Purgatory

Exterior Tidying

The winter rains did not show up in December 2018 and we were able to get our favorite painter in to get some much needed exterior painting done. As mentioned numerous times elsewhere on this blog, the previous owners partook in a lot of deferred maintenance and we’ve had to deal with the resulting mess. Before relisting the property for sale after failing to sell it the first go around (which lasted almost a full year,) they apparently took out a mortgage and used the money to redo the kitchen and bathrooms and splash a bunch of paint on surfaces.

The exterior painting they did on the house and fences just covered up a bunch of rot. We had the house yard fence sorted that summer and then waited for our favorite painter to have time to handle the house exterior as there was a lot of work to be done. Almost a year earlier he and his brother had done all the green trim on the house in preparation for the gutters being installed, so thankfully there was just a wee bit of touch up to do there. Still, from stucco repairs, dry rot issues and splitting siding, to vent holes being patched and lots of things to be caulked on top of painting it all, we kept Humberto and his brother busy for a couple of weeks. Thankfully we once again could have all the supplies delivered by Sherwin Williams (the same company that provided the huge amount of paint for the fencing.)

They started with the upper windows in the great room. Lots of rot had to be removed, repaired and then all sealed back up again. To get up to work there they used some plywood laid across the arbor and thus didn’t have to use any scaffolding.


Then there was the matter of the southeast exterior wall. This is the back side of the what was the original garage and in the mid 80s it was made into finished living space and now serves as Agent Smith’s office. The siding may have been original as it was all redwood boards, but the harsh southern sun in the spring/summers and wet winters meant that the lower section was splitting apart and rotting away.

The guys got to work and removed the old siding and there was indeed quite a bit of rot along the bottom.

Instead of new individual boards, we opted for some prefabbed siding sheets. The POs had used something similar on the west wall of the house, so at least it would sort of match some another bit of the house. Honestly the house is such a mishmash with redwood siding in some places, stucco in others and huge panes of glass just about everywhere else, the change isn’t especially noticeable.

So the siding boards were primed and prepped and a new barrier layer was installed.

Then the new boards were put in place and primed as well.

And finally they were painted to match the rest of the house.

Here’s a shot of the wall almost a year earlier when the eaves and fascia were addressed

And here’s a shot after all the work. As you can see it now has a bit more texture which actually works well as it gives that bit of the house of bit of character.

As an added bonus to liven up that wall a bit, I found a nice metal outdoor wall clock on clearance at the local Micheals. During the non-super windy months (ie March-November) it now hangs on the wall just next to the now sealed up silly kitchen door.


Another bit of repair work the guys tackled were a number of old vents along the bottom bits of the house. There were two on the eastern wall of what was the original garage because it was originally….a garage. Only when it was converted into living space these exterior openings were never properly sealed up and instead they just popped in pieces of plywood that rattled about in the wind.

Humberto was able to use some of the boards he pulled out from around the corner to make patches for such holes. Then they were sealed and sanded and finally painted. Now, unless you know where to look, you’d never know the vents were ever there.

Several other similar vent holes were covered up. Including the ones for the furnaces we had removed earlier that year. These were never blocked off from either side as that would have been a bad thing when the old furnaces were still in use, and while we still have some holes in interior walls of that closet space, now Agent Smith’s office is a bit less drafty since they’re sealed from the outside.

While all of these repairs were going on, Huberto and his brother (Alonzo btw…I finally remembered) were busy painting the trim and exterior of the house. There was lots and lots of prep work involved as you can see in this example. So much sealing and tidying prior to painting….we kept them busy for several weeks and they are super fast at what they do.

By mid December though they finished up the last bits and thus didn’t reappear until the next project a few months later.

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