Fixing up the exterior aka our house no longer looks abandoned

We’ve been busy plugging away at the interior of the house, especially the kitchen (more on that later this week), but we had some maintenance issues on the exterior to take care of too. We found out from our new neighbors that the house had been sitting empty for nearly two years, so you can imagine the neglect. And if your imagination isn’t working today then see the image below. Besides the obviously “if we don’t fix this now it will only get worse”, after only a week of living here I was already tired of being the ugly house of the block, so we got to work fixing up the most important defects.

exterior maintenance

Re-hanging the gutters took most of last Sunday with Cody holding a heavy drill over his head while balancing on a way too tall ladder. Luckily his Dad came over to help support the ladder. Fixing the bay window that leaked into the dining room onto our brand new floors took the rest of the day.  The roof shingles had to be pulled out and new flashing installed underneath. Luckily both of those were pretty cheap fixes. Our biggest fix, and the one most dear to my heart, was replacing the missing pediment above the front door. According to our neighbor, the last homeowner took it down while in the process of renovations that ended in a foreclosure. We ordered the new pediment from Architectural Depot the day we closed on the house. And now a word on my experience with this company………

I ordered from Architectural Depot because they had the product I wanted in-stock (as I found not an easy feat). It’s the combination peaked cap pediment. The list price is $133 and shipping was $50. That was their first strike. I get that it’s a large item, but I find it really annoying when the shipping is so high and I don’t find out until checkout.  It was supposed to ship in about a week and half. After 2 weeks and no package I receive an e-mail from the company asking me to take a survey on my experience with my order. I promptly let them know that I had not received my order. When I checked with Fedex it was marked as “damaged, returned to sender”. When I heard back from the company it was to tell me that the package had been delivered and signed for and that I should check around the house again. Strike 2. I forwarded them the Fedex confirmation showing that the package had indeed been delivered and signed for AT THEIR WAREHOUSE! I had to send two more e-mails before they responded to let me know that it was being re-shipped. No offer of a discount. No offer to expedite the shipping the second time. Strike 3. All in all it took me about a month to get the pediment. Honestly, I’m pretty easy to please. I don’t even expect companies to go above and beyond, but I do expect them to know where my purchase is and I do expect excellent customer service when I have a complaint. I will think twice before purchasing from them again. Oh, but the pediment itself is great and was easy to install.

Now, back to the install. There was no siding behind the old pediment, just some type of tin foil looking insulation, so Cody decided to install plywood to have something to attach the new pediment to. He attached the pediment with polyurethane adhesive (as recommended), but also threw in some screws to make sure it was really secure. The screws with be filled in and painted over….eventually.

installing a pediment

Once the pediment was up, he sealed around the edges with polyurethane sealant to make sure no water leaked in behind it.


And suddenly our house looks a little less sad! You can also see that I started on the gardens below the bay windows by spraying them with Round-up. Usually I shy away from herbicides, but the crab grass was out of control and it’s still really hot here (I mean too hot for me to get my butt outside into the mosquito infested garden to weed). My plan is to let it all die off and start pulling it out in the fall.

new pediment

 Still do to do: Paint all the trim including the pediment a bright white, paint the faded shutters a slate blue, and plant some new plants in the newly reinvented gardens. Oh and do you remember the mail box? No? That’s because it’s so embarrassing I probably didn’t show you a picture of it before.

mailbox before

The mailbox is not high on my priority list right now, what with the kitchen having no counter tops and all, but due to its lack of functionality (oh hello wet mail) it has got bumped up the list. On the plus side at least the sharpie’d house numbers match the handwritten ones on our door.

5 thoughts on “Fixing up the exterior aka our house no longer looks abandoned”

  1. Hi, Stephanie , you guys are moving right along with your renovations. We had the same color shutters on our house in that neighborhood and were going to paint them a slate blue as well. They turned out a funky color and the HOA is funny about color. We found that it ended up being cheaper in the long run to just buy new ones from Home Depot. They were very reasonable, and the perfect color. Good luck.

    1. Thanks Robin! I really want to buy new functional shutters but it’s just not in the budget for now. Oh and there is no longer an HOA in the neighborhood, so we don’t have to worry about that 🙂

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