Sunday, 21 September 2014

First appearances...

During one of the hottest weeks in August (relatively speaking - this is the UK after all), I had a week of annual leave so I could be at home while the roofers were here repairing the chimneys. This was a requirement of my mortgage company and the work had to be completed by October. Essentially they needed to do some re-pointing and waterproofing to the chimney stacks and to cap the disused chimneys to prevent rain entering and causing damp.

 The scaffolding in place

The new chimney pots ready to be installed

Given that I had to be at home, I decided to use the time (and fine weather) to undertake some work at the front of my home.

On first appearances, things didn't look so bad...
...whilst the bright blue front door and the ugly house number plaque weren't to my taste (not to mention the straggly garden planting), things seemed relatively well kept.

However, if you took a closer look, this is what you would see...
 Peeling paint on the masonry and painted brick work

 Peeling and cracking around the door architrave

 Ditto above the door (complete with spider webs and ugly porch light)

 Cracked and peeling paint on the eaves/soffits

Even the door step left a lot to be desired

My concern was that if I left this for another winter, then some more permanent damage would occur to the building (particularly the woodwork). I can't admit to enjoying this at all (it was simply very hard work), but I got stuck in and managed to:
  • Strip the woodwork and repaint
  • Sand down the painted masonry and repainted
  • Stripped and re-painted the door step
  • Repainted the front door
  • Replaced the house number plaque
Later in the year, I'm having a landscape gardener come and re-work the front garden for me. This will involve lifting all of the stones and re-establishing some more formal garden beds along the fence and underneath the bay window. I wasn't going to touch the front garden until the gardener undertook the main work. However, it was looking in such poor condition after I had spent the better part of a week trampling over it, I decided to also remove all of the existing shrubs. I've done a little replanting in the areas that will align with the new garden beds...the remainder of the planting will need to wait until he removes the hard landscaping.

Anyway, here is the finished product...
 Note the new shutters at the bedroom window - more on this in a future post...

 Some new lavender bushes and a standard myrtle are now gracing the garden. There is a second myrtle to plant on the other side of the bay window, but I need to wait for the landscaper to did out some concrete. I had always planned to use myrtles here (something a bit different to standard bays), but was delighted to find such a good deal at the Crocus open day on 6 Sept when they were reduced from £40 to £10 each.

The ugly porch light is still to be replaced with a more traditional lantern when I can get the electrician back... but a bit of dove grey paint, a simple slate house number, and a much more altogether calm and elegant welcoming entrance to my home...well I like to think so anyway!


  1. Oh I love your changes Annie - the dove grey door is very elegant. It's such a sweet picture perfect English terrace house, and your changes are really bringing the original charm out.

  2. What a really pretty house, I love red brick. Really like the changes you have made, it's a challenge when there is so much to do isn't it?!