My Home Remodel, Part 4: The Outside Receives an Update

Compliments are so nice! We just completed our first set of warm seasons with new siding and I must admit it was wonderful hearing complete strangers compliment our house as they walked or rode their bikes past (we live along a nice trail that wraps around a lake). “Charming,” “adorable,” “cute,” are some of my favorite adjectives used to describe the way our house looks these days. (Check out Part 1 of my remodeling series to see our home’s exterior before we re-sided.) We even had three couples offer to buy our home after we re-sided! I told Bart we’re definitely not selling.

Our home with new siding. See Part 1 of this series for the “before” image.

Bart had planned to re-side our home the moment he bought the house and, as the years passed, the existing wood siding was really deteriorating in areas where it couldn’t dry after precipitation. We weighed several different options and ultimately chose Hardieplank from James Hardie. I actually asked to be connected to the rep for my area when I swung by the James Hardie booth during AIA 2018 (remember the good ol’ days of trade shows?!).

The tear-off and insulation process.

Our rep had me upload photos of our existing home into an app in which I could play with colors and accessories. Bart and I opted for deep ocean Hardieplank for the main body of the house and pearl gray Hardieshingle siding in a staggered look for the entry. The certified contractor, who would be tearing off our existing siding and installing new siding, scheduled us for August, then October. Weather delays meant the crew finally arrived on Nov. 17, 2019, and began tear-off. Iowa falls are cold but this team was efficient and did excellent work.

As the crew removed the old siding and batt insulation, one of our local contractors followed them around the house and applied spray foam. Then the new fiber-cement siding was installed. By Dec. 11, the crew was done and our home looked stunning!

Our new roof structure protects our deck from the sun and sets the stage for our kitchen expansion.

During summer 2019, we also built a new roof structure over our back deck. Our reasons for this were two-fold. First, we rarely sat on our deck during the summer months because it was way too hot without protection from the sun. Second, we decided this would be a great way to set the stage for our impending kitchen remodel. In the photo (left), the flat roof section that adjoins the house actually will be the extension to the kitchen. We also plan to build a new deck that better fits under this new roof area.

Fun fact about the new roof over our deck: I stained the visible roof boards with tea. I wanted to avoid chemicals and try something natural. It was easy and our daughter Clare could be right next to me, getting splattered, as I worked. The tea basically deepens the look of the natural wood. I’m really happy with the final look!

In Part 5 of this series about remodeling our home, I’ll cover some of the additional upgrades we made on our journey to creating our forever, family home. These include installing an octagon-shaped bathroom window, using wallpaper in a unique way and updating our front porch.

Read the previous posts in my home-remodeling blog series:

About the Author

Christina A. Koch
Christina A. Koch is editorial director and associate publisher of retrofit.

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