Exterior Improvements: Part Two

One of the very first projects that I started on the house was replacing the windows and exterior doors as well as adding a bit of siding in place of the wood on the front of the house.  Although the house is brick there was a small section in the front that had a wood component.  Today I’m going to share with you guys some additional improvements that have been completed recently on the outside. With warmer weather it has been a real joy to begin some of the outdoor projects I didn’t get started on last year.  This past winter was an exceptionally cold one here and pretty much eliminated any outdoor work on the house.  No worries; I’ve taken full advantage of warmer days and started on several new projects and today I want to share a couple of them with you.

When I first bought the place I knew the driveway needed to be replaced and that I wanted to do something different with the large front porch area.  The gate to the car port was dysfunctional and needed to be replaced as well.

A driveway that had seen better days.

I never really liked all this concrete in the front of the house.


This gate had too many structural issues to be repaired so I did  complete replacement.

I hired someone to do the concrete work as I knew that I wasn’t skilled enough to attempt a project like this.  There is no way I was going to spend the time and money trying to DIY it and end up having cracks in it after the first winter.  I love doing these projects myself, but have always known when it’s best to call a pro.  I’m very happy with the results:

It no longer feels like I’m going off-road when pulling in my driveway.


Eventually I will have landscaping in the space between the walkway and the house.

I’m very happy with how the concrete work turned out and once I get all the landscaping completed the house will hopefuly have really nice curb appeal.  The cost of having all the old concrete removed and the new poured was $2400.00 and marks the last large expense that I have for the place.

I removed and rebuilt the gate myself at a cost of $387.46 for materials in building a 12′ double drive gate.  This included 6×6 post, concrete, cedar lumber and hardware.  Using all cedar lumber adds to the cost, but helps with the functioning of the gate.  Cedar is lighter than treated pine and over time will decrease the chance that the gate leafs will begin to sag.  It works great and I really like the arches I cut out of the tops.  Debating on if I should stain it or not???


The Stoic is developing mad rehab skills!! 🙂

Next month marks a year since I bought the place and although I have taken my time with the work I’ve made steady progress and learned more than I could possibly convey.  It’s wonderful to see things come together, but I think I might be a little sad when it is all done.  It’s been a journey that has made me red with anger and frustration at times, but a process that I have ultimately enjoyed.  It will definitely be a mixture of joy and sadness when it is complete…

The Stoic



8 thoughts on “Exterior Improvements: Part Two

    • Thanks Leigh! It is certainly an improvement from what was there before. I’m really happy with it. Wait until I have the landscaping done. It’s going to look great!

  1. I happen to agree about the path leading to the door. Nice job. On another note I am curious to know if you publish any of your investments online. If you invest in dividend stocks or some other vehicle. Many online bloggers like to highlight their holdings and was wondering if you could see yours as well. Thanks!

    • DivHut,

      Thanks for stopping by and for the nice compliment!

      Before I purchased the house I did have a portfolio page that listed my holding that were dividend oriented, however I liquidated that account to purchase the property and have just been holding cash while I complete the rehab and enjoy my (f)unemployment. One day I’m sure I will return to stocks, but it may be awhile.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Wow, thats great progress. Good job on the renovation – esp the DIY part. I am not a handyman but bought a place last week….I will have to learn a lot – looking forward to it.

    Best wishes

    • Thank you! Don’t let the belief that you’re not a handyman scare your away from some of DIY projects around your new home. I was never one who was great with my hands when it came to this kind of work and several people who know me thought I was crazy for taking on this project. I’ve found that if you’re motivated you can find a way to do almost anything.


  3. Stoic – It looks like the rehab is coming along well. Nice job on the fence and doing the work yourself. It turned out great. In an effort to save money when we rehabbed our first home, I learned how to tile. My first experience was not entirely perfect, but I have improved since (through helping a few others) and have already put my newly found expertise to use in our current home.

    Keep it up…wishing you the best in your personal journey!

    • Thank you for stopping by!

      I remember the tile I did around my bathtub. It was not one of my most enjoyable projects but it turned out ok. My experience was the same as yours, it wasn’t perfect but I’m happy with it and learned a lot in the process. I’m sure my next tile project will go a little smoother.

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