Progress: Breezeway to Mudroom Conversion (Part 3)

8 min read Turning your breezeway into a mudroom is a great way to connect your garage and house. This kind of breezeway to mudroom transition is perfect for many mid-century ranch houses with detached or semi-detached garages. Here’s what I’m doing!

Two weeks ago, when I posted about installing my DIY windows,  I promised I’d talk about what’s going on behind that pretty cedar wall.  Here’s the progress update  on my journey to transform a useless breezeway into a practical mudroom with some bonus garage storage! 

I’ll go over not only WHAT I’ve been doing but also WHY it is important and HOW you can start thinking about the same solutions for your home. Continue reading “Progress: Breezeway to Mudroom Conversion (Part 3)”

Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 2)

3 min read Getting the glass in these windows took me three months of waiting for the right weather conditions (and free time) and about three hours of work to install!
I am SO EXCITED that they are finally in!

Remember back in OCTOBER, when I posted about putting up this fun cedar slat wall?  Well, the project is still ongoing.

Getting these DIY windows in was such a simple job that I’ve been waiting to get wrapped up for SO LONG now.  It took a few moving parts: having the glass cut to size and having the right weather conditions to caulk it into place.  Plus I’ve been crazy busy on all previous good-weather work days working INSIDE the garage to build the mudroom part of the project.

Technically THAT progress update should be Part 2, but I forgot to post about it in November and now I just want to shout from the rooftops about my brand new DIY windows!

Continue reading “Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 2)”

Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 1)

2 min read The big chunk of work for this fall is transforming the long narrow breezeway into a cosy and effective mudroom plus a little bonus garage storage.  

This is phase one of … well many.  I’ve pushed the project a little late in the season so before I get started on constructing the new mudroom structure within the existing breezeway I’ll be closing off both ends.  To the street side, that means the new and permanent extension of the garage wall.  On the back yard side I put up a quick temporary wall of translucent plastic to secure the garage and keep it somewhat weathertight. Continue reading “Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 1)”

Micro Update: Matching the Front Door to the Mailbox

2 min read One of the most fun (and easy) things I did to the house last year was painting the front door. Here’s how I exactly matched the mailbox.

This is one of those curb appeal updates that gets tossed around when thinking resale.  For me, it is just too-long-delayed improvement for every day life.Granted, part of the reason it was so satisfying was that I’d devoted countless hours to fixing up the rest of the exterior, but this felt like the element that tied everything together.  Continue reading “Micro Update: Matching the Front Door to the Mailbox”

The Six Major Elements of (Nearly) Every Entry

4 min read The components elements of an American house entry are fairly consistent, country or city, large or small.  Ranch entries are even more consistent: Door, Lights, Mailbox, House numbers, Wall and Overhang.  If you have your own door (and maybe even if you don’t) you have most of these to play with.

You probably have the ability to fix up each and every one of them (except the overhang) in a weekend project.  Here are a couple overarching ideas to bear in mind when you go to work.  Continue reading “The Six Major Elements of (Nearly) Every Entry”

Progress: Miscellaneous Exterior Painting

2 min read I took advantage of the last few nice days of fall weather to do a few outstanding paint tasks.  

The last of the peeling green paint was hiding out in a small strip of wall between the garage and house roof lines.  It was a little awkward to get to and I never really felt up for climbing around on the roof when no one would be around to call 911 if I took a dive.  Wednesday and Thursday I scraped, then painted and primed the wall and soffit while my folks were around which upped the safety factor of sliding around on a roof slope with a bunch of painting supplies to juggle.  Continue reading “Progress: Miscellaneous Exterior Painting”

Exterior Progress: Nearly done with North and South Gable Ends

6 min read I spent the (spectacularly hot) week of my birthday pushing forward on the painting progress.  Knowing I’d have someone around to spot me, I planned to do the high-up, platform work on the south gable. 

I got started on re-painting the house last fall right after we the sale closed.

The tired green color and peeling paint were about equally unappealing to me and I wanted them gone.  Plus I wanted to get some plantings in to replace the hedge I tore out and I knew that new plants wouldn’t appreciate drop cloths, ladders and the general tramping around that painting a house takes.

I knew it was going to be a tough job, made a little tougher by the lead paint underneath the green – which meant I’d need to follow proper safety procedures when scraping and sanding and the year was getting cold fast so I committed to just doing the front face of the house – the east – for the fall and coming back to the rest this year.

Continue reading “Exterior Progress: Nearly done with North and South Gable Ends”

The Tools You Need To Scrape and Sand Exterior Wood Siding

4 min read Scraping, sanding and painting your wooden house is not a job for the faint of heart but with these tools you can get the job done!

Scraping, sanding and painting your wooden house (especially if it’s in rather bad shape) is not a job for the faint of heart.  It’s hot, sweaty, dusty work that requires at least SOME ladder work.  If you like pinching pennies and feeling a sense of accomplishment, by all means take it on.  If you are looking for easy, fun DIY that people will admire … maybe choose another project.

For me, painting a beat up wall in an ugly color into a new smooth color of my choosing is about the most fun I can think of, and is well worth the labor.  Stay tuned for my discussion of how high on ladders you have to climb to paint a single story ranch in an upcoming post!

Continue reading “The Tools You Need To Scrape and Sand Exterior Wood Siding”

Micro Update: DIY Frosted Glass House Numbers

2 min read Sometimes when you can’t decide on either the high, or the low, version of available products, the only option is to DIY.

When I painted last fall, I stripped off the mailbox, lights and house numbers.  I’ve got the new box and lights in place but was having a hard time deciding on the right kind of numbers.  The commercial options were either blah, or a little pricy for my budget.

Here’s how I split the difference and created my own solution.  It highlights the original mid-century front door, enhances privacy, simplifies the entry and glow cheerily at night. Continue reading “Micro Update: DIY Frosted Glass House Numbers”

Micro Update: High/Low Mailbox and Entry Lights

2 min read Fans of modernism all know that sometimes you have to pay through the nose for minimalism and great design … and sometimes you get away with the cheapest option in the shop. In this case, it was both.

I removed the original lights, house numbers and mailbox when during the painting process and could never bring myself to put them back on the house.  I went through several weeks where the poor postman had to deliver to a the old box propped on the stoop. Continue reading “Micro Update: High/Low Mailbox and Entry Lights”