Hildring House Exterior Improvements – In Progress

Any home renovation project should involve exterior improvements, as well as snazzing up the interior, and Hildring House is no exception. Just to refresh your recollection, here is a shot of the exterior when we first bought the house:

Exterior before

Beginning of Exterior Improvements

We started with a new roof. And that required more destruction than you ordinarily would expect. You can’t really tell it in the above picture, but the shingles are metal, made to look like shake. I really don’t know how long they had been on the house but clearly it had been through multiple hailstorms. They were really beat up.

The worst part of the roofing situation, however, was that the fascia and underside of the eaves were clad with aluminum siding. I’m probably going to get nasty letters from the siding industry but, please, never do this to your house. I understand all of the arguments about it eliminating the need to paint. But the cost for that is deterioration of the wooden elements of the structure.

Rotted eave structure
Rotted eave structure

No matter how careful the installers are, no matter how much caulk they use, water will get under the metal and sit, unable to dry, rotting out the wood. Until you have this.

As the roof and cladding came off, an old pergola out back had to come down – it was in almost as bad shape as the rotted eaves. Here’s what the back looked like during demo of the metal and bad wood: Continue reading “Hildring House Exterior Improvements – In Progress”

2 Examples of Why Design Matters from Debra

Listening to Debra talk about some of her recent projects, I asked her to do another “Why Design Matters” post.  As usual, my comments will be in italics. Here it is:

I’ve done a couple of consultations recently that really made me happy and I’d love to share them with you:

Color Consultation

I finished an exterior color consultation last week for a dear friend.  She bought her darling little place 16 years ago and she has done a ton of work over the years … but she’s never been happy with the brick.

After a big hailstorm last year, she got a new roof. She chose black – and immediately hated it. The roof was lovely. The real problem was that it just didn’t work with the brick. So, she recently decided to take the plunge and paint the brick. Continue reading “2 Examples of Why Design Matters from Debra”

Hildring House Long Overdue Laundry Room Post

First Hildring House Project Completed

Four months and many many dollars later… the laundry room is “finished”…. well, as finished as anything ever gets with me around. [This is Dan – I’ll be chiming in occasionally. Just can’t help myself, you know. I have to agree – “finished” is euphemistic for “reasonably satisfied for the moment but don’t get too used to it.”] So here is a long overdue laundry room post – with some good pictures by Trey Freeze.

Tile Floor Laundry Room
Photo by Trey Freeze

Continue reading “Hildring House Long Overdue Laundry Room Post”

Hildring House Riffing – A Place for Living

We’re grandparents. It doesn’t solely define us but it’s an integral part of who we are. As grandparents, it’s important to us that Hildring House – or anywhere we reside – be a place for living, not just staying. And if you read Debra’s last post,  you know how one of the core purposes of design is to harmonize an environment with the people who exist in it.

A Place for Living – Inside and Out
Water Bounce House 1
Summer in Texas requires water

This represents some of the things going on outside at Hildring House, and some fun it is! A grandchild’s laughter is some of life’s most beautiful music. But let’s move inside Hildring House for an update: Continue reading “Hildring House Riffing – A Place for Living”

Shades of White

I was talking to a friend yesterday about paint colors – specifically the white that she was considering for her exterior trim and how it related to the exterior color she chose. Even though Debra is the color expert in our duo, I know enough to know that “white” isn’t just white. A couple of sights on my walk with Effie this morning brought that discussion to mind:

Debra says that she could write volumes about white but one of the designers that she follows, Maria Killam, has already done that – and quite well. You can find a post from her on the subject here. Debra says that Maria has a whole book available called “White is Complicated” because, well, it is!

Colors provide depth and definition and interest to life. And, like life, they’re not simple but they are oh, so worth the effort when done well.

We hope that you enjoy our adventures in color and in life – thanks for coming along With the Barretts!

Life in the Construction Zone – A Quick Hildring House Renovation Update

You know how they say that when you’re experiencing something unpleasant, you should close your eyes and think of being somewhere beautiful? That’s what I’m doing with this first pic – it takes me away from the dust and paint and plumbing and electrical work. Well, that and providing the first of Debra’s mandated minimum two pretty pictures per post.

Barbados beach
Barbados – Winter 2015

The work continuing at Hildring House is leading to a beautiful place, too. Continue reading “Life in the Construction Zone – A Quick Hildring House Renovation Update”