I haven’t blogged in a few months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. Hubby and I are slowly making the transition to the gypsy lifestyle. I have even purchased the domain name “professionalgypsy.blog” in case you need to find my otherwise non-Google-able page.
Since my last entry, we purchased a new motor home (and traded in Minnie) and have been working within the confines of the fickle Saint Louis weather to get our home renovations done. I have also been spending a great deal of time crocheting and knitting projects, mostly to donate, some to keep and give away to family members.
Our home re-siding project has been ongoing since May, 2017. Our home is a Tudor-style split-level– the first such home in our subdivision when it was established 30 years ago, and the original subdivision display unit. Like all the other Tudor homes in the neighborhood, the home had original lap siding on the back three sides and a stucco front (not real stucco, of course) all painted various shades of cream and what I call poop brown. Yes, it was Tudor style-ish. But it really looked more like a 70s era revival home.
We had replaced the original bronze metal windows back in 2011 with white vinyl casement. I felt that the home needed a color change to a less stark, more neutral and cottage-like gray, which would blend in better with the new window choices.
The house had celebrated her 30th anniversary this year. She was in desperate need of new siding. We, however, could not afford to hire someone to completely rip off all the old siding and put up new. A project of this magnitude would–no doubt–cost us upwards of $40,000!
I was not about to ask my husband to take on such a monumental task. But he gladly offered to re-do the siding, working around the house, around the St. Louis weather, around his full-time work schedule, and around our budget.
In truth, the siding should have been replaced 20 years ago before we bought the house. We did not know this. Apparently, there was a huge settlement shortly before we bought our house for defective siding after which the previous owners pocketed the cash and just put it on the market. Hubby painted the home once several years ago which only prolonged the inevitable. It is often standard practice to simply side over the existing siding, but in our case, everything had to be completely removed.
Sometimes, when we do these renovations, I tell people it’s like peeling layers of a rotten onion. There’s a point where you keep peeling and peeling and find this underneath. Joe peeled, and I tossed trailers and trailers filled with rotten lap board and stucco, composed of what I can only think turned out to be compressed fiber board. Some of it crumbled in my hands. Some snapped easily like a twig. Some simply rotted away as you can see here. Since we’re human, all we can do is wipe the sweat from our brow, sigh, and curse profusely.
For the rear sides of the home, we replaced the traditional lap siding with CertainTeed Dutch Lap Vinyl siding in Heritage Gray from Menards. Here’s the deck, which we repaired and repainted after my hubby completely replaced it a few years ago. This gives you an idea of the siding choice we used.
Obviously, the front of the house also needed to be replaced, and Joe decided to keep the Tudor style intact. He replaced both the stucco board and the faux-cedar trim. He painted the stucco a light cream Behr color called “Mourning Dove”. The trim boards he painted a shade of gray I picked which closely matched and blended with the Heritage Gray siding on the remaining sides of the house.
When I say “we” did this project, I really mean that Joe did the majority of the work here. He labored in both the sweltering and heat and battled the too-cold-to-paint chills doing every bit of the work himself. He ingeniously thought the project out every step of the way, inventing the most efficient ways to achieve his project goals. He did every bit of the work with little help from me. From May to November, not a month passed when there wasn’t at least one layer of scaffolding erected to enable him to rip, tear, wrap, or nail on his weekends. Not only did he re-side the entire house himself, he also added soffit and fascia to the roof eaves and replaced all the original brown gutters with white.
I say this blog entry is only Part 1 of two parts. Since the December cold crept in, we have had to postpone completing the last bits of re-siding until spring of next year. Eventually, doing all this hard work himself, Joe became completely exhausted. His right arm became more and more painful from all the hammering and painting. He earned a well-deserved vacation.
So we bought a new RV and did exactly that.
To be continued…