Happy New Year! It’s been about a month and a half since the new roof went on. I know you’ve been anticipating the big roof reveal—unable to sleep, no visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads, up all night wondering what we’ve been up to; wondering if the roof went on smoothly; wondering if we finished staining the house. To my four loyal readers out there (thank you!): We’ve been up to a lot. Yes it did! And…sorta!

It snowed today, which is not an ideal time to take pictures of a roof. But I have cobbled together before and after pics from over the past many months for your pleasure. Without further ado, the big reveal:




Okay, the “after”/in-progress pic is something of a bummer, since it was taken on a really dreary day in January, whereas the before pic was taken in the middle of summer so a case could be made that the before looks better. I will address that in a moment.

But first let’s talk about the good things! New roof, yes. And we finished staining the house…for the season. We were lucky to have stretches of perfect painting weather into December, and managed to prep (pressure washing, filling holes and gouges, and then sanding the entire house, no joke) and put on a full coat of stain. We were about halfway through the second coat when it got to be too cold and rainy for painting. We’ll have to wait for spring (or an unseasonably warm week mid-winter) to finish up. I’m not gonna lie: I’m happy to take a break from staining.

You may have caught in an earlier post when I mentioned that I matched the house color to the color of the new gutters. It’s true. I didn’t really expound in the post, but getting the colors right was a huge pain in the a**, since I was matching three things—the redwood siding is stained while the fascia boards and eaves are painted with latex—and I’m particular. The latex color ended up being a custom mix made up by a really nice girl named Anna at the Sherwin Williams in Alexandria, while inexplicably the stain was an off-the-shelf color. (Why would there be a perfect match from the only thirty or so stain colors but not one acceptable color amongst the hundreds and hundreds of latex colors, across all brands? I don’t understand anything in the world.)

Anyway, BAM! Color-matched!


The color bears resemblance to the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala—”a unifying element,” “a tasteful hue,” “a hearty yet stylish tone.” (Pantone’s marketing department had some fun… seriously, look at the link, it’s ridiculous.) Despite concerns that “sh*t, now our house is going to look SO 2015!” and haters’ comparisons of the color to ’90s lipstick, or what comes out of you after you eat a lot of beets, we like the color.

Okay, so back to the before pic’s summer time advantage. Take this mock-up photo, in which I have introduced Perpetual Summer and replaced the weedy/leaf-colored lawn with some luscious Creeping Red Fescue. Also, at some point we will paint the ugly orangey-brown stonework and the foundation. It’s undecided at this point if we’ll paint the stonework light gray and the foundation dark gray, or vice versa.



Or what if we paint the stonework and the foundation the same color? We’ll fully explore our options at some point (we don’t really have to decide until spring), but referring back to our inspiration photo at the bottom of this post, makes me thing dark gray for the stonework is the right choice.

More before and “in progress” pics…



We cut down the trees that were super close to the side of the house almost immediately after moving in. Sorry trees, but you were right up on us. The odd-looking leaf columns are the fig trees we planted during the summer.




We replaced the hideous light fixtures on either side of the front door. Maybe these aren’t “forever fixtures”—they’re just slightly too small—but I like the globe shade and they were stupid cheap. Oh, and we put rain caps on the chimney—yeah! (I’m sorry that I am so, so, boring.)

On the to-do list here is the second coat of stain. It’s obvious in this picture where there used to be terra cotta thingamabobs hanging (left wall). The second coat should take care of that, but what’s weird is that those shadows are not at all apparent in real life. Also, we’re getting drainage work done tomorrow, and part of that work will include digging out the muck on either side of the path to the front door, tamping down the ground, and filling with stones. (Stay tuned! Excitement!)

The north side of the house had a lot of algae growth, so here’s an exciting before-and-after:



Eventually we’ll get rid of the deck walkway, when we replace the deck completely. (Hence, “after, sorta.”) Speaking of the deck, this is where I left you:


And what it looks like now, with fascia replaced, new gutters installed, house stained, and deck cleaned:


We got the huge bell as a gift—it’s made by Woodstock Chimes and is substantial and makes a lovely noise that we’ll use as a call to the dinner table. We’re working on training the dog to come to it as well.


Other things to catch you up on: the hundred or so trees we’ve planted, and the drainage work which will be done this week. Stay tuned!