Chris and Lorna's house, on the outside, needs attention. The side porch, the garage, and the back of the house are covered with siding that is itself covered with black mold and peeling paint. We could have spent a lot of time dealing with the mold and paint but instead we decided to take off the old and replace it with Hardie panels.
The soffits in these areas also need replacing. But we figured out how to do that last Christmas when we worked on the front of the house. It goes faster when you have a clue as to how to do something.
We have finally hit the 100s in Texas. I am so very thankful that Chris has big trees and we mostly are working in the shade. You have no idea how much that helps. Or maybe you do know. All it takes is working out on a hot hot day to realize how much shade helps.
First, how about the before photo of the area we started with…
As it turns out, some of the siding is very cheap. What you see around the door and what's on the back of house that you haven't seen yet may be masonite. It's hjard to take off because it breaks apart. The wood siding on the garage is old wood and would be OK except for the mold. On the upside it's easy to take off.
FYI – Making the mold be really gone is not that easy, especially when you live where mold loves being. Just covering it up with the Hardie paneling is not a good idea. When wet weather comes, the mold blooms. We need the mold to be gone.
Now, look above the door. See that roof? It's not got enough slope. That's why there is so very much mold in this area. We are waiting for a roofer to come. Our consensus is that we need a professional to make that part of the roof do its job. We're guessing that the roof needs rebuilding. It looks like a $1500 jpb don't you think? If that takes care of the water issues it will be money well-spent.
At the end of today, the side porch area looked like this:
The old siding is no longer there. You can see two 4'-8' Hardie panels on the left, on the garage. We can't do much more here until the roofer comes.
Chris and Steve also got this small soffit up. It may not look exciting, but it's better than what was there.
We have 2-3 weeks of hard work ahead. None of us has time for this. But when it's finished, we will look with pride at the end result.
You might be wondering why it is that Steve and I are part of our son's remodeling project. I'll tell you why… it has a lot to do with my father. That man did stuff. Daddy had tools and skills. There was not a home repair that was off limits. When Steve and I could, we helped with his projects. We happily help our kids with their projects.
Steve is a better worker/helper (more upper body strength and tool knowledge) but I do add something to a job. I like to think of myself as foreman but really I'm the one who says 'keep at it'. And I think Steve might say that I can have a good idea. But mostly my job is keeping us moving forward. I may not be loved at all times. I can live with that.
But there's another thing going on here. When Chris was born in 1981, our money was tight. Steve was in grad school, we had no insurance. Mom and Dad paid for Christopher. When we talked about paying back that loan, my dad looked at me with a smile and said someday Mom would need help and we could pay back the loan then. (I think Chris is free and clear now.)
Chris is in grad school. He and Lorna have 2 kids and no extra money. And they have a house that needs work. Truth be told, the raw materials do not cost that much. It's labor that costs and if you do the work yourself, there you go. Not that expensive. But I looked my son in the eye before we started with what I hope is my father's grin and said someday, I may need some grocery money! I have complete faith that it will be there if I need it. Or if Steve needs it. Steve and I plan to go out together but that hardly ever works…
PS – There are many women who opt out of this sort of work. I wish it was cooler but I actually enjoy this sort of thing. I do the parts I can and let the guys do the heavy stuff. I've got enough of my Dad in me that I must be a part of this kind of job. That's mom and dad, in the 1970s…