Since FH and I moved into this house almost 3 years ago, there have always been certain things with the house that we knew we needed to change. The carpets, for instance, are original to the house (built in the 80's) and are ugly and coming up from the floor. Seriously, sometimes I trip over the bumps that the carpet creates!
The speed of change has been slow since we're still young and don't have a lot of extra income. Still, we've been able to change a few key things around the house.We've replaced all the brass door knobs with sleek brushed nickel fixtures. Changed the paint colors. Updated the bathrooms (as much as we could with just paint, new mirrors, and new towel bars/rings). But I think the renovation that stands out the most (and it wasn't even my idea!), is the backyard.
In the beginning, the backyard (back patio, really) was solid concrete, cracked by the tree outside our wall pushing up with it's roots. Our back wall was also severely cracked from that tree. Needless to say, that tree was the first thing to go! It provided nice shade from the sun, but it was damaging the house (the tree branches were even starting to damage the roof!), so FH bought himself a chain saw and chopped it down while I researched ways to kill the tree and stop the roots from growing.
After the tree was down, we needed to come up with a plan of action. My energies were directed towards projects inside the house, so FH actually came up with the idea of laying pavers down to hide the cracked concrete. I have to admit, that while I may be creative and good at visualizing how something is going to turn out, here I drew a blank. I had no idea what to expect, but I decided to let him run with it. It is his house after all. But first thing's first. He had to start by fixing the wall.
FH said that he'd helped his dad lay brick before, so instead of hiring someone, he'll fix it himself. And he did! He tore down a "V" of the damaged wall, bought a few new bricks, and built the wall back up. It's perfect! Then came the paver project. Laying (let alone purchasing) these pavers was a long and tedious project. Who knew that pavers were so expensive! A hundred dollars worth of pavers would only cover and area about 3x5. Our patio's small, but definitely bigger than that! So after a couple thousand dollars worth of sand and pavers, and about a year after this paving project got started, it's finally done! FH paved the whole patio area, and all down the side of the house (previously just filled with gravel) and it looks great! It's better than anything I could have imagined and I have no doubt that we have the best looking patio in the neighborhood!
Here are the beautiful "After" pictures:
Once the paving was done, I bought new outdoor furniture to replace the old plastic stuff the old owners left behind. I think the backyard is now one of my favorite things about our house! It gets a little hot, now that the tree is gone, but we've planted another, fast-growing one a few feet away from the wall and hopefully it will be able to provide some shade in a couple years without damaging our beautiful work!
Now that this project is done, it's on to others (with an internal groan from FH, I'm sure), but our house is definitely become a home . . . our home!