September 4, 2012

Fresh fade.

Last week we finally decided we needed to do something about our front and side porch. They've been left unfinished since - ever.  The owners before us never did anything with them and they haven't been on the top of our list since we bought the house.

We had a little bit of mold/algae growing. It wasn't really obvious but when you take a picture of it - its very obvious.

The stairs were probably the worst part as you can see. 

The problem areas were pretty much just on the right side. I thought it would've been on the left side since the water comes off the house and drips onto that side, but what do I know.

Stability is not an issue - however, appearance was an issue because grey and moldy are not a good look. We added caps onto the posts to fancy them up a bit. 

The lattice is in good shape but I wish it were on the inside instead of being on the outside. The way they built it and put in the supports for it - it would be hard to switch it. Eventually we want to add the plastic kind in white.

If the lattice was attached on the inside it would just make everything look a little bit cleaner. I'm just the kind of person that notices things like that and it bothers me.

Here's the front porch. The stairs were pretty bad and so was right by the door. The metal flashing makes the water bounce up and it creates a lot of algae and mold issues right by the door.

Here's an up close of the stairs. They were in pretty bad shape but we were about to fix all that!

This is what right by the door looked like - that metal flashing causes a lot of splashing that's why our siding has some green growing.

Planters had caused marks from sitting there for so long before we moved in so we just needed to clean it and give it some love.

Here we have the whole lattice issue going on again - we're keeping it that way for now. Our goal is to eventually have a front porch the whole length of the house. So we really just wanted to make these look better and not spend a lot of money changing or re-designing anything because down the road we'd be removing this porch all together.

 Mr.B sprayed on Olympic Deck Cleaner and scrubbed it, let it sit and then rinsed them off and then let them dry before he did anything else with them. The next few shots show how they looked after they were cleaned.

What a huge improvement! The stairs were stained up pretty bad so they didn't get as whitened and cleaned as everything else but they definitely got cleaner.

The deck cleaner is easy to use - you put it in a sprayer and apply it to the surface. You let it sit in the sun for a couple of hours and it basically bleaches them clean. We scrubbed a little because of the areas that were so badly stained.

They definitely look a lot better. You don't always need to use a deck cleaner but in our situation we needed to do something before we stained them so that the stain had a clean surface to be applied to.

Here is the side porch after it had been cleaned and with the railings with stain on them. The stairs came out so good! No more gross black junk.

Here you can really see how much better the stairs look. That Olympic deck cleaner is awesome. I'm not being paid to say that - it's just what we used and it worked great for us.

A huge improvement from the before picture.

The stain we used was Olympic Redwood. It's semi-transparent and that' why we liked it. I like the look a stained deck but I also still want to see the grain. Painted porches aren't my style.

It really doesn't even look like the same gross porch. You can see that the stairs came out a little darker because of the stained areas that didn't become totally clean. If we hadn't cleaned the porches at all just imagine what they would've looked like. That is a step we couldn't skip for obvious reasons.

They really pop now and make the house look even better. They were kind of an eye sore before so we're really happy with how they turned out.

The side porch is the side we go in and out so its nice to have a freshly stained deck to admire every time we come and go.

The floor came out so good because the deck cleaner cleaned every thing up an allowed for even application.

The lattice sticks out a little less now but I still wish it were installed properly. Yes that is a kiddie pool in the background and no we don't have kids. We have a spoiled mini doxie who loves to swim - hate on haters.

I'd say its a huge improvement to the before pictures!

So you don't have to scroll and can see how much of a difference staining and cleaning did - here is a before picture!

One other small little project we did was put in a new mail box. It's pretty self explanatory so I'll just show you the pictures. This is another project we neglected for quite some time because the mailbox has been at that angle since we moved in. Now, it looks great but it doesn't encourage me to get the mail any more than I did before.

Yeah we were those people. Gross! The people we bought our house from even left us a brand new mailbox  so we have no one to blame for this monstrosity but ourselves.

A fresh new cedar post!

In the spirit of not sharing my house numbers have a look at the post - and the corn field.

We no longer have to worry that maybe it would tip over. We kind of wished the plow trucks would hit in the winter, but now we have this beauty.

So those are the updates we made around the outside of the house last week. Sometimes its the projects that you keep saying you want to do and just never get around to doing that give you the most impact. We really love how every thing is looking outside. We finally tackled our curb appeal. We don't have a lot of neighbors so we get to enjoy it all ourselves. That could also be why there was no rush to do these projects. I hope the mail lady likes our upgrade but really I'm sure she wishes I'd just get the mail more than every 3 days. Baby steps, baby steps.
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