Organizing Sheds

Since Spring is here, I’m looking for ideas on how to organize our shed.  We do not have a garage, we only have a 12×12 foot shed on our property.  The previous owners converted our garage into what is now our Family Room.  It’s great to have the extra space on the inside, but it’s not great to not have a garage.  So we need to organize the heck out of our shed at this point.  We need to clear out the whole shed and start over.  I really would love to paint it white on the inside like this picture below.  It’s very dark when we walk into our shed.  There is no window, but we are thinking about installing one.
These products from Garage Rack Storage are pretty cool products.
Let’s take a look around this shed from  Some really great ideas for our shed.  We already have shelves, but we need to move some stuff around to make it more functional.  I need to take pictures of the inside of our shed, so you can see the mess we are dealing with.  Sorry I forgot to do that for this post.  I’ll see if it’s sunny enough over this weekend so I can take some pictures.  It’s actually a dark dirty place I never want to go in, so we really need to get our act together with fixing it up this year.  We have only waited 4.5 years to finally do something about it.  Anyway, back to what I was talking about, I love all the shelf space and I love all the wall space to hang the large tools for the yard.
Here is the other side of this shed.  Gosh I would love a window like this in our shed.  We actually have a really large work bench, bigger then this one, but it’s always a mess because we have too much stuff and we don’t have the shed organized the right way.  I’m lovin those plastic containers in the left corner.  Great for potting soil, grass seed, small tools, etc.  I think I might have to get some of these for our shed.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the smaller features in this shed.

BHG: Little things like twine or thin wire can be some of the most useful objects in your shed. They can also be some of the hardest to find. Make it easy by turning a toilet paper holder on its side. It makes it a cinch to reach and cut.

I love this idea.  I’m always looking for my twine and wire.  I’m going to the dollar store and picking up two toilet paper holders and installing them in our shed.  :)

Why not have a “Garden Calendar”.

BHG: Keep a calendar of landscaping activities and you won’t have to guess when you last fertilized the lawn or planted seeds. This one is metal, creating a convenient place to secure plant tags, seed packets, and small parts with magnetic holders.

This is sooooo smart to have right in your shed or garage.  Great way to keep track.  Anyone in the house can look at it, so that no one over fertilizes or anything else for that matter.  Also a great place to keep your plant tags.  This way you don’t forget all the details of each plant.  If you ever have to move it, you know the name of the plant, the type of light it likes, etc.  A corkboard and a whiteboard might just be moving into our shed.  We will see though.  Super great idea for sure.  :)

Pictures via:
Let’s take a look back to what our shed looked like when we bought the house.  I hope you are ready, because it’s really bad.  It’s really ugly.  Hope your sitting down.

Yup this is how our shed and our yard for that matter looked on the day of our closing.  Yes, the previous owners were not all cleaned up before we closed on the house.  But they got it done the following day.  We had a lot of cleaning up to do even after they took all of their belongings with them.

Here is what the inside of the shed looked like that day.  If you look close there is a wood work bench on the left side.  Do you see it?  It’s right behind the pool pump that is standing on the floor in the middle of the doorway.  Yeah you can hardly see it.
This is what it looked like for the first few months we live in the house.  Yup those are holes in the door to the shed.
When we got the new roof on our house, they also put a new roof on our shed, then me and the hubby put new PVC trim around the roof line, a new door, new PVC trim around the door and painted the whole shed on the outside.  Soooooo much better.  Our neighbors thank us for this one over and over again.  {haha}  So worth all the work we had to do.  This is still how the shed looks today on the outside.  Doesn’t that right side of the shed just scream “put a window here”?  We are hoping to put a small double hung window this year or maybe next year.  We aren’t sure.  We also need to get two vents put on the shed.  One above the door and then another one at the back of the shed, to keep some better ventilation in there.  It gets wet sometimes {something else we need to work on}, so the vents would really help out.  No worries, I will take lots of pictures and if we do the work ourselves, I will have lots of details to give you.
You can check out the rest of our Outdoor Series post below.  There are a few, but we really turned this house around for the good and I love sharing our journey.

Outdoor Series 1
Outdoor Series 2

Outdoor Series 4
Outdoor Series 5
Outdoor Series 6
Outdoor Series 7
Outdoor Series 8
Outdoor Series 9

So has anyone else organized their shed or garage recently?  Any tips for me?  Any products you really love?  Should I paint it white on the inside?  Maybe another color?  Let’s hear it all.  Everyone enjoying their Spring so far?  Did you start planting yet?

Thanks for stopping by everyone!!!  Have a great Holiday weekend!!!  Happy Easter and Happy Passover to everyone!!!

The Outdoor Series – The Big Reveal

So today is finally the Big Reveal day and there are lots of pictures, so get your cup of coffee or tea and sit back and relax.  It only took the contractor 2 weeks to finish this paver/cement project and transform our property, but it took us 3 years to get to this point.  It was well worth the wait.

I’m going to take you through all the changes that happened over the 2 week period with this project, from Demo, to pavers, to sod, to the handrails and the complete after.  I hope you have a little while to watch the changes that happened at our place.

Here is basically what our property looked like before we started this project.  This is not to scale, but I hope it gives you more of an idea of the property and what changed.
“Property Before”
And this is what the property looks like afterwards.  Well not with the curves in certain areas, because it just was not that easy for me to draw the curves of the backyard patio, but I hope you get the idea of what a big project this was for us.
“Property After”
Just a reminder of how the yard was before, here are a couple of ugly before pictures.
WOW that yard was really broken up into different areas and not in a good way.  I completely hated this yard, even when the pool was there.  Too much ugly decking, too much pool and not enough grass….oh wait there was no grass in the backyard.  It just didn’t feel like our home because we really couldn’t change it that much to make an impact….until now. πŸ˜‰
Here the demo has begone on the deck.  We also had new stairs put in…well the beginning of new stairs being put in.  The supports had to be put in before the pavers were laid in place, then they finished the stairs.  The old staircase was in pretty bad shape.  Lot’s of wood that needed to be replaced, sanded & painted or stained.  But in the end it just didn’t seem worth piecing it together.  This way we knew we had new stairs and they were going to hold up over time.  The stairs go up to our Sunroom.
Do you see all the toys and garbage that was found under the deck?  We have no idea how they got it there….the previous owners that is.

Here is where are gas supply comes into the house.  The Town told us because it is technically a driveway, we had to have a steel pole filled with cement installed so that a car could not hit it.  So we painted it gray and we tried to hide it with trellis planters, but our contractor had a better idea.  See the spray paint on the ground, that is where the wall & pier would go.  Make a half wall with a lamp pier to cover up the pole.  NICE!!!  Awesome contractor, plus of course he got more money out of us that way, but in the end we were the happy home owners.

Now here is the backyard with the pavers down!!!  I didn’t want to add all of the during pictures because there are already so many pictures.  They had just finished the backyard and wet everything down so it will look lighter and darker in some pictures.  We love it!!!  The contractor did an amazing job.
So this is where the ugly decking used to be.  Now the patio is out further then the decking was, so we have more room for patio furniture and to have great gatherings.
We have to paint these black poles white.  Well we actually want to put PVC material around them and square them off so they look like columns more and not like ugly black metal poles.
They were able to go right up to this garden bed, which was perfect, because there is a gate there to the left.
This is our driveway side of the backyard.  We can pull 4 cars total into the driveway now, three up front & one behind the gates in the backyard.  Bascially the end that I’m standing at taking the picture is where we have a gazebo now.  Pictures below.
This is a close up of the circle that is in the picture above.  We had to break up all the lighter gray pavers, so we went with a circle here and we did something else up front in the driveway as well to break things up.
Close up of all of the pavers.
This is our back door stoop.  We wanted it to be a platform step, not just a 12 inch deep step.  We didn’t want anyone just triping out the door, so the platform was better for our home.  They did a great job designing it.  We really didn’t know how they were going to do it, but we love how it came out.

 We had a landscaper come in and take up all the old grass on the whole property after the paver contractor was done.  He leveled out the whole property for us and then laid sod.  We wern’t going to do sod to save money, but we started this project in mid May and we really wouldn’t have had grass until the following season, so we just went for the sod.  In this two week period of time we actually decided on sod & a sprinkler system to be installed.  Thank god our paver contractor was so good to us.  He went out and bought the PVC pipes we would need to run the sprinkler system to go under the pavers.  Plus he came up with the idea to run our gutter drain pipes under the pavers and up into the grass.  It’s a cool system that just pops up when it rains and closes when it’s not raining.  We love it.  Well worth all the extra money we had to spend.


{front yard}

The only cement on the property is the sidewalk and the apron of the driveway.

Here are the stairs almost done.

Finished!!!  We love how it turned out.

Here is the pier & half wall to sort of hid & protect our gas supply.  But most of all to hide that ugly pole.
Here it is all finished off with the light and plants to hide the meter more.  We couldn’t build the half wall any higher because they have to be able to read the meter.  And the light is great for parties.
Here is the front yard.  Our front stoop….oh how we love you.  We hated walking up the old cement cracked stoop with rusty wrought iron handrails that were broken on one side.  The contractor went right over our old stoop.  No demo which saved us money.  These steps are higher now and you just walk right into the front entrance instead of stepping into the front entrance.  It’s steeper then the old one, but we are used to it now.  It’s also about a foot wider because of the large bricks they used.  No worries we installed handrails.
Front walkway & double, well really triple driveway because we can park three cars wide in our driveway if we want.

Side of house walkway.  That small stoop is my Mom’s entrance to her apartment. You can see in this picture how the gutters go into the pavers and the PVC pipe goes under the walkway and up into the grass on the other side.  You can see the little green cap in the grass area on the left of the picture.

We went with fans at the end of the driveway to break up the all gray area in the middle.  We love how it turned out.

View from top of stoop.  You can see more of the details of the driveway.

Speaking of the top of the stoop, this is what the landing of the stoop looks like.

Here are the handrails installed.  We went with PVC rails.  We love it.  Never have to worry about them again for the life of the house probably.  We just went with simple spindles, because that what worked best with our homes style.

We added potted planters to the stoop to add more color.

The sod is down.  New sod really finishes off a yard.  This is the view from across the street.  It’s the only way to get the whole house and property into the shot. πŸ˜‰

View from on top of the stairs in the backyard.

As you can see from this picture we still have some other projects to do, like paint the wood beams that support the Sunroom.  We already painted the stairs.  Now they blend in with the house and yard better.  We really didn’t want to leave it a stained wood color.  So we used Cabot stain which is really a solid paint color that we used.  Cabot has stains that are the thickness of paint, actually thicker.  This was really thick paint and went on really nicely.  We don’t really regret painting it.  Hopefully it lasts for a long time.  It took two days to paint all the stairs and rails.  We went with white on the rails & gray on the steps.

We also need to put some trim pieces at the bottom of the support poles for the stairs.  See how it isn’t finished off.  We bought PVC brick moulding for the trim.  I can’t wait for hubby to cut it & install it.  It will really finish the stairs off nicely.  More on that once the project gets started. πŸ˜‰

You can see from this picture how the stairs blend in since they are painted.

I need to add a rug, some pop of color with pillows & maybe a lantern or two to the gazebo area.

Here are some of the details in the backyard.  Everything is so full and in bloom now…love it!!!

Here is our little water feature.  They sell a Fountain in a container at Home Depot.  We bought it last year.  It comes in a 5 gallon container.  The rocks, the pump & the container just go into a bigger planter and you have a water feature.  I bought the planter at HomeGoods for $35 last year.

Our Daylilies.

Here is all the paver information:  Pavers are Nicolock Holland Stone. Outer border is Charcoal, red border is Bayberry Blend and center pavers are Granite City Blend. The stoop bullnose is Nicolock Charcoal, but the risers and the sides of the stoop are Cambridge Onyx Natural. The light pier & small wall are also Cambridge Onyx Natural. Nicolock also has these same bricks, but they weren’t available for our project so we went with Cambridge.
We love all the choices we made.  If you have any questions at all, either email me or comment on this post.  I would be happy to answer your questions and try to help.
You can check out the full Outdoor Series from the ugly beginning in these posts:  Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5, Post 6, Post 7, Post 8

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day! I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one if you want. I love sharing and inspiring others, but I also love feed back and sharing of others ideas and thoughts. :)

Weekend Bloggy Reading

The Outdoor Series – Shut The Door

Well it’s more like “get rid of the door”!!!  This is the door that came with our home.  Gee lucky us….burgundy screen door and all.  YAY!!!  NOT!!!  It just didn’t go with the wood door at all.  I’m not knocking burgundy screen doors if that is what you have. πŸ˜‰  But this one had to go.  Let’s just see how in bad shape this door really was before I show you the new pretty door.  OK, from a distance, the door just looks like it needed to be sanded, stained & sealed.
You can see the screen door color better in this picture.  If you look close at the sidelight panels of the door, you can see that the previous owners did not take care of the door at all from the outside for probably close to 25 years that they owned the house.  Thanks again for that.  :(   We thought about sanding and staining it or even just painting it white, but this door was in really bad shape.  Scratches, cracks & all!!!
This is the view from the inside.  We hated how dark the wood was because it just made it dark in this area.  We don’t have a Foyer really, since this is a High Ranch, so we needed to do something about this.
Plus the type of glass that was there didn’t give us good privacy.  You can see in this closer picture that you can see right to the street in the center, which meant people could see right in when they came to the door.  So something had to change.
Here you can see some of the scratches that the dogs made.  I guess they really wanted out of this house.  There was also a large crack in the wood {sorry I don’t have a picture of that}.  You could see light through this crack.  So the heat was literally going right out the down.
This is what the outside of the door looked like.  Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the door still on it’s hinges.  But you can see from this picture that the outside of the door really was weathered over the years.  I guess they didn’t always have a screen door on the front door to protect it.
So we saved our pennies up and we finally got a new door.  We ordered this door from Unified {NY}. It was a reasonable price and they installed it for us.  Oh so much better now.
Now if we could just get a new steps & railings.
They put all the white trim molding on the outside.  It’s basically a thin metal material that they form and case over the brown wood molding that was already there.
We love the style we chose on the glass.  You can hardly see through this glass now.  So we have more privacy.  The reason we picked a white door {because I’m sure some of you might be thinking “why go with a white door when your house is light gray”} is because we want to one day change the siding on the house to a dark blue or even a darker gray.
Here is the door from the inside.  See how frosted this glass is.  You can see a little bit through the center design, but that is it.  Much harder to see into the house now.  We likey!!!

These are the sidelights.
Now we just have to paint the inside trim white.  One little detail that was overlooked when we ordered the door.  We thought they supplied the inside trim.  So we are just going to paint it white.  We still haven’t painted this trim and it’s a year later.  Embarrassing!!!  Really have to finish that project.  I hate how it looks.  I’m even thinking about painting the spindles on the banister white to lighten things up even more.  But shhhhh, don’t tell the hubby I’m thinking that. πŸ˜‰
So let’s take one more look at the before & after.

Now let’s talk about some of my inspiration for the new siding and the look that I would love to have for the house.  I think it would give the house great curb appeal.
Pacific Blue is the color on this house.  With the white trim & the dark gray roof.  Love!!!  {wish this was my house, I love all the peaks}
This is a close up of the Pacific Blue siding.
We would do our shed in the same siding as the house and we already have a white door on the shed.  We might add a window to the shed before we do the siding or at the same time.  We will see.  The shed also has the darker gray roof on it, so we wouldn’t have to change the roof color.
{I wish our shed was this cute}

Our shed.

I colored this house using this website.  You can even pay to upload your own picture and paint your own home and see what colors work for you.

I like the Boothbay Blue & Evening Blue from these color choices.

In this set of colors I like the Light Gray, Wedgewood, Yoder Blue, & Dark Gray.

Here is a darker gray house, but it doesn’t have a white door, but you get the idea.

We could go either way with our decision of siding.  We will see.  I think I would have to use a website to upload my house picture and see how it would look with the darker colors and white trim.  Time will tell.

Now let’s take a look at our old mailbox.  Sad, sad little mailbox she was.  We had to make some changes.  Yup as you can see, it was only held on with a bungee cord.  It still cracks me up when I look at this picture.  But this mailbox was just not our style, so we bought a new one.

We bought this either at Lowe’s or Home Depot, sorry I don’t remember which place, because we used to live in both stores when we first bought the house.  This replacement was one of the first things we did before we even moved into the house.

Much nicer!!!


Here are all the other Outdoor Series posts from the start: post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5, post 6, post 7.

The next Outdoor Series post will be the Big Reveal.  Please stop back and check out what we did to our front & back yard.  It really changed the whole look of our property.

 Has anyone else replaced their front door?  Do you have a screen door?  Hate them or love them?  Let’s here the details.

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day! I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one if you want. I love sharing and inspiring others, but I also love feed back and sharing of others ideas and thoughts. :)

The Outdoor Series – Splish Splash

Welcome to our pool!!!  Come on in.
This is what the pool looked like the day we first toured our home {previous owners stuff}.  You can see how many different levels of decking there are in the next few pictures.  This is the view from our Master Bedroom.
The diamond in the rough shed to the right.  Check out what we did to the shed to update it here.
View from the back door.  Not so pretty to look at when you first walk outside.
Here is the backside of the decking around the pool.  Our backyard borders on a wetlands preserve area.  So there are some trees, lots of weeds and a small stream that doesn’t always have water in it.  So it’s not the best looking area all the time, but we might put up a solid white PVC fence once we save the money up.  We have a neighbor right over on the other side of the stream and they don’t have a fence either.  There is plenty of brush in the summer time, but we can still see into each others yards.  We like that it is open, but we don’t always like that they can see right into our yard.  We will see what we decide over time.  We are so on the fence about it.  Sorry I couldn’t help that silly pun. πŸ˜‰
So from that lower level on the back side, you go up two steps onto this walkway and then up another 2 steps to the upper deck of the pool.  Or you can go upstairs to the enclosed deck or sunroom like we like to call it.  So many options and way too much wood decking.
This is looking back to where the last picture was taken, I’m on the upper decking taking the picture.
This pool is 32L x 16w, just to give you some perspective of the yard.  Our yard is 75′ wide by 100′ deep.  So add all of that decking, plus the pool and you don’t have much of a yard do ya?  Nope!!!
This was the view on our day of closing.  I guess the building inspector made them cover up the pool properly before the closing.  They had to get certain CO’s before we closed.  So at least we had a cover that fit the pool now.
BUT….when we took the cover off, this is what was found underneath.  Gross!!!  Looked like a swamp & smelled like one too.
Close up of the deeper end.
Within 4 days we had the pool completely clean and clear.  Pump running a lot, shocking the heck out of it and of course vacuuming it out.  Now that is much better to look at from our bedroom window.  Yes the liner needed to still be cleaned better, but it was old and a lot of it was faded and just baked on.  But it did clean up better.
Here is a pretty good view of most of the yard.  Well what you can see of it with all the decking.  lol.

Here is the sunroom that is off our Dining Room.  We still have a lot of work to do on that Sunroom, both inside and out.  We want to paint the wood to either go with the siding {light gray} or white to just brighten things up.  Plus we have plans to make the ugly black poles much nicer.  You can see we added some chairs and plants to the upper pool deck to make it look nicer.  We also added two outdoor rugs.  The decking up there is really bad.

And the duckies even thought our pool was nice and clean.  They went from out neighbors pool to ours, did a few laps and then went to the next neighbors pool and then flew away.  It was so cute to watch.  Typically these duckies are in the stream behind the fence and not in our pool.  They never came back again.
Ready for some ugliness?  Well if you haven’t already guessed by other post of mine, the previous owners were slobs and didn’t care.  They had 4 kids that didn’t care either.  We found toys {and still do} all around the yard.  This was just grossed.  We really couldn’t help the water build up because the water table level in our area is high, but all the garage was just gross.  So we had to take the lattice off and rake out all the garage we could.  Oh the things we found under there.  This is all under the upper deck of the pool.  We guess at one time the lattice wasn’t there and they just through stuff there.

Yup that is a headless and clothsless Barbie.  Poor dollie.  That little girl just wasn’t nice to you.  Other things we found were lots of beer bottles, soda cans, a tackle box and lots of toy pieces.
Here is some of what we found just around the pool area.  Not even under the decking.  This was just in the dirt/weed/leaf area.

This was old stuff from a fish tank.  The gravel was even dump there.  Plus other things in between.

Then we figured out that our Sunroom was sagging in the center.  A lot of the windows were sagging and leaving gaps.  So we hired a contractor to make sure the job was done properly.  They put three new poles in and put another header up, so now there are three headers up there supporting all the weight upstairs.  Headers are those large pieces of wood you see above the poles.  Our contractor told us that if we had a party and too many people were up there, the Sunroom might have fallen into the pool basically.  Oh My God!!!  We were very happy to spend the money for this project.  Now we are completely safe.
The poles were rusted that were in the dirt.  They didn’t even seem to be in that much of cement below the deck.  What the heck is wrong with these previous owners?  They didn’t do anything by code.  Our contractor also told us that these poles were indoor poles for basements, not poles that can be in the ground outside.  So now we are all safe.  New poles are rated for outdoors and are in cement footers.  Plus the windows are not sagging anymore.  We still need to replace them, but they aren’t sagging.
New poles with new wood deck right around it.  They needed to replace them because they used like 4 inch nails and it was not easy to come up in one piece.

So has anyone else done some pool or decking projects lately?  Do share with us.  We all love to see others peoples projects.
Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day! I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one if you want. I love sharing and inspiring others, but I also love feed back and sharing of others ideas and thoughts. :)

The Outdoor Series – Watch Them Grow

Let’s watch how our garden beds grew over 3 years.  We made lots of changes and there are more to come that I will share with you in a future post.

Before – Left Side Garden Bed

After we cleaned up.  We hated the wood, but it stayed for about a year that way.
Then the following year, we pulled all that wood out and made it one level and added garden blocks to finish things off.  Garden Blocks or Retaining Wall Blocks were bought at Lowe’s.
All you have to do, if it’s not a retaining wall, is make sure the dirt is down a few inches below your surface and that the dirt is level.  We just used a small level and a mallet, {no hammers for project like this}.  You just gently tap the top of the bricks to level out the brick and then you move onto the next one.  Then the next layer up gets staggered, so you will have to cut the brick.  I believe my hubby used a circular saw to score the bricks and then you can use a chisel and mallet to break it in half the rest of the way for a nice straight cut.  It took us the whole weekend to do all three beds, but we loved how it turned out.  This had to be done before we bought any plants for these garden beds, so we were happy for it to be finished.
Then the following weekend we planted.  We bought smaller plants, which saves you money and within a year they grow in soooo much.  Great way to save yourself some money in the long run.
The yellow flowers are called “Daylily Happy Returns Hemerocallis”, Hosta’s, Blue Spruce bush {that’s the light blue/green bush in the middle}, Golden Euonymus {yellow & green leaves}, Emerald Euonymus {cream white & green leaves}, & Green Boxleaf  Euonymus {solid green leaves} and Golden Mop Cypress.  We love all the plants.  All are evergreens except for the Daylilies & the Hosta’s, but they come back the following Spring.  Daylilies can be divided in the Spring or Fall.  Daylilies also multiple over the years.  So even a small bunch with multiple the following year and so on.  Our’s our pretty big now and we need to divide some of them this Fall I think.  They bloom from late Spring to late Fall.  The flowers will die off, but more will come back.  The Daylilies also close up some at night and reopen in the am.  They are a pretty cool flower to have in your garden.  We have yellow in the front yard and red in the backyard.
And a year later….see how much they grew.  WOW they really filled in.  Can’t wait to show you how they look this year.  They are all three years old and a lot bigger.  We even had to prune them.
Before – Right Side Garden Bed
Cleaner, but empty.
After – Right Side Garden Bed
And a year later…
Front left corner garden bed with the wood border.
With the Garden Bed Blocks.
And a year later…
In this garden bed, the red tree is a Japense Maple, the green weeping tree is a Weeping Cherry, we have hosta’s, evergreens bushes that we don’t know the name of because they were already here when we bought the house and a Hydrangea bush in the middle.  There have been some changes to this garden bed and I will share them with you in a future post.
Front Yard – Before
Front yard – After
There is still more to come in this outdoor series.  I’m not finished yet.  I have more eye candy to show you.
Is anyone else doing some garden or outdoor projects?  What are you up to right now?  Let’s here all about your projects.  Spill the dirt!!! {silly pun intended}
You can check out the rest of The Outdoor Series post, here, here and here.
Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day! I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one if you want. I love sharing and inspiring others, but I also love feed back and sharing of others ideas and thoughts. :)

The Outdoor Series – A Diamond in the Rough

Meet our “Diamond in the Rough”…..our shed!!!  Well when we first saw this shed when we toured this house, I didn’t know what to think of it.  Actually the first thought was probably to tear it down and start over again, but we had no idea what it looked like on the inside until the day of closing.  The previous owners had so much of their own stuff in the shed, that we couldn’t see the walls at all.  Take a look at the second picture and you will understand why we couldn’t see inside.  It’s a 12×12 shed and the inside, thank god, was intact.  Just needed some cleaning.  Which we need to do more of to get it better organized.

So this is what our shed looked like after we cleaned out the side yard.  When we had the roof on the house done, the roofer did the shed also.  We just had to do everything else on the shed.  The trim work on the whole shed had to be replaced because it was rotted.  We also had to replace the door on the shed.  This is a garage type of door but door size.  Yup you had to pull it up to get in.  As you can see it had holes in it as well, so it had to be replaced.  Obviously we had to paint the shingles.  They were that 1980’s mustard yellow color.  Yikes!!!  The house was sided about 10-15 years ago and we don’t know why they didn’t side the shed also.  Thank god the house wasn’t this color, because that would have been a whole other project we would have had to handle.  This shed is on a slab of cement so it was worth saving and making it look prettier.

This is how the side yard next to the shed looked after all the rocks & vines were removed.  You can check out the rest of that work in this post here.  We assume that the inner chainlink fence was for the previous owners dogs and kids.  We hated how it broke up the whole yard, so it had to go.
So we pulled off all the trim and started to prime.  It looked so much better just primed.  We went with a light gray/blue color.  We used Olymipic exterior paint, called “Pins and Needles”.  The house is a light faded grey and the siding on the house needs to be done again because there are holes and rust on the siding that we can’t get off.  Some places the siding even looks like there might have been a small fire because it looks melted.  So we just painted the shed a nice soothing color and when we reside the house, the shed will get resided too.  Now we just have to save our pennies for the new siding. πŸ˜‰
Here is the shed painted and with trim.  Just had to install the trim around the door.  We were so happy to have a normal type of door for the shed.  All the trim work is PVC planks.  It was well worth the extra money for the PVC.  We had bee’s that were making their homes in the old rotted wood, so we wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again.  We won’t have to replace this trim for the life time that we own this home.  Nice!!!

Well I said the inner chain link fence had to come down & it came down.  Quick & easy too.  They weren’t install very well.  They came out pretty easy.  Score!  For once something wasn’t back breaking when it came to work on this house.

OMG this was sooooo much better.  The yard really opened up.  We weren’t enclosed into one area of the yard anymore.  No worries, the rest of the property is fenced in completely.

Here is the “Diamond in the Rough” all cleaned up & the door trim is installed.  Now that is much more pleasing to the eye.  I know our neighbors on either side of us were happy that we painted it.  πŸ˜‰

Then the side yard was leveled out for us so we could do another project.  More on that soon.

“Before” – Yuck…….”After” – ooh la-la!!!

Than we moved on to making some garden beds.  This is a very small garden bed in the corner of the side yard.  We already had the small looking christmas trees, from the winter before.  We bought the blocks at Lowe’s.

And we bought flowers, Day Lilies and one other evergreen plant in the center.

I will show you more on this area as I post more picture of the rest of the yard overhaul.  So much changed in this yard over the last 4 years.  It finally looks like a yard to relax in.  Can’t wait to show you the big reveal of the yard.
Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a great day! I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one if you want. I love sharing and inspiring others, but I also love feed back and sharing of others ideas and thoughts. :)

The Outdoor Series – The Clean up Begins

Next in the Outdoor Series is the actual clean up.  It will get a little better, then a little uglier, but it really turns out the way we want in the end and I can’t wait to share it all with you.  We still have smaller projects to do as well this year, so stay tuned for those posts as well.  We are very excited about it.
We basically pulled everything out.  We really didn’t like the wood in the garden bed, but it wasn’t a priority when we first bought the house to make that change, but stay tuned for the change that we did make.  Our garden beds really evolved over the last 3.5 years.  I will show you the progress once I get through all of the other posts about our yard.  It still amazes me how far we have come with the house.
This is basically how the garden beds in the front looked for the first year.  We closed on the house in July 2007 and we didn’t plant anything until June of 2008.  It can cost a lot when you have to put in all new plants.

So this is how the house looked the first month we owned it.  {it’s a Hi-Ranch if anyone is wondering}  It’s a little sad looking right now, but over time we will change things and make it ours!!!
Goodbye ugly brown roof and hello nice gray roof.  The roof had to be done one way or another, so we did the roof in August of 2007.  That ugly brown door with a burgandy screen door has to go to, but we are getting ahead of ourselves there.  I will get to that soon.  There were soooo many changes that we wanted to make, but they all happened over time.  Having patients is very hard sometimes. πŸ˜‰

Now let’s move onto the driveway side yard area.  OK, so that junk car and all that other stuff of the previous owners is gone.  You can check out this post to see the befores of this area.  We were left with  big rocks in the dirt area & vines all in between the fence.  Thank god our nice new neighbor hated the vines also and helped us cut everything down.  Then he sprayed weed killer for us.  Almost 4 years later, we are still fighting this vine back.  Once we take down our fence and maybe their fence, we will be able to dig out the vine roots and hopefully be rid of these vines forever.  Now if we can only save up our pennies to replace the fence.  πŸ˜‰
These are all the rocks that came out of the ground in the picture above.  We heard from our neighbors that the previous owners had brought these rocks back from Pennsylvania years ago and they were supposed to use them in the yard somewhere.  I have no idea where they were going to put them.  We used some of them that we liked in some of our garden beds.  All the rest were Freecycled to someone that was making a waterfall area in their yard.  That made us happy that someone else was able to use them and that we didn’t have to get rid of them at the dump.  And let me tell you, some of these rocks were really back breaking.  Took three of us to move some of them.  Crazy work out for us.  Took us 2-3 days to dig them out and move them to the concrete area of the driveway.
Opposite view of the vined fence.
Here are our two ugly sheds.  The gray one in the left front of this picture came down weeks after we bought the house.  We used it for some stuff for a little while, but it was trash and had to come down.  Thank god.  Our second ugly shed in the back of the picture.  Just keep thinking about paint for that ugly shed.  It was a diamond in the ruff. πŸ˜‰
Thank god it was not nailed or screwed to the house, so it came down quickly.
YAY!!!!  No more vine fence.  Thank you to our neighbor for helping out!!!
Here is a little “Before & After” of this area.  Yup there was only part of a wood picket fence put up and the rest was still chainlink.  But we fixed that the following year.  Stay tuned for that transformation.

Here is a view of some more of the backyard.  That decking in the background is the upper pool decking.  This fence had to come down between the two areas.  Stay tuned.

Remember this picture from this post?   Let’s check out the other side of the fence now.
YIKES!!!  This was the other side of that mess.  The root of the mess.
It had to come down.  We have no idea what it was, but it was another vine type of plant with flowers.  Don’t get me wrong it had pretty flowers, but it was way to wild for us.  Plus it was in the neighbors yard on the other side.  They didn’t help us take it down, but they were very happy when we did take it down. {ha, ha}.  There was actually a garden bed under all of this.  We would have never know it was there.
Oh so much better!!!  {you can even see the pool a little bit in this picture}
Can you see how big that bush actually was?  It was the one in between the fences.  Well there were multiple bushes actually.  Why oh why were they there, we will never know.  {rolling eyes}
And here is that garden bed that I said was there at one time.  The bush had even started to get flowers again between the fence.  This picture was a few weeks later I think.  We had to really cut into the bush and try to get as much as we could get of it to kill it off.  Wasn’t easier, but it never came back thank goodness.
Then the following year in 2008, we decided that the fences in the front needed to be painted white.  Hubby power washed them first & then we primed and painted them.  They were just so ugly and we didn’t have money for fencing……yet!!!  Stayed tuned for that project.

They looked soooo much better for now!!!  It’s funny what white paint can do for something ugly.  Don’t get me wrong the fence was still ugly and needed to be replaced, but it had to wait until we had that kind of money.
Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I would love to hear from you, so leave a message.  It really makes my day to share with all of you.  Have a great day everyone!!!  :)

The Outdoor Series – The Beginning

This “Outdoor Series” is taking place at our home.  You have seen the inside of our home, now we want to take you outside!
We had a lot to clean up outside after we bought our home. I will try to keep this to as few posts as I can, but we have gone thru a lot of steps to get to where we are now. Some of the work was done by me and my hubby and some of it was done by contractors. I’ll let you know who did what….no worries!!! πŸ˜‰
Our outdoor space has evolved over the last 3.5 years we have owned our home. It was ugly to start, then got uglier for a little while and then got a whole lot better. We still have a few projects left, but I will take you thru those as they happen. So stay tuned for those posts as well, as we work thru them over the summer.
 Now let’s rewind 3.5 years to the day we closed on our home. Be prepared, because it’s not for the faint of heart. The previous owners did not take care of this property at all. All of our neighbors disliked them & their yard. And when I say β€œyard”, I’m talking about the whole entire property. Front, back & side yards!!!
Here is what the property looked like when we did our inspection in late April of 2007.  Not so bad.  It was still their house and they told us that everything would be cleaned up before the closing.  I could have worked with this.  Add some flowers, bushes and mulch and it would have looked nice for the time being until we had the money to really change things up.
Ok, so here is the left side garden bed.
The right side garden bed.
The front left corner garden bed.  Not really too much in this bed.
Then we walked into the backyard with the inspector….OMG!!!  I spy two swords, can you spy the two swords?  This is the right hand side, side yard behind the gate of the driveway.  There should be a driveway here, but it was nothing but their old things that they piled up there basically.  Can you also find the car that is buried in this pile?  And I’m talking about a full sized car is under all of that.
This is a full shot of the front of the house.  Covered car and all.  Not so bad since Spring had not sprung yet.  Lots of updates to do, but nothing we couldn’t handle over time.
This was the very ugly shed in the back corner of our backyard.  This bad boy needed a huge face lift.  Let’s just say that paint was involved in the face lift..  More details on that soon.
Here is the deck & pool in the backyard.  The pool is over to the right of this picture behind the decking.  It needed to be completely sanded down and stained.  Let’s just say it takes up the whole backyard for the most part.  Oh my!!!
Here is the part that is not for the faint of heart!!!  Get ready for some ugliness!!!  You have been warned!!!
Here is the front yard the way it looked when we pulled up to do our final walk thru in July for our closing that day!!!  Yes I said our closing that day.  Take a look at what we were greeted by….I guess Spring had sprung, right along with everything else that had sprung up.
Here is a closer picture of all the trash they were getting rid of that day.  I spy a rusted car jack.
We didn’t even go in the house first, we needed to see what they were doing and why everything wasn’t cleaned up already.  We took pictures of everything, because we were going to closing in just a few hours.   When we got to closing they still were not finished and we had our lawyer put money into escrow just in case we were stuck with getting a dumpster for all their trash.  They kept cleaning after the closing and into the whole next day.  We figured that if they were not finished by that Saturday night, we were calling the cops on them to get off our property.  Keep in mind that this house was on the market for almost a year at this point, so they had all of that time to clean up and they waited for closing day to start.  We had already changed all the locks in the house right after closing the first day.  Yup they were still in our yard cleaning up the next day after closing.  And we were in the house trying to figure things out.  We closed on a Friday and they spent all day Saturday into the night cleaning out the yard & shed.  Let’s just say they were extremely lazy and were not hauling butt to get it done.
Then we walk into the backyard.  O.M.G.!!!!  I still get nauseous when I look at this picture.  It was like walking into a junk yard.  All the trash and there is the full sized car I said was under all their stuff in the side yard.  It’s half covered in this picture with a tarp.
Here is a close up of the shed!!!  WHAT THE HECK!!!  They had about 2 months to clean out this property, but from what we heard, they didn’t start doing anything until the day of closing.  This is a 12′ x 12′ shed for goodness sakes.  It was full to the door.  I spy a pool pump.
Here is that car that I said was there under the trash.  Rust and all!!!  It was finally towed away while we were at closing.  Do you see all those vines or whatever they are?  We had a lot of work ahead of us…. A LOT!!!
But this picture gave me some hope.  These were our new neighbors.  Neighbors that had a nice clean yard and a nice clear pool.  There was an oasis on the other side of that fence that would give us inspiration for our own yard.  We didn’t even know if our pool worked. Boo!
Apparently this is what happens when you don’t weed from April to July.  You get 5 foot high weeds in your yard.  Gee thanks for cleaning things up for us.  Weren’t these previous owners so nice to leave all the weeding to us.  I know how hard it is to tell what is a plant and what is a weed.  Well let’s just say that most of it was weeds or plants they didn’t take care of and that we pulled out anyway.
Here is the same garden bed from the side view.
Here is the left side garden bed.
Here is the front left corner garden bed.  Good Lord, we had no idea what was what really.  In the end there were two trees, a couple of Hosta’s & 3 bushes….everything else was weeds.
Another view of the same garden bed.
Yup there is a fence under that bush in the far back of this picture.  We weren’t sure what it was, but it had to go.  I didnt want to have to try to take care of it.  We wanted a clean slate for the most part.  This bush was in the backyard behind the fence and just kept growing into the neighbors yard.  Look against the house, yup that is a Hydrangea bush.  Poor bush.  It was in about a 6-8 inch strip of dirt area.  We had to move it.  And those tall things past the Hydrangea, those are about 4 foot high weeds.  Yup there is a walkway there also under all the too high grass & weeds.
We can’t forget about our friend “The Wino”.  It used to be a light post.  He had to come down.  Two days after closing he came down.  As soon as we pulling him out, his head fell off.  We all had a good laugh, including our new neighbors that were watching us from across the street.  All the neighbors were so happy that we were cleaning up the yard so fast.  We still get compliments 3.5 years later of the wonderful job we have done to make this house not the eye sore of the block.
Next post I will show you how weeding and cleaning things up really made the house look different after that first day.
A nice story to end this post…..We actually brought a neighborhood back together.  Each house on either side of us & three houses across the street were all reunited after our closing day in July of 2007.  One by one, two days after closing, each neighbor came out of their homes and welcomed us to the neighborhood.  Ohhhhhh the stories we started to hear about the previous owners.  We brought old neighbors back together and we brought the 2 houses across the street into the neighborhood.  They had never met the neighbors on either side of our home when the previous owners lived there.  Basically everyone used to just get in & out of their cars and didn’t talk to anyone.  That is how bad these previous owners were.  About a month after we moved in, one of our neighbors had a big BBQ for me & hubby.  What a great feeling to be welcomed into the neighborhood.  We are all good neighbors now.  The greatest part, our neighbors are updating their homes too since we moved in.  Their homes were not even that bad really, but it was an awesome feeling that they wanted to improve their properties more because they didn’t have such an eye sore next to them anymore.  What a great feeling.
Do any of you have a great story when moving into your new home?  I would love to hear it.  Please leave a comment if you would like to share your story with us.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!  Have a great day!!!