Pre and Post.

This year’s big project (or at least one of them) with the house was the siding and the front porch. I had been planning on doing the porch with dad, but the contractor (Brian Olson, out of La Crescent, for those who may be interested; I would recommend him!) gave me a quote for both the siding and the porch that was equal to all the other bids I got just for the siding, so I decided it was worth it to have his crew do the work.

This post is pretty picture heavy, because I wanted to do some before/after comparisons, so I’ll throw in a cut here for those who may not want to deal with the pictures on a feed reader.

If I could figure out how to do the mouseover thing with the pictures, I would, but at the moment I don’t want to bother with it. Not terribly surprisingly, I don’t have as many pictures of the before and what I do have is from when I bought the house 5 years ago so I tend to see the *other* changes (like all the damn bushes) first. *smile* All the same, here are a couple from the side of the house, before, though you can just barely actually see the house:

Side yard from the front of the house; we think that\'s an apple tree? From the front and..

Side yard. We\'d like to move the fence at least out to the tree  line. ..from the garage. (All clickable thumbnails; click to load a larger version)

What you can see in these, though, is the difference between the addition and the rest of the house. I think Brian did a fantastic job matching the new siding to the existing siding on the addition, as you can sort of see here:

South side siding

There are also a couple of “in progress” shots with all the scaffolding here and here, in case you’re interested to see what was involved in getting this all done.

The most dramatic, though, is definitely the porch; here’s the before shot:

Front Porch - we\'ll cut back the bushes, strip and refinish this this summer

And a couple now, after:

Porch, from the steps

North side siding Porch and north side siding.

Porch & siding from the front From the street

The front yard (though it needs to be tended some at the moment) was done I think the second summer so it’s been done for awhile. I love that there aren’t solid walls around the porch anymore – I think it makes the house look a lot friendlier.

The back is where the difference between the addition and the rest of the house is most obvious; here’s the before:

Back yard from down by the garage

And the after, though from outside the fence:

Back siding, outside the fence

All in all, I’m very happy with it. I need to spend some time getting the gardens in this year – the raised beds got neglected while the contractors were working because they used them to put the gutters on to keep them out of the way, so I spent a chunk of this morning weeding out the big stuff and will till them all up this afternoon with the new little Black & Decker Garden Cultivator I picked up yesterday (does it count as a power tool if it’s for the garden?). I also picked up some Preen in hopes that it will help keep the weeds and grass subdued long enough for the garden to get established. But that’s all for another post. *smile*

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