IT’S HERE! Our curb appeal reno at The Vic is finished, and we have lots of photos to share with you!
This post is sponsored by Columbia Gas.
If you’ve been following along, you know that we teamed up with Columbia Gas this summer to overhaul our front yard and raise awareness about the importance of calling 8-1-1 before digging to stay safe. PSA: it’s also the law in Ohio and many other states, too. You can find out more here, and read about our experience having our utilities marked here.
Before we get into it, have you read our first two posts in this series? You can catch up here if you missed them:
Tackling our front yard has felt like the biggest out-of-reach project for us, even as experienced renovators. We bought The Vic in early 2017, and didn’t think we’d get to the exterior until next year at the earliest (we go more into detail on why here). It’s hard to believe that it no longer looks like an eyesore! Let’s take a little walk down memory lane and see how far it’s come.
Here’s what we started with in 2017. Almost everything needed to be replaced.
Here’s what the house looked like in June ’19, with new windows, the beginnings of a new porch, and overgrown grass that was totally our fault. 😉
Here it was in July, after we installed our porch railing (you can see more angles here):
And in August, after we started working on the yard and retaining wall…
Onto September, where new carpentry & paint stole the show…
I think we are officially no longer the worst house on the block! 😉 Since our last update, we installed the remaining limestone stair tread, which we had to get custom cut to match the height of our pavers. Installing that last piece, which happens to be the first one you see, really started to bring everything together.
Here’s how it looked mid-project…
And here it is with the last tread installed. It feels so clean, right?
We also decided to take on another project (surprise, surprise) and install stone veneer over the concrete block retaining wall. It wasn’t a planned expense, but when we stepped back and looked at everything, the concrete block retaining wall wasn’t feeling right with everything else. We chose a rustic travertine ledger stone from Lowe’s and applied it directly onto the concrete blocks. It looks really classy and was 100% worth the extra time and money. Every time we drive up we’re like, wait… do we live here?
We’re still going back and forth about how to finish out the stair risers by the house, but are pretty sure we’d like to get more limestone to match the treads. We considered installing the same stone veneer as the retaining wall, and also considered skimming it with new concrete… but ultimately know that saving up for what we REALLY want will be worth it. Similarly, we had planned on adding a limestone cap to our retaining wall but opted to use the same $1 pavers we used for our walkway instead. It saved us over $500, and if we want to swap them for limestone in the future, we can.
We’re loving the curvy boxwood pattern we chose for the plants along the curb. It will be fun to see them grow together to create one solid hedge.
Let’s talk budget. We originally budgeted $5k for the project, and came in right around there in materials alone.
- Plants, shrubs, mulch, grass seed: $900
- Retaining wall (concrete blocks + travertine veneer): $1,300
- Paver walkway (pavers, paver sand, edging): $300
- Limestone stair treads: $900
- Planters & landscaping balls: $250
- Carpentry repairs: $750
- Paint: $500
- Misc tools, other supplies: $300
Our labor for the carpentry repairs, all of the painting, landscaping and hardscaping brings the total value of the project up to $10-15k, so we’re very thankful that we were able to do a lot of the work ourselves to save money.
We’ll leave you with a shot we’ve been patiently waiting to take for years now: the house at dusk, with the warm light hitting just right.
We’re so grateful to have the front of our house finished and looking beautiful again. If you’re planning on tackling an exterior project of your own, remember to call 811 before you dig to stay safe! Utility lines can be buried at any depth — sometimes even just a few inches below the ground — so it’s important to know what you’re working with before you begin. Hitting a utility line can be costly and dangerous not only for you, but for your neighbors as well. It takes just a few minutes and is easy, free, and the law!