah), with a small office, a dining/kitchen combo, and a decent sized living room on a half acre with a great view of 40 acres. It even has a gazebo! We closed on our home on July 22, so we've been living here for four (!!) months. There are still two rooms of unpacked boxes.. ugh we'll just pretend that isn't true. 

Moving Day! You can see the orange of the U-Haul in the door reflection :)

 We've been slowing working on the house, nothing really major yet- but I hope to get some posts up soon of what we've been doing. For now I will post some photos of our new home. There aren't that many- almost all the photos I take I take on my iPhone, which apparently is no good or I just suck at taking phone photos. So I'll share the ones from the MLS listing (which are much less blurry) making them the true before shots! 
At some point during this week I'll clean the whole house very frantically while Fiona naps and run around and take pictures.

The front of the house!
Well really the front door  
Gazebo/back view of the house

 Side View from Driveway

 View from driveway (closer to road)

 View from side yard to street view

The Kitchen


Living Room

Living Room/Stair case

Living Room again


Fiona's room

Close up of original wide plank flooring in Fiona's room

Banister upstairs
View looking down the road

Front of house

Yard view from driveway

Okay so we totally have a nicer looking backyard than these pictures convey. In addition there are two pictured rooms not pictured. Hopefully I'll be able to share them in the upcoming weeks :)