RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

Harahan House: During: The Exterior

It makes sense to start the “What We’ve Done So Far” tour of the house with the outside/exterior but that’s what you come to first. I know I know, it’s probably the least exciting part of the whole house and if you were to drive by the house today, you’d be able to see all of this for yourself… BUT it’s still a necessary blog post and for listing sake, we’ve done some work outside already and there’s more to be done. So let’s just get this one out of the way, shall we? You may want to reference the Before blog post for before pictures :)

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WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR:

Removed the walls of the screened-in part of the front porch. The Historic Architecture Reiew Committee (HARC) asked us to do this but I would have anyway. I love me a giant front porch! Removed two full grown oak trees. I love trees so it wasn’t easy for me to get rid of it but the limbs were damaging the roof and siding and the roots had damaged foundation. The structural engineer and the foundation repair guys essentially told me they wouldn’t work for us if we didn’t take care of those things first. I do like the way it looks now, though. It opened up the front and side yard a lot! Brand new roof! We replaced the old green grey shingles with medium grey shingles and patched a few holes.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

Rebuild the front porch. The brick foundation is fine but the wood floor and subfloor will need to be replaced. We will most likely add two more columns to make it more symmetrical. I’d love to keep the exisintg columns but only if they can be repaired and only if we can find two more. The ceiling of the porch just needs repainting. Right now it’s blue and I’m unsure of what color I want to go with… Landscaping. Because there is none right now. I have no clue what I want to do for that but I know a few people.

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WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR:

Started work on restoring the windows. We have an amazing local craftswoman working on restoring all 33 original wood windows in the house! It’s one of the things I’m most excited about!!! We’ll get rid of those nasty aluminum storm coverings for sure… might possibly add some nicer removable storm windows during the winter to assist with insulation.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

New white vinyl siding. Under the old worn out aluminum siding you see here is the original wood siding. Unfortunately, it wasn’t taken care of and to refrain from having to repaint it every few years, we’ll be removing both layers of siding and adding white vinyl siding. It may not look AS good but it’ll be good enough and last longer. Power wash the brick. Remove awning above side basement door and replace door.

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WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR:

Removed the window of the left side. In it’s place will be the mudroom door. I’m thinking dutch?? Removed all the awnings from above the windows. So 70’s. Completely ripped out the back right corner of the house. This is where some previous owners thought it would be OK to just enclose a porch without doing anything more than adding walls. It was badly badly done and in order for it to be actually part of the inside of the house (part of the kitchen), it had to be ripped out and rebuilt.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

Turning that window in the previous laundry room into a back door for the mudroom. Mentioned above. Adding a third window to the right of the two windows. This is to bring in even more natural light into the kitchen but also to center the kitchen sink under one window. And it’s worth mentioning again, more natural light! The corner that was ripped out has already been rebuilt but siding will be added once we re-do the siding. There was a door already in there somewhere, and we plan to keep a door there so that guests won’t have to walk through our mudroom to have access to the back yard. New backyard landscaping. Yet to be determined. I would love a deck but we’ll see.

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WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR:

Removed the old chainlink fence and posting. Chainlink fencing is not allowed according to the HARC guidelines, which is fine with me because I kind of hate it anyway. What’s left here is the neighbor’s side…

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

Add an iron fence situation. We know that we’ll enclose the entire backyard but we’re undecided about how much of the side yard will be fenced in and whether or not we’ll fence in the front yard. Add some sort of shed. And maybe a detached garage later.

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WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR:

Our beautiful brand new HVAC system! Yea, there was no heat and air in the house when we bought it.

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WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR:

Removed more small trees and giant bushes whose roots and overall existence was damaging the foundation.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

More tidying up with the landscape. Which will be a gradual process since it won’t stop us from moving in.

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WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

New retaining wall. I have some ideas but am undecided on how I want it to look. Forerunner idea is brick that will match the brick foundation.

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WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

Clean up the brick work on the stairs. It looks rougher than it is in this picture because I focused on the worse part of the stairs leading up to the front porch. I don’t like the concrete addition to the stairs so it’ll all be brick once it’s complete.

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WHAT’S LEFT TO DO:

New front door. But we’re keeping the gorgeous beveled glass surround and the door knob and lock because it works great and looks amazing. The from door itself it not originals and is in bad shape. The aluminum trim around the front door has to go too. It’s not necessary and it’s down right ugly.

That’s it for now guys! Next up: a couple rooms inside! Now that’s where it gets exciting!!!

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