Updating the Exterior

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We already completed a long list of items on the inside of the house, and it was finally time to add some curb appeal to the outside.

Since moving in, we have just kept up with the lawn area.  This was our starting point after the initial cleanup on moving day:

Rome House Front

The Plan

We had to tame some overgrown bushes and shrubs.  We also had to cut down the plant/weed that was creeping upwards by the front door and remove the young tree that was clearly growing too close to the house.  To the side of the driveway was another dead tree, that also had to come down.  The roof needed a good cleaning, and I wanted to paint the front door and add shutters to all windows.  Since we were enjoying some cooler weather by this point – fall finally arrived in Georgia! – it was the perfect time to get all of this done.

Yard Work

Cleaning, cutting and clearing out the area around the front of the house was a tedious task.  Pieter got to work with the chainsaw and took down the small tree, and I jumped in with the trimmers and shears and tackled the smaller bushes next to the house.  It took a while, but soon we had the plant life close to the house tamed.

Pieter started up the chainsaw again, this time to take down the large, dead tree next to the driveway.  We took a break from our yard work to watch him do the cutting and then pulling it all the way down.  It created another big mess that had to be cleaned up, little by little.

Taking down the Tree

Once the dead tree was hauled away, I added some new mulch to all the flower/plant beds and cleaned up the edges the old fashioned way – with a spade.  The kids were happy to help and were in charge of removing all the cuttings and limbs.  Luckily for them, they were able to hook the cart to the lawnmower and drive it away to the back of the property.  We had started a burn pile earlier in the year and was planning to burn it all once the right time came along.

We found this Gorilla Cart on Amazon and boy has this been a handy addition to our tool collection!  It can easily be pulled by hand too.  We really like the quick release dump feature – pull the handle and it tips up and to the back for fast and easy emptying!

Help with Yard Work

Front Door

Pieter removed the front door and repainted it using two cans of turquoise spray paint.  We only painted the outside part, and once the paint was dry, reinstalled the door.  That same door had to be removed when we moved our fridge in, and again later when we moved the same fridge out.  Free moving tip: just include the fridge in the sale!!!

Changing the Front Door Color

Power Washing the Roof

Yes, that is exactly what Pieter decided to do to the roof.  We had the power-washer on the ground, and Pieter up on the roof with the hose piece, washing away all the accumulated moss and growth from not only the roof but also the gutters.  We had small trees growing in those…  The hose could only reach so far, so we had to hoist the power-washer up onto the porch roof, and Pieter was able to complete the job.

Once the roof was done, he gave the bricks a quick wash as well, to get rid of some of the debris that came down from the roof.

Before Installing Shutters

Shutters

It was finally time to build some shutters, and again, Pieter and Simon were happy to oblige.  We got all our supplies from Lowes, and after some careful measuring, got started with our project.  We had 6 windows in total, but only needed 10x shutters (the two windows on the side were close together).  I decided on a simple design: 5 vertical pieces of 1×4’s and 2 horizontally placed 1×8’s.  For the small window, we only did 3 vertical pieces, instead of 5.

Pieter and Simon put the shutters together, and I was in charge of painting them a nice dark grey.  We left them to dry during the week and installed them early the next Saturday.

After Installing Shutters

Phase One was complete and we were very proud, to say the least.   We had big plans for making the front even more inviting, by moving the front door and adding a porch and some bigger windows to the front of the house.  This was going to be Phase Two.

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