Friday, April 29, 2011

Preparing the Exterior for Awesomeness

This, sadly, is DAYS worth of progress...
But in a month, it will look quite different!
The exterior of our house is an eyesore. Our poor neighbors have, for years (decades?), been subjected to washed out purple aluminum siding, rust-colored wood trim, overgrown plants... not to mention ankle-high piles of leaves, grass and weeds. In fact there's a pile of rotting wood waist-high on one edge of our lot. And, while using the leafblower to remove piles of debris from the side of the house, I was lucky enough to find a very large and almost fully decomposed bird, as well as a large and very old plastic bag filled with dog poop.

SUPERGAG. I have never been so disgusted.

The first step to prepping our yard for excellence was to remove all of the leaves, grass and weeds that had been consuming the lawn for two years. To start, we tried raking. After three hours and six contractor bags filled with debris... our lawn still looked like complete crap. It was as if the rake had never touched it!

Under the pathetic protection of our carport, 45 of the
60 lawn bags wait for pick up while being shielded from rain.
Fortunately, Whitney's dad lives on an 18-acre hobby farm about an hour west of the Twin Cities. He was kind enough to bring his tractor down for a day of dethatching and aerating. Next, a few friends stopped by to help us clean up the grossly overgrown dog run and break down sticks into smaller bunches (in anticipation of pick up by the city, not because we like to create meaningless and completely unfun work for our friends).

After all of this, we were left with 60 - yes, SIXTY - yard bags filled with clippings and debris.

Um, how does one dispose of 60 yard bags anyhow?

After an odd conversation with the City of St. Louis Park ("are you sure you're able to pick up all of those bags on trash day? yes, they're in biodegradeable yard bags... but you heard me, right? we have sixty bags for pick up...), the bags are gone and our fresh and clean lawn awaits its first treatment from TruGreen.

The Dads work to save the tree - it's expensive
 and beautiful, but just not right for our house.
Next up... removing the dead, dying and generally ugly plants from the front of the house. It took the Dads a few hours to cut down (and for the tree that was salvaged, pull out) the trees, and it's amazing what a difference it makes.

It's even MORE of an eyesore - now you can see just how bad the aluminum is!

But soon it will be beautiful... it will feature rock, shrubs, fresh paint, new stain and clean grates... and best of all it will no longer be an eyesore for the neighborhood. Plus, the curb appeal should greatly boost our equity!

Stay tuned for the reveal over the next month!

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