Progress on Sears kit house
A few months ago, when I asked for advice on how to address clearly crooked concrete porch steps on a 1922 Sears Americus model, a few people were kind enough to note that the house was pretty cute even in its dereliction. Some requested that I post more pics as we moved forward. The new windows were installed earlier this week, so this seems like a good time to post.
I bought the house out of foreclosure in April 2009. This photo -- the one I posted before -- shows it in June 2009, after we had removed 300 broken VCRs and a bunch of other abandoned stuff and made the house minimally livable. Porch steps
This is the house yesterday afternoon, with the new windows installed and being painted.
[Sorry for the mismatched sizes. I am still getting the hang of posting photos.]
So, the change in the facade was effected by scraping the cypress siding (which is still sound after 88 years), and priming and painting. The problem with the top step to the porch was addressed, albeit imperfectly, with a layer of concrete. The porch roof was jacked up and the leftmost column straightened. The piers were made stable by replacing some of the broken terra cotta blocks in them with bits of terra cotta chimney flue we bought at a salvage yard. And the trim and porch have been painted.
I dug up the front "lawn," put up a fence that is supposed to look weathered, and planted perennials to be the start of a cottage garden. Because all the small perennials I put in looked a bit skeletal, I broadcast wildflower seed, for this year only. It is the zinneas, marigolds, coreopsis, and other wildflowers that give it the over-the-top look it has this year. (It was even scarier before I felled a dozen sunflower plants in preparation for the photo.) The sheer mass of the wildflowers is pretty shocking -- and amusing to the neighbors -- and I can only hope that the perennials have survived.
On the left side of the house there is a cafe cum bar. I planted bamboo in March to create a screen against the noise and look of the place, and it has been as invasive as I hoped.
There are a couple months' more work to finish the inside, but the facade will be changed only by installation of a new front door, a more subdued garden, and lovely never-needs-mowing nitrogen-fixing clover in the tree lawn. And the supports for what are supposed to be window boxes will be removed, because they would just be a bit too twee eveb for me.
Cheers and thanks.