Exterior Updating – A new Garage Door

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that 90% of the updates we’ve made to our home thus far are on the interior. If you are new here, first of all Welcome! Second of all, a quick history to help explain the above statement.

When we bought this home in October of 2009 it was a short sale and in need of quite a bit of work. Some of the work was needed just to make it livable, like replacing windows, deep cleaning and/or ripping out carpets to get rid of the lingering smell of cat urine, and other such things. But most of them have just been cosmetic updates because the house hadn’t been updated since it was built in the early 90s.

That being said, making the house livable has been a mostly interior focus for us, because, well, we live inside the house. Duh. So that is where we’ve spent the majority of our time and money when it came to updating things.

Fast forward five years and the exterior has really started showing its age and neglect. It was never great, and we have done a few projects outdoors to try to help the curb appeal until we could save up for a real overhaul (like removing overgrown landscaping, painting the back deck, creating a rock patio, etc.), but the time has come when little updates are no longer cutting the mustard and the house is in need of that aforementioned overhaul.

Guys, let me tell you that after five years of pretending that I don’t HATE the exterior of our home, I could not be more excited to finally be kicking off project exterior update. And it kicked off in a big way this week. Ta da!

garage door-2

garage door

We finally were able to replace the rotting and cracked garage door for a brand new and very beautiful new door (thanks SO much to my in-laws for making that happen!!!). The new door is insulated, which should help keep the house warmer, and it has beautiful windows, which I was adamant about, because when the garage takes up half the house it NEEDS to look better than just a big white rectangle. Of course a plain white door was slightly less costly, but when we’re already spending the money I rationalized that we may as well add a couple hundred more and get what we really want, especially when it yields a very much improved result and it’s something we will see and use every single day for the next tens of years. I mean, it’s not every day you buy a garage door, so do it right, right?

The windows and long panels (rectangles as opposed to squares) add some nice architectural detail and make it blend in more with the overall scale of the house. I briefly debated a few other styles, including the increasingly popular carriage style doors with black handles and hardware, but in the end, I decided those were a little too ‘cottage’ looking for what I was going for. I already have some really nice modern house numbers (in a sweet font of course) and a sleek new front door handle (ours literally broke off last week, darn it), and I really like how the clean modern look of the door we landed on works with everything else. Plus I figure if I ever change my mind and realize I must have carriage hardware, I can always buy some like this and put it on myself.

Side note, I realize how old I sound to be so excited about a garage door, but I don’t care because I LOOOVE IT! I seriously nearly cried when I came home and saw it for the first time.

I guess while this feels like the official start of the exterior renovations, it technically kicked off last summer when we had the carpenter repair all the rotting wood on the siding. But it’s been dormant all winter, because we couldn’t get the house painted before the snow fell. That was unfortunate because I think it actually looks even worse after the repairs since the trim and siding had to be all mismatched and patchy all winter long. But it’s always darkest before the dawn, right? And anyway, now with the spring season upon us we are in full on project mode once again, and I am so excited I could cry. Or laugh. Or cry. My emotions are out of control. I’m pretty sure the only people more excited than me are my neighbors, who have probably been wondering what the heck is wrong with us. Sorry, neighbors! I promise it will get better!

The carpenter does have to come back next week and finish up a few small repairs, but we already have our painter lined up to start in April and are currently narrowing down paint colors. I have some VERY specific (and apparently unusual??) painting requests for him and I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m either insane or an insanely difficult woman, but after waiting five years I am not planning on settling for less than my perfect vision of this home’s exterior. Can you believe he actually tried to talk me out of my ideas? Silly. He must not know me very well. I took the liberty of mocking up some Photoshop renderings of every angle of the house for him to follow as he paints so there’s no miscommunication or confusion. Haha. (Maybe I am insane??) So it may take a while to get the painting finished, but I’m willing to wait it out to get exactly what I’ve been dreaming of.

Stay tuned for even more exciting exterior updates in the upcoming weeks– for example, I’m currently mulling over what color to paint the front door… This is by far the biggest renovation we’ve taken on in this home and it will not look like the same house when it’s finally finished. I cannot reiterate enough how exciting all this is for me (and probably my neighbors). Until then, one more before/after (or more accurately before/progress) shot, just to really drive home what an improvement a new garage makes when it takes up half the front of your home!

Home exterior BEFORE

garage door-3

Please ignore the fact that all the landscaping is dead and gross from the winter months and the skies are cloudy and depressing. I’m convincing myself it’s a good thing because it’s really going to make for a dramatic AFTER shot once everything greens up again and we finally have new paint. I can hardly wait! Happy spring, friends!!

dawn sig


What do you think? Leave a comment below.