Curb Appeal

Let’s start by getting it out of the way. You know… that business where I apologize for how long it’s taken me to post and then I promise that I’ll do better and then you forgive me, knowing that I probably won’t do better, but you love me so much that you’re willing to stick with me no matter what? Yeah, you know. So…

I’m sorry. I’ll do better. Forgive me? Yeah, you do… Friends forever!

And now that we have that unpleasantness out of the way, let’s catch up, shall we? It’s been a while… (Because of course it has!)

When we last did the blog thing, I told you all about installing vinyl siding on my crappy house. (Read about it here if you missed it.) Schmoopy and I killed that project, but if you remember, I told you I left Schmoo to work alone while I moved to the front of the house to focus on a mysterious project by myself.

Years ago, I installed a pretty bay window for my cat… er… I mean… for me to look out of. Because that’s what you do with windows. Human people. They look out of them. Because they’re transparent. The windows are, I mean. Not the people. Because they’d be ghosts then… And, hey. It’s nice to see the outside. Because, nature. And who, in their right mind, would spend $700 for their cat to have a cute place to hang out? That’s just ridiculous. Not me! No, sir. Oh, shut up.

So, the pic above is what it looked like before, and below is after. (Notice the front storm door also got an upgrade that I neglected to tell you about.)

I build him a window. He picks the door… 


Did you notice how thick the trim is on that window compared to the other two? And how the new door frame kind of looks similar? Here, I’ll post it again so you can see what I mean…

Arrows pointing to window trim

J-channel is the vinyl trim that’s used accept vinyl siding around windows and doors. The previous owner of my crappy house must have had crappy replacement windows installed at some point and they used crappy vinyl j-channel around the windows, even though the siding is cedar shingles. It looked terrible. And at only one inch thick, it lacked any sort of substance as a visual window frame. So skinny! Eat a burger, window trim!

The whole house had that barely-there, zero-visual-impact, content-with-mediocrity window trim. We used thicker j-channel for the back of the house to beef up those windows when we installed the new vinyl siding, but we’re keeping the existing cedar shingles on the front of the house (to the tune of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”), and since the front is kicking it old school with real wood, I didn’t want to frame the windows in crappy plastic. Because, who does that?

Oh, right. Whoever put it on my crappy house in the first place.

I ripped off the offending architectural faux pas…

Do you guys know what a metal brake is? (That underline back there means you can click to learn aaaall about metal brakes, but if you’re lazy like me, (or couldn’t care less wtf a metal brake is), just stay here and I’ll give you the gist. That link is for the nerds.) It’s a contraption that lets you bend sheet metal. Like this…

But the one I used looked more like this…

So, why is this necessary in life? In order to frame the other front windows and have them match the bay window’s chunkiness, I needed to frame them in aluminum. Sheet metal comes pre-painted in a big roll. Basically, you cut a piece the length you need, stick it in the brake, do the bendy thing and, voila! Custom metal frames.

(Of course it’s not as easy as that. You probably can’t do it.)

But something needs to go behind it to support it or the thin metal will sag and crumple, so I built these frames out of pressure treated two-by-fours.

Schmoopy helped me install them because they weighed quite a bit more than you would expect for a few sticks of wood. I screwed them to the house, carefully nailed the metal covers over them, and then patched up the siding.

The frame for the garage door also got an update. The frame actually was wood, clad in aluminum, but they neglected to use the pressure treated variety, so the wood was completely rotted when I removed the metal. I replaced the entire frame and broke some new metal covers. (Past tense of brake? It makes sense to me. Sorry if you’re a professional metal braker and this post offends you with my blatant disregard for researching the proper terminology associated with your craft…)

So here’s the new garage door frame.

And the whole crappy house…

I know it doesn’t look like much, but when we paint the front, oh boy, will that trim really pop! And, also, it will contrast beautifully with the crappy landscaping we have going on, thereby further elevating the look of my crappy house.

Speaking of landscaping… You may have noticed the state of the shrubs in these photos. In case you missed it, I made a video… (Click here if you don’t see it below.)

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I had to trim the bushes back so I could work! Things went a little sideways… I still have nightmares about the carnage. I don’t wanna talk about it.

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  • Laura

    Still Lovin’ the updates whenEVER they come! Whatever shall you do when finished??! Sell & move on to another crappy house? Or retire this crappiness & live happily ever after with Mr. Schmoopy? Lol

    • My Crappy House

      Haha well… I don’t think I have it in me to renovate another crappy house, so we’ll just stay put. Indefinitely!

    • My Crappy House

      Thanks! Are you offering me a quote? Or are you suggesting I should get a quote from a female olympian? I’m confused…

  • Barbara H.

    Well, let’s just call it renewal pruning and let it go. As usual, very impressed with your construction skills.

    • My Crappy House

      Renewal… replacement… I definitely killed one of them. I hope there’s a shrub heaven

  • Susie

    Looking good, girl! What color will the front be? You know something else that makes a HUGE impact – stacked stone!! Just a thought! But you are killing it!! And love the cat – I’m a cat mom, so I totally get the window! ha ha!

    • My Crappy House

      Well, of course the color is a surprise… BUT, if you’ve read some of my other posts, you can probably guess what it’ll be… I feel like, especially for indoor cats, it’s kind to give them a spot to watch the world go by. Both Egor and Zero are up there all the time, so it feels like money well spent

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