Exterior Improvements

One of the very first projects that I started on the renovation was the replacement of the windows and doors along with covering the front part of the house and storage building in the back of the house with a vinyl siding.  All of the wood trim around the roof and gable vents was covered in aluminum trim that not only looks better, but is maintenance free; unlike wood which would need to be painted occasionally to counter act the damage done by weathering.

There were five windows and three exterior doors that we replaced.   This was one project that I knew I did not want to attempt on my own.  Knowing your limits can prove very beneficial when attempting rehab projects and not knowing them can be expensive.  I didn’t want to be responsible for a leaky window or a door that didn’t open/close correctly.  Luckily a friend a of the family agreed to come and measure the windows doors, deliver them and install them at a fraction of what I would have to pay otherwise.  I was extremely happy about this, but it didn’t quite work out so smoothly.

How the outside looked when I purchased back in June.

Although he was able to come and install the windows and doors he was unable to make it back to do the vinyl or wrapping the outside trim and sofit due to an increase in his work load.  Although it was disappointing I understood that he was doing this as a favor and not making near what he normally would.  The exterior work remained only partially done for most of the summer and my cost, specifically the labor, was going to more than double!

The joy of rehabing a house on your own with no thought of a rapid turn around or some official from the bank supervising what and how things are being completed is that you get to work at your own pace. When you’re not working a full-time job it’s even better.  I took a couple of weeks to do some hiking at the end of Sept. and came back super motivated to continue work on the house.  Knowing that winter was right around the corner also helped in motivating me to get back to work.  I installed all new insulation in the attic, started work on the living room and requested bids for completion of the exterior work.


Before pic of the storage building in the back.

The storage building had several issues that had to addressed before the siding could be placed.  The door was falling off the hinges and because of the poor choice of outdoor material used for the walls much of the bottom had rotted and was falling apart.  I cut out the bad sections of the  side walls and replaced with plywood to make it stronger.  The fun part was coming up.

The framing members of the entire front wall were rotting and had to be replaced.  You can’t install a new door unless you have a solid structure from which to hang it.  It was about to get worse before getting better:

Removing the entire front wall and reframing it.

It looks bad but remember this is just a small building at the rear of the house.  Once the wall was reframed I had something solid from which to hang the new door and the guys could come and wrap the building with the vinyl that was used in the front.

Finished product.  Not bad eh? 🙂

This project, windows/doors, vinyl and trim, has been the single most expensive improvement thus far and likely will remain so.  It actually represents just over 25% of the entire rehab costs.  Here is the break down:

  • Material: 3649.29
  • Labor: 2280.28

Was it worth it?  I’m going to say yes.  The old aluminum windows had to go.  Most of them wouldn’t even open and they were just ugly.  I might have been able to get by with the doors but then you have a situation where you have all this new material surrounding old doors.  It just doesn’t look right.  The vinyl siding that was used is three times the cost of normal siding.  However, with such a small amount being used I believe the uniqueness it provides to the outside of the house was the worth the cost.  What do you think?

I still need to paint the front door and install a storm door as well as some landscaping I will do this spring.  Seeing this pictures reminds of how much progress has been made.  It makes me happy! 🙂

Have a great weekend!!

6 thoughts on “Exterior Improvements

  1. Looks great! Perhaps you’ve found a calling? Think you could do something like this full time? My guess is it wouldn’t be so bad if you really enjoyed it, and from the looks of it, you enjoy getting your hands dirty.


    • FIF…. Thank you! I really appreciate the compliments. They mean a lot because this is all so new to me. I’m not a skilled carpenter nor have I ever been “good with my hands”. Just a guy who thought he could learn.

      This is something I’ve been thinking of a lot lately. I know that I will do another house and most likely in the same manner in which I did this one. Taking what I’ve learned from this experience I know that I can make the next venture even more profitable. My cash flow needs are such that I don’t need a consistent weekly check. I could float myself during the time it took to sell/rent a property.

      To supplement this I think I would like to do various jobs to residential property. Perhaps as a handyman? Maybe do inspections? The possibilities are limitless and I do enjoy it. It grounds me and brings me into the moment which for me is a good thing. The idea of working for myself and making my own schedule is very appealing as well.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll keep you posted on how it all works out.


  2. Pingback: Rehab Costs Revealed: The Living Room | The Stoic Investor

  3. Pingback: Exterior Improvements: Part Two | The Stoic Investor

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