Exterior / Process

In March of 2009, after what we thought might be a summer break from working on the house (ha!) we decided to tackle the outside. We were looking for a low cost, high labor project (to keep us busy) and it seems like we chose well. During its 1960’s transformation (or so we think), the house was covered in metal siding, the porches were glassed in, the teal was introduced and aluminum window replaced the original wood windows. Soon enough, we were diving into what would probably be classified as a complete exterior restoration/remodel.

See the porch transformation, flip book style!


March 2009

In early March we started removing the metal siding to see what condition the wood underneath was in.


The north side of the house was in relatively great shape! Fortunately, we were able to take the metal to a recycling facility and get a little cash for our efforts.


Juxtaposition between old and new. It’s amazing how much better the scale of the house looks with the narrower wood siding.


New Seiho dryer vent, old shingles to be demolished.


The haphazard back side of the house (new bathroom window against all closet window on the right).
April 2009


We had to remove the plants at the front of the house so we transplanted the Camelia to the side yard where we think she looks quite nice.


We were just going to demo the porch down to the structure but then discovered that it more or less needed to be entirely replaced. Spending the first 50 years or so as an open porch was the likely culprit.


In order to keep the roof structure, Kyle built temporary struts. Again, Bailey does not like what is going on here. We also were able to reuse the foundation footing but decided to pour a slab over the dirt and create some extra storage space.


For a small job like this, Kyle was able to rent a portable mixer.


After the concrete cured, Kyle got to work rebuilding the porch framing.


We also purchased a Paint Shaver Pro to take all the old paint off. Since we kept the roof structure, the rafter tails were the first to get shaved.
May 2009


Kyle sets the posts and temporarily braces them in preparation for pouring the concrete footings. The framing is also complete. Kyle built new knee braces and installed a threaded tension rod covered with conduit between the two.


More porch progress…pressure treated stair carriages and sheathing on the roof.


The decking, handrails, posts, and rail cap are all ipe, a very hard and durable wood that lasts forever with minimal maintenance. This is a detail of the handrail at the ipe post.


After the installation of the new door, Kyle sprays expanding foam into the cracks and crevices.


Bailey investigates his new view. This is shortly before he drooled all over it.


Kyle recreates his “Captain Morgan” pose after completing the porch roof…a much easier feat than its big brother two summers ago.


We used beveled cedar siding (same size and profile as the house) to wrap the sides of the porch. We then coped the boards so they transition from solid to semi-solid at the stoop.


New door hardware from Emtek.


New jelly jar light (from Home Depot!) and new Neutra house numbers from Design Within Reach.


Detail shot of the new stoop. We will eventually finish the ipe with Penofin.


A shot of the completed porch. The siding will be painted to match the house, all the trim will be white.
June 2009


We decided to go ahead and replace the remaining windows with all the other exterior work. We were very excited to replace many of our fixed windows with new operable windows. Natural ventillation, what a concept!


Installation of the new door. We chose a fir, solid core door for the interior front door, sized to fit in the existing opening.


Prepping the rough opening for the new window.


It was somewhat odd to have big gaping holes in our dining room.


New solid door with Emtek hardware and viewer.


We are thrilled with the new windows! We went with the same windows we did in the bathroom and bedroom – Eagle fir wood windows with metal cladding on the outside. Two of the dining/living windows are casements, which allows for some much needed cross ventillation. The visibility and brightness of color through the glass is also noticeably different from our old windows.


Random – scary looking dogwood tree.


Because our main windows face west, it was very important to order and install shades sooner than later. We tried out various samples, and ended up going with roller shades in a neutral, linen-esque fabric from The Shade Store.
July 2009


Happy 4th of July!


New shades, as seen from outside at night.


Kyle continues the paint shaving along the north wall. We were so thrilled with how incredible the 99 year old wood looked that we considered doing a clear stain. However, there was enough patching required and there was too much contrast between the old and new boards (the old ones looked way better!).


North and west sides almost complete! The shingles will be the last thing we do so we don’t have to worry about protecting new shingles when we paint the beveled siding.

Contrast between old and new on the south side.
August 2009


We were anxious to get one side of the house prepped for paint so we could make a decision on color. This involved shaving the old paint, sanding, setting nail heads, filling nail heads with rust-stop (old nails weren’t galvanized), spacking, sanding, caulking and then priming and painting!


The back side, very much in progress! Kyle has framed in the new attic hatch (bigger and centered on the future door location below). The porch windows will be replaced with a new future-kitchen window.


The new back door, in between coats of Daly’s Seafin Aquaspar.


Dustin came over to help paint and demo the back porch as Kyle worked on the new attic hatch doors.


Sample cans of paint color contenders.


The primer is tinted, but because it is mixed with a white base it is lighter than the final paint color. The bottom four colors are our options (it starts to repeat above that). The top two were too blue or even periwinkle. The 3rd one down was almost two gray and not quite dark enough. The bottom was our favorite. Its name is “soot”. Soot in gray Seattle…perfect! We also like the way the color looks against the white trim and dark brown window.


Kyle also installed the new back door. This will eventually be part of the kitchen, but for now it is part of the old bathroom/current bathroom anteroom.


The back porch, more closely resembling its original state from 1910.


Prepping the opening to install the door. All the white dots (upper left) are spackling that needs to be sanded.


Thanks to the help of our awesome neighbor and professional painting expert, Deb, she and I were able to prime the north side in just one afternoon. Even though it’s just tinted primer, it’s such a huge change already!


The chosen paint color (bottom swatch).
September 2009


The new wall to the right is where the old aluminum screen door used to be.


The siding needed to be cut back at random intervals so the new siding could be slipped in without looking obvious after it’s all painted and done.

New back door (old porch steps relocated), new integrated attic hatch above.
Old electrical “panel” on the right…the two holes to the left were boarded over but originally were screened as part of a natural ventilation food storage system (kitchen is on the other side).
In order to install the future kitchen window, we needed to demo the wall between the porch and the old bathroom/current bathroom ante room.
Framed rough opening for the new (future) kitchen window! I am standing approximately where the future kitchen sink will be.
Since the current kitchen window will eventually be eliminated, we decided to go ahead toss it and frame in the opening. We will probably put in a new window in the future dining area, but this will be located partially behind the existing kitchen cabinets to the right and we didn’t want to rip those out yet.
We found this old electrical permit in the “panel” on the back porch. It’s a permit for an electrical install from 1925!
alignnoneThe old porch and kitchen window are enclosed and ready to be re-sided!
Temporary fix for the old kitchen window location. We had a scrap piece of greenboard so we’ll eventually paint it white and maybe throw a few temporary shelves up. Or maybe one of those trompe l’oeil paintings that make us believe we’re in a warm sunny destination.
The old back porch will, for the time being, become part of the pseudo mudroom/bathroom ante room. We might remove the old bathroom door and old back door to get a little more light into our now dark kitchen.

Rain or shine, we have to get this project done! New siding will be patched in next and then the last of the paint shaving, prepping, etc.


Tinted primer!


New future kitchen window install. Unfortunately, the view is of the garage/carport.


Bailey takes in the new view.


Tinted primer on slats.


Starting to get a feel for the finished product (and also working too late).


Definitely working too late.


But thank goodness for work lights!


Prepping the rough opening for the new basement windows.


Shingle demo.


We opted to go ahead and paint the siding prior to shingle install so we didn’t have to worry about dripping paint. It looks tons better even with just the exposed sheathing.


New basement window and flashing.
October 2009


Insulating the old back porch. We used recycled cotton batt insulation.


Old, sad basement door.


New, happy basement door!


We spray painted all the exterior mechanical/electrical components to blend in with the shingle color.


Fresh bundles of cedar shingles! We actually fit all these in the back of the car which doubled as an amazing air freshener for several days!


For the slats, Kyle used a roller to apply the paint, then back brushed to match the texture with the rest of the house. For the other face, we applied a tinted cedar stain.


Insulation saw! I was skeptical at first, but it actually worked pretty well…much better than a utility knife, scissors, or bare hands.


Cedar shingle install. Kyle used a staple gun that we scored off Craigslist and stainless steel staples. They’re more expensive, but the galvanized staples react with the tannins in the cedar and cause streaking. Not something we want to experience after all this hard work!


We had to pull the temporary stair away to install shingles. This caused a lot of confusion for Bailey who was at a loss on how he would get back in the house.  Had I not intervened, I think he was going to try to jump.


Almost there! The shingles need to be stained and those gutters need to be installed.


One coat of stain made such a huge difference! Weather pending, we’ll try to do another coat or two this year.


We had just enough energy to clean up and mow the yard that had somehow become a jungle.


Ahh. Done.


Some quick “after” shots. We still need to get out and take some decent photos when there’s better light.

Exterior / Before
Exterior / After