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A lot of the work on the Ugg-Duck has been on the interior, with little consideration taken to update the siding and trim.
But if you are a homeowner, you’re probably aware that while you may want to update the inside of the home as much as possible (after all, it’s where you spend your time), other people around you, like your neighbors, would probably prefer you work on the outside.
And insurance companies care, too. I didn’t realize this until I was contacted by my insurance company and they requested that I get some neglected exterior pieces of the house fixed. Specifically, they wanted me to address the area around the chimney:
It’s no secret that I bought an old home from a person who wasn’t physically capable of doing most of the work herself (see this post if you want more info on the woman who used to live here – and what the house looked like when I bought it!).
And no doubt, she probably couldn’t really afford to hire an expert and relied on a friend or family member to do the work for her. I certainly can’t blame her for that, because I do the same thing.
Upper chimney area, “repaired” by previous owner:
Small hole near front window/porch, “repaired” by previous owner:
And like her, I called in for reinforcements when I decided that the exterior could be neglected no longer.
Some of the areas had dry rot or termite damage (which was treated before moving in but not repaired) and needed to be removed entirely before considering new paint/patching.
We had to be careful to remove the pieces that had damage without making the problem bigger (read: more expensive).
In one afternoon, we made considerable headway.
I’m not a tall girl, so painting this high up was a bit difficult, and rain clouds looked like they were closing in. I did what I could with a stucco roller (since those grooves were a bit harder to fill in with a regular roller and contortion is considered mildly unnerving at this height – so not worth breaking something just to get one little groove painted). But it was certainly looking much better!
There are a few pieces that still need repair, but the house is looking a lot better. The paint color will remain the same (we did our best to match it to the original but due to bleaching from the sun, there is a noticeable difference in certain places, which means I have to paint everything over). I’m thinking of painting the trim a lighter color to bring it out more instead of allowing it to blend in to the rest of the exterior. Got any suggestions?
I’ll be starting on the garage paint this weekend in the hopes of taking care of things little by little. The garage is first on the list because it’s a finite area that I can reach without getting on the roof, and I like that it blends in to the house instead of drawing attention. Next will be the small porch area with new paint on the door, too. Let me know your thoughts!

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  1. Bless your heart. You are not alone. Chimneys and bay windows take a beating around here. I see it all the time (I'm a Realtor). We call it “deferred maintenance”. Most of the time the owners can't afford repairs and physically can't do them-like your previous owner. Just keep at it–you'll be glad you did. You'll have a great house. For ideas on colors, drive around in some expensive neighborhoods and copy what you like.

  2. I like the idea of painting the trim and door. I'd be shaking in my boots as to which color though! I'm a traditionalist too so I'd just do a black door and slightly lighter trim. I think you could get away with loads of other color options though! Maybe some photoshopping would be useful? Your house has good curb appeal anyways though! I'll be excited to read what you do.

  3. I understand the difficulty in getting the exterior to match the interior so that the house flows well. My house had a roof that didn't match at all for the longest time until I went to a roofing charlotte nc company that was able to roof my house with proper shingles that looked great with my house. This is a wonderful blog too with some great advice!

  4. I just came from the progress of your exterior siding and trim! This was definitely a mess with the termite and wood rot damage. But you’re doing a lovely job, keep up the great work.