The Big House List, Part 3: Outside

We had a very busy weekend around here. Gus had the last three performances of his latest play, Schoolhouse Rock:



(he’s the one on the left, in the green bandana)

Dave took his school’s math team to the state tournament….an all day affair two hours away. Go Bears! Only around 40 teams statewide get invited to the state tournament, and this is the only second year this school (and thus this math team) has been around, so it’s a pretty big accomplishment. I’m very proud even though it meant our swing set didn’t get finished. They won a trophy for best scoring AAAAA team thatΒ didn’tΒ finish in the top 5, a category only a bunch of math geeks could come up with:


AND…..Gertie got adopted! Her new family drove all the way from Asheville to get her. They’re taking her on a fishing trip on their pontoon boat next month. Yay Gertie!

So what with this, that, and the other….we didn’t make much progress on the 800 projects we have going on around here.

So I figured probably the best thing to do would be to write a post about MORE projects that we need to do. Because there’s no such thing as TOO overwhelmed, am I right?! I am not right.

But this post is long overdue. I wrote the list for the downstairs nearly a year ago (which means it’s about time to revisit it and see where things stand….that should be coming up this week or next) and about the upstairs back in October. I was originally going to include the basement in this, but I really have no idea what I’d say about it. I’d love to finish the basement so that we could have a fifth bedroom and a playroom/kid hang out room, but I don’t know if or when that’s going to happen, and I definitely haven’t gotten as far as coming up with any concrete plans for it.


Front of the house:

outside5 outside4

1. paint all the trim around the front door

2. paint the metal railings

3. paint the shutters (eventually….maybe THEY can be dark gray, and then the door can be a more fun color)

4. new front door (eventually)

5. make the landscaping out front more exciting–more cottagey? some edibles?

6. make the grass in front be actual grass instead of mostly weeds with some grass thrown in. Maybe we can pay someone to do this? We don’t seem to be any good at it. I feel like once grass is going there, it will be relatively easy to keep going, because it’s so sunny and we get so much rain.


outside2 outside3

1. finish the swing set!

2. a sandbox or sandpit maybe: I put Abe in the sandbox at the park the other day, and he was not a fan. So, umm, maybe not.

3. build a patio: a simple one….probably just level it out and put down pavers near the porch somewhere.

4. make real wooden chairs for the firepit: might paint the plastic ones we have fun colors in the meantime. Or we might decide that’s an awful lot of spray paint. oh! but maybe with my new paint sprayer?

5. fence around the garden area to keep dogs/cats/other assorted critters out

6. garden expansion: we have one lone garden bed out there now. I want to enclose a big area so it can gradually grow.

7. fruit trees: apple? pear? peach? all of that? the yard is big and treeless. It should be earning its keep by making us fruit.

8. chickens/chicken coop? maybe? we had chickens at our old house, and I THINK I want them again. Possibly next spring. Possibly not.



1. have deck rebuilt: pretty sure this one’s a gut job. It’s pretty old and rickety and the wood hasn’t been taken care of. We’ll see if whoever rebuilds it (we’re pretty settled on not doing it ourselves; we think the time we’d save having someone else (i.e. someone who knows what they’re doing) do it would be worth the money) can salvage some of the wood. We also want to change the footprint slightly; there’s a weird gap of a few feet between the deck and sunroom right now that we want to close by extending the deck.

2. take down screens to make an open air covered porch where the screen porch is now: we don’t really need a screen porch AND a sunroom; we feel like opening it up to the deck will make it feel like one bigger, more functional space

3. paint or stain all the wood on the porch

4. new ceiling fan

5. something with the floor: maybe tile? if we can bring ourselves to tile again. I’d like to maybe do slate again, but the cheaper slate, since it doesn’t need to be as smooth and even out here as it does in our bathroom.

6. furniture: maybe a seating area in the covered part and eating area out on the deck. We already have two patio dining sets. We’ll probably keep those, maybe with a coat of paint.

7. plants? probably we should have plants!


The Big House List, Part 3: Outside — 18 Comments

    • You’re welcome to come visit and shovel chicken poop any time to get your fix in until you can get your own πŸ˜‰

  1. I was happy to hear she got a home so fast too πŸ™‚ Also, I am excited to hear that you are contemplating getting chickens. I love them from this side of the computer screen πŸ™‚

    I never saw that stone path along the house up to the stairs. It looks so good. I love that shot of your house πŸ™‚

    • I love the stone walkway! it’s one of the things filed under “things the previous owners got right.” πŸ™‚

  2. Love all the ideas/plans. A swingset, sandbox, chickens, fruit trees…It sounds like a lot of fun for the kids and maybe the adults too. πŸ™‚ We’re also hiring a carpenter to rebuild our deck. I don’t know what the condition of your deck is in, but we put an add on craigslist for our old deck and some guys came and dismantled it and took it away. Yay, for free labour!

    • ooh, good tip! I think there’s definitely some salvageable wood out there, so I’m sure someone could use some of it for something.

  3. Oh GAWD! Not Chickens! We went through that at our last place. I was the only chicken poop shoveller, and it was endless. What would you do with it at your place. Also SWMBO had the flock up over 30 birds at one point. She just couldn’t stop hatching cute little babies.

    • ha! I loved our chickens! But, yes, it’s definitely the poop that makes me hesitate. We wouldn’t have anywhere close to 30, though! the legal limit in our town if you have under an acre is 6, and I’m content to stick with that πŸ™‚

    • Dave has an irrational hatred of our front door, so I think a new one sooner or later is inevitable….and what’s a new front door without a fun color, right? Only I need to de-green the shutters first–between those and the brick, I feel very limited

  4. You’re making me tired with all your updates and changes. But, secretly, I love it. My list is extensive, but not nearly as long. I think I’ll share your post with my husband tonight so that he can see how reasonable I’m being. Granted my list includes a new kitchen and an addition with a mudroom and bath. So, I guess, I am not really all that reasonable. πŸ˜‰

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

    • I should probably have made it more clear that it may take us 10 years to get to everything on this list! But, yeah, I think an actual addition to your house trumps most of the things on my list πŸ˜‰

  5. Love that shot of Gus! How cute is that! And your list is rocking! You have such an amazing blank slate in the backyard…and might I add that it is huge!!! Holy cow! So much fun to design this outdoor space! I can’t wait to see what you guys rock out because knowing you most of that list will get done!!! Happy week to you and the crew!

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