Archive for the ‘Sell This House’ Category

Paint the Front Door

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Another tip for selling your house – give your door a fresh coat of paint (typically a red paint color).

 Our entire door, side panel, and trim have been a dark green since the day I bought the house in Feb 2000.  How green was it?  See the side panel?  You can still see the green showing through after 5 coats of color blocking primer. 

You can search online for the “proper” way to paint a door – trust me, there is a method.  Everything depends on if your door is wood or metal, if the original paint job is in good shape or if it is peeling, if there are cracks or repairs that need to be made, etc… 

For me, the metal door is in fairly good condition and the thick green paint is in great condition.  The hubby removed the door knob, locks, and pins from the hinges.  He put the door on a pair of sawhorses for me in the shade of a tree.  I knew I wanted a type of red for the door, but fire engine or lipstick red weren’t for me.  The house is clay, the porch is a medium brown and the trim is white.  I decided on a reddish brown for the door and the shutters.  To be exact, it is called Thomas Jefferson Brown and it is a historical color.  I figured if it’s lasted this long, then it’s got to be good!

As far as technique goes, I lightly sanded the surface to remove the gloss and then I painted all the trim and panels first with a 2 – 3 inch brush.  I worked horizontally on all pieces and then vertically.  Same goes for the rails and stiles.  The rails are the horizontal parts of the door and the stiles run vertically.  Where they meet, I feathered the edges with a light touch and then I hit the edges of the door.  I did not bother to tape off the windows as I will use a razor to scrape the paint off after the door has cured.  Helpful tip: Load up your brush with paint and use long, smooth strokes for an even finish.

I started this process very early in the morning and let the paint dry for about 2 hours between coats.  I would have liked a longer drying time, especially since I needed 4 coats of paint for thorough coverage, but we managed. 

By the time the door was reinstalled, it was 830pm and I still hadn’t gotten to the trim.  I grabbed my quart of Kilz premium color and stain blocking primer and finally zapped the green for good!  I will have to do another coat tomorrow morning, but wow – does it look sharp tonight!

I must admit to having bittersweet feelings about our remodeling job.  Now that the green is gone, it looks and feels like a totally different house.  For as much as we didn’t like the old exterior, it suited us.  Now things are starting to look very fancy around here.  I guess momma has got to buy a new pair of shoes!

Vinyl Siding Update

Friday, May 27th, 2011

On the second day, they finished siding the front of the house and installed soffits.  We even have a nice little decorative vent to give the house that little bit of sumthing-sumthing.

They got a good start on the rear right corner and the wall where the kid’s rooms are.  Poor kiddos got zero naps that day.  We are lucky to have my hubby’s parents in town this week to help out with the contractors and the kids. 

On the third day, they started working on the porch and the back side of the house.

I painted a 6 – 12 inch border around the deck where the walls touched.  This will give us a nice clean joint and I won’t need to edge the paint in when I finish the deck next week.

By the end of day 3, they had finished the front porch and had installed a brand new porch light that we got from Costco for only $21.  They also installed the metal trim around the roof edge to cap everything off.  I can’t believe how much of a difference the white trim makes on the house.

By day 4, they had already started on the back deck.  See how crisp the deck looks where I painted the border in advance?

The installers spend a good amount of time tearing off decorative trim pieces.  If they do not, the vinyl siding will not lay flat.  Without the trim I can finally see what all those mud daubers were doing every year. 

They totally finished the children’s wall down to the soffits and metal casing.  They just about finished the rear right corner and got a good head start up the rear of the house.  They cut their work short due to a fierce thunderstorm that swept through the area.  They expect to be finished by Wednesday of next week after taking Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off. 

We will be crossing our fingers that they can finish by then.  I want to paint both the porch and deck before next weekend.  We are having a big party and it would be nice to show off the house.  Also, our realtor is coming next week to have the big “talk” about what we can sell the house for.  I’m hoping (PRAYING) that we can get a decent price after doing all this work.  Our house is looking pretty sharp compared to the competition in the neighborhood.

Sell This House: Get Rid of the Clutter

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Pack it up, ship it out!  One of the biggest steps towards selling your house, while you are living in it, is to clean out the clutter.  When you have pared everything down to what you consider to be the bare minimum – get rid of 1/3 more.  You want the house to feel so big that you don’t have enough stuff to put into the house.  You have to be cold about this.  Detach youself emotionally from this process.  You are selling a HOUSE – it’s not yours anymore.  Your house should be as anonymous as a hotel room – anybody should be able to visit the house and see themselves staying there. 

Get rid of any excess furniture or items that don’t serve an immediate purpose.  Remove anything that states a personal preference.  For example: your taste in books, family photos, religious artifacts, etc…  You want people to imagine themselves in the house.  You don’t want them to feel like they are intruding into your personal space. 

For someone like me, this has been both a cleansing and draining process.  I still have the blue and red windup robot that I played with in Thailand when I was 6, the music box that my Grandmother Dorothy gave me when I was 9 and my faded and worn twin size comforter my dad bought me in Korea when I was 13.  Every time I move, I whittle away at my trinkets and have packed my life into 2 rubber maid totes full of memories.  As for the rest of the house, well, let’s just say we’ve been busy these past few weeks.

We rented a 10X15 storage unit and have been making nightly trips to fill it up.  I’ve done my best to pre-sort and organize our belongings.  Each night is a different theme.   

Rather than mark “KITCHEN”, “MSTR BEDROOM”, “LIVING ROOM”, etc… on the boxes, I label each box on two sides with the contents and assign the box a number.I record each box number into a journal and list the contents.  I will input this list into Excel so we’ll have a nice little cargo manifest when it comes time to move.  Labeling and numbering the boxes is VERY helpful for storing and moving items.  Since we don’t know how long our stuff will be in storage, I can quickly reference our list and retrieve a box by number if I need something from storage.  It will also be easier when we move to our final destination (For example, boxes 1-10 in the kitchen). 

Here’s an example of how we’ve been spending our time (and why the blog has been quiet of late).  One night the theme was books.  We gathered every single book we own into one spot and sorted them into keep, sell, and yard sale/donate piles.  The keep piles we sorted and packed according to genres.  The sell pile I boxed up to take to our local book reseller and the yard sale/donate pile has been placed in the designated yard sale area.  I call it the yard sale/donate pile, because we promise to donate everything that doesn’t sell at our yard sale in June rather than drag it back into the house.  At the end of every night, the hubby loads up the van and makes a trip to the storage unit – usually around 10 or 11pm.

My little sweetie pie LOVES, LOVES, LOVES paper.  She’s been having a blast helping me pack.  She’ll wiggle, scoot, and roll her way across the room to chomp on my packing material.

Oliver has been taking it in stride.  We try to do everything after they go to bed so they can avoid the mess.  When the packing overflows into his life, he gets a bit stressed.  Selling this house is going to be a big transition for him.  As long as we have paper around, Evelyn will be fine!

As of tonight, we have hauled 58 boxes over to storage.  I’m guessing that we have another 58 to go!  On the plus side, our attic is almost empty!

Sell This House: Fix the Deck

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

The clock is ticking!  These past two weekends we have been working on our deck.  Look at all that rot!  This kind of damage did not happen overnight.  It’s been years in the making, about 10 years to be exact.  The hubby took out the rotted deck boards and replaced them with brand new ones.  The wood siding will be ripped out and replaced by el cheapo wood of some sort and covered over with vinyl siding.

Six years ago, I scrubbed down the deck, rails, and post and painted them.  Even though green is my hubby’s favorite color, he didn’t find it charming growing on his deck! 

We borrowed a power washer from a friend and blasted the heck out of our deck.  We removed all the mold/mildew and loose paint.  After everything dried, the hubby busted out his orbital sander with 60 grit paper to smooth out the wood and remove even more paint.  We then wood puttied any holes or small cracks and sanded that down after it dried.  Today, I finally got some white exterior primer on the posts and rails.  I did 2 coats before it was too hot to paint.  When the paint gums up on the surface almost immediately, it’s too hot!

Here’s the same deck after power washing, sanding, and 2 coats of paint!  What a difference.  I have at least one more coat to go.  We have contractors coming on Tuesday to install vinyl siding and I want to wait to do a final coat until after all the work is done.

Yep, I said we have contractors coming on Tuesday!  It’s taken us 2 months to get 4 quotes, decide on one, order materials, and schedule a contractor.  Lowe’s ended up being the most reasonable by $1,000.  Company #3 and #4 were between 6 and 7 thousand more.  It pays to look around that is for sure. 

I’m going to Lowe’s tomorrow to pick out a porch paint and will paint a 12 inch border on our deck and porch wherever it butts up to the siding.  I want that nice and dry so the edge will look nice when they install the vinyl.  After they leave, I’ll paint the rest of the porch and deck.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

 Subscribe in a reader