As soon as the weather clears up for a few days, I plan to get outside and paint the exterior of my house. It’s supposed to rain for the better part of the next two weeks, so I know it’ll at least be the end of this month before I can start, and maybe even next month. But after several of you mentioned that I could do the pressure washing before the rain gets here, I decided this last weekend to get a head start on that.
I had intended to just rent a pressure washer, but I found out that that would cost me $80 per day, and I estimated that I’d need it for two days. So I decided rather than spending $160 on a rental, I’d rather just buy one.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so after reading reviews, I narrowed it down to this $99 1600-PSI Greenworks pressure washer from Lowe’s, which had 96 customer reviews and an average 4.1 customer rating, this $159 1700-PSI Ryobi pressure washer from Home Depot, which had 924 customer reviews and an average 4.4 customer rating, and this $199 2000-PSI Ryobi pressure washer from Home Depot, which had 123 customer reviews and an average 4.3 customer rating.
I finally decided to go with the one that had the most reviews and the highest rating — the $159 1700-PSI Ryobi. And it was an excellent choice! I spent about four hours on Saturday pressure washing my house, the front porch, and the sidewalk, and I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun! There’s just something so satisfying about taking something that’s absolutely filthy and probably hasn’t had a good cleaning in at least a decade…
…and seeing it completely change right before your eyes.
Side note…that window on the right is in my office, and you’ll notice it still has a window unit air conditioner. It’s not there because I need it. It’s there because I’m not so sure that that window will actually close if I remove the air conditioner. When I tried to remove the one in the dining room (after we got our HVAC system, and before we got our new windows), I couldn’t get the window to budge at all. So I’ve been hesitant to remove that A/C, and right now I plan to just leave it there until we get new windows for that room.
Anyway, I had so much fun with my new pressure washer. Check out the amazing job it did on this window sill.
And I even used it to clean the cedar posts on my front porch. They’ll be covered or replaced soon, but I was having so much fun seeing what my new pressure washer would do on all types of surfaces. They were pretty sad looking before…
And the pressure washer cleaned them right up, and made them look like new cedar posts.
You can also see in the photos above how filthy the vinyl siding was (to the left of the post), and it did a fantastic job of getting it clean as well, as you can see to the right of the post.
I didn’t quite get finished with all of the pressure washing before it got too dark to work, so I’ll have to finish that up before I can get started painting. But I did manage to get some updated exterior photos before the sun went down. There’s nothing terribly exciting to show right now, but I did want to get some good “before” pictures before I really get started on any major projects since the photos I have are over two years old.
So here’s how my house looks right now…cleaner than it was, but still in desperate need of some updates. We have a really large side yard on the left of the house that will need lots of attention when it comes time to landscape.
Several of you suggested that I paint the stone on the house a different color than the siding (e.g., white stone and yellow siding). But you can see in these photos why I don’t think that would work. The entire left side of the house is stone, as is the left half of the front of the house.
The vinyl siding is on the front porch, on the front of the breakfast room, and on the garage. And then the side area between the front porch and the breakfast room is siding on top and stone on the bottom. You can see where I left off on my pressure washing. The vinyl siding above the stone on that part has mildew that needs to be washed off.
The ways in which the stone and siding were combined on the exterior of this house just seem so discombobulated to me, and I can’t imagine highlighting that strange combination with two different paint colors. I’d rather the differences be blended away as much as possible with one solid paint color on everything.
And I eventually want the stone removed completely. I want the exterior finishes to be much more balanced when it’s all said and done.
I also want that leaning pecan tree removed. I hate cutting down trees, but thank goodness I have a good excuse to cut that one down. When we had our trees trimmed a couple of years ago, the owner of the company told me that that pecan tree probably wouldn’t last much longer because the main trunk is dying from the top down. Last spring I noticed that when the leaves all came back, the top five feet or so of the main trunk was completely dead, and it hasn’t produced a single pecan in the two years we’ve been here.
So it has to go. I have no idea what I’ll put in its place, because I have no idea what can live in the shadow of that huge red oak tree. I don’t doubt that that’s why the pecan tree grew at an angle like that. It was reaching for sunlight out from under the huge canopy of the oak tree! 😀
Anyway, that’s my house as it currently looks in its “before” state. I have a vision for it, and for how I want it to look when it’s all finished. It will eventually undergo a major facelift, but that will have to wait until we have the house paid off (hopefully at the end of next year) and can save up for the remodel.
But for now, I just want it to look presentable and welcoming, and I don’t want to spend a fortune. So I’ll start with paint and a front porch makeover, and go from there. And it would be nice if I could work the remaining six front windows into the schedule and budget sooner than later. I think that would make a huge difference. But for now, I might just have to rely on paint to brighten up those remaining old windows. Paint makes everything better, right?