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  • Becca Becca on Sep 15, 2013
    Taylor T, First let me say your home is lovely & has so much character for you to work with. We have survived a couple of renovations similar to yours & it can be done. The best thing to do is prioritize your projects. It helps to keep it from becoming overwhelming. We approached that with the idea of doing projects outside in good weather & move on to inside when colder weather comes along. I would start on the drainage that is outside the side door & drains off toward one set of your steps, easily doable if you are handy at all & having that redirected will prevent washing toward the steps plus be safer going in & out. I would consider stone for the steps, if that is practical for you. Next, would be railings for the porch to match with the railings on the other steps. I would try to make the top of the steps on the recessed door go all the way to the corner. That will eliminate having to clean out that little space, & the railing can be attached to the side of the house. The stain on your foundation is from rain splashing dirt onto the blocks. We have the same problem but it easily washes off with a hose sprayer with a jet spray setting. Mulching will do a lot to help that plus keep weeds away. I would also paint the basement level the same as the house. Then I would paint the doors any color that you love because most colors would look good with your color scheme & you always need 3 colors to keep a house from looking flat. Some of the shrubs look like they have about gone by & it's difficult to work with them because on the inside they are mostly dead branches. The one exception is the gorgeous fig you have. It is wonderful & you can make preserves with them or give them to family & friends. I would definitely take care of that one. If you are concerned about lack of grass under the trees, you could consider Dwarf Mondo Liriope. We have that in dark green under some of our pecan trees & it looks like a carpet. If you buy pots & sprig them around the area you want covered & then keep it fertilized & watered it will soon be solid. It seems that you have plenty of shade & Hostas, Hydrangea, Azalea, Clematis, Confederate Jasmine & different perennial ferns would look gorgeous & are easy care plants to consider. One of the final things I would do outside is put frames on the basement windows similar to those on the house. It will help balance the two levels. If you don't have entrance to the basement from the interior of the house I would consider taking that entire raised planter out & put steps from the corner down to the garage door. I would match them to the other steps & make them wide with a gentle rise & plant ground cover under them. Good luck with your project!!!
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Apr 09, 2014
    for your outside projects,its hard to WANT TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE..Like most homes the list can be quite long.... first thing I notice on the yard is ,,,,,LACK OF DEFINED FLOWERBEDS....I'd lay a garden hose out in a curve patter to your liking,,, nothing less than 2-3 feet wide for just a narrow edge with little in it, wider if you like bigger shrubs and plants...spray paint or edge or a shovel the defination you like.. .. REMOVE the sod.. ammend the soilwith lots of compost,,bag or bulk,,,works too .. Just that will help the looks of the overall house lots.... it will tidy up the overall looks, a few bright colored annuals or 2-3 small tubs of color around the front door area will be cheery and welcoming for the summer... That can get expensive, but just a few bright pinks or reds will add some pow.. Then you can tackle the other stuff some have said while still having a welcoming front area. It also looks like the house just needs some updates.. I'd make a of things to check out and things you want to do,, figure the cost,knowledge,,and time for each project..one thing is the back steps/porch,,, they are slanting and an accident waiting to happen. IF you use that door, I'd redo them, sooner rather than later..If you don't use them put a oblong pots of herbs on them to block the access till later..Ifyou cut back the shrubs on both side some, tomato, basil, would also like it there, for this season. Both front and back steps were definate do it yourself jobs in need of redo for safety reasons alone..You have a huge area to have fun with,,,, don't get overwhelmed,,, a house and yard are never done... there is always something on the "TO DO" list... most important thing is to HAVE FUN with it as it progresses.....can't wait to see what you do..
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