Tuesday, April 21, 2015

pretty little home

It's no secret that I love my house.
And I never love it more than in the springtime when it looks it's best!
This month I did just a few small projects to spruce up the outside of the house.

First up, this very sad pillar on our front steps. Wow. I didn't realize how TERRIBLE it looked until I put the before and after pictures together! Unfortunately, the wood was rotted in places, so I got a hard drying, paintable wood filler and filled in all the cracks and holes. I sanded everything completely smooth and used Behr's best quality exterior paint in my favorite white (Creamy White). It's not perfect and it's not a long term solution, but it looks so much better and it's a quick fix until we can replace the wood on the pillars. 

My second project is one of my favorite things I've ever done to my little house: windowboxes!! I fell in love with the idea of windowboxes just this spring and found all kinds of great, easy tutorials on how to make them. I used cedar fence posts, sanded them nice and smooth, and screwed them together, then used the same Behr exterior paint to paint them white. The biggest mistake I made was cutting the wood myself. When I went to Home Depot to buy it, it was close to closing time and I couldn't find an employee to cut it for me. I got tired of waiting, so I decided to just take it home and do it myself. It's much harder to cut wood perfectly straight and exactly the same length than I thought, so the first windowbox I made is definetely not perfect. I did better on the second one!
To hang these, I screwed metal L-brackets into the studs under the window. My original plan was to just put the boxes on the brackets and screw them in from the bottom, but they didn't feel very sturdy that way because the windowbox wasn't secured to the house. I ended up taking them off the brackets and drilling holes through the windowbox, then screwing through the windowbox, through the brackets, and into the studs. They feel much more secure now!
Here's how I found the studs: If you look at house framing diagrams, you'll see that there are studs framing the window on all sides. Studs are generally 16 or 24 inches apart. My window is 48 inches wide, so I took a guess that the studs were placed 16 inches apart, putting two studs under the window instead of just one. So I simply measured 16 inches from where I guessed the king studs (side studs) were and drilled holes there. I hit the studs on the first try for all of my brackets, which honestly, was pretty lucky!
Drilling through aluminum siding (yes, we have aluminum siding) was simple. You just want to make sure that you don't tighten your screws flush, because the aluminum siding will buckle. It needs room to move.

Here's the view from the street. I love how much character and charm they add! Here's to hoping I can keep the plants alive and that they really fill in.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Thanks for the details on the window boxes! They look great!