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The Patio’s Starting Point

After the world’s longest, most torturous winter, the exterior of our house is just horrid. It’s filthy, yes, but not a thing had been done to it after we moved in last summer. After initially spending all of our time indoors (knocking things down and building them back up) and working with contractors up until Thanksgiving week, the weather became too brutal to devote any energy outside – until this past weekend!

You might remember when we had to remove the siding around our entry, reinforce the front door and install our transom window, and as a result, we had fresh 2x4s that met up with our old, dingy front patio. After losing The One and finding The Real One, the sizable patio was a huge selling factor (a rarity in Chicago!), and while we did enjoy many, many drinks on that patio last summer, it received no attention whatsoever. We’d been talking about the day when we could focus on our home’s exterior, and we’ve finally reached a phase in our home renovations – weather permitting – where we can think about how we’d like it too look.

But! First things first. As with everything within (and, obviously, outside) these walls, a lot of our time has to be put into prep, prep, prep. We’re looking forward to the day – this summer! – when we can rebuild the front stairs, paint the patio and plan for flowers, bushes and pavers. It’s so easy to want to dive in, but we first have to put in the sweat to get to our starting point. Up until this weekend? Our patio and siding had been covered in grime and sludge – from the weather, contractors and decades of neglect (us included):

Not having a need or use for one until now, we picked up a Craftsman 675 Series gas powered pressure washer as a part of our collaboration and partnership with Ace Hardware and got to work! (The kids at Ace? They’re awesome.)

I’ve never used one before, but I’ve always had this idea that a pressure washer is a magical tool that changes lives – and luckily, it’s true! It’s true! I watched Scott for a little while before I gave it a go, and I was hooked. It’s so easy! It’s so fun! It fulfilled my love of instant gratification, which quite honestly, is wholeheartedly embraced during this DIY ride.

For almost four hours this past Saturday, Scott took over and transformed the patio, siding and lattice on the front half of our house (not including the second level). We’re both enamored with the results – if not a little grossed out by what used-to-be:

We’re thinking that our cute (but too small) bistro set may eventually have to go for something with more comfort, and omg we cannot wait to paint the front door – and, of course, the patio! (Now if only the weather forecast will allow for more than one day of sunshine…)

And because Ace Hardware loves you as much as we love them, together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! (The best part of our partnership? We think so!) The giveaway runs through this Friday, April 18th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting those that support us! 

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  • caroline [the diy nurse]4.15.14 - 7:42 AM

    I can’t believe that- I thought the first photo was before you replaced the flooring. It looks great! We’ve only did it once and I couldn’t believe what a difference it made. We’re due again for it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.15.14 - 8:48 AM

      Oh man, wouldn’t that have been something?! We will likely be rebuilding the steps up to the porch, if only we can convince Scott’s dad to come up and help with that… ;)ReplyCancel

  • Isn’t this kind of transformation amazing! We are needing to do this on our siding. I am sure that when all is said and done, I will be so grossed out by how much grossness was hanging on!ReplyCancel

  • Haley4.15.14 - 10:09 AM

    I’ve been dreaming of a pressure washer since I knew what they were. You see, my job as a kid in the summer was using a paint scrapper to remove the gunk from the decks cracks. We had a two story wrap around deck. We lived in a forest with pine trees and such. Spoiled white kid complaints, I know, but that experience put pressure washers on a pedestal for me.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.15.14 - 10:19 AM

      Whoa, I can’t even…ReplyCancel

      • Haley4.15.14 - 10:26 AM

        Granted, I usually got out of doing the whole thing, but still I liked Fall/Winter/Spring chores better. We got to burninate the country side aka burn brush to reduce fire hazards.ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square4.15.14 - 10:17 AM

    And now it’s all covered in snow again… ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K.4.15.14 - 10:26 AM

    We had someone come do our siding last spring — part of which is under a poorly constructed tin patio roof that allows water to drip down the side, resulting in green nastiness. We also had him do our wooden privacy fence. He worked for well over 6 hours, but the transformation was priceless. We’ll be getting this done every spring for sure!! We’re working on a mini patio makeover this spring, too — can’t wait to see what you come up with (and steal some ideas!!)ReplyCancel

  • Staci4.15.14 - 2:26 PM

    What a transformation!!!
    Crossing my fingers for the ace card ;)ReplyCancel

  • Sam4.15.14 - 7:32 PM

    Man, the power of a pressure washer can really be amazing, right? It looks so great!ReplyCancel

  • Sf4.15.14 - 9:35 PM

    I have really dirty white siding, but I’ve read that you should never power wash siding because it pushes water under the siding panels, leaving one at risk for mold, water damage, etc. Did I get some wrong information? I’m not looking forward to cleaning my very tall house with a garden hose and rags.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.15.14 - 10:33 PM

      That’s a totally valid concern, but I’m not entirely sure that’s the case… A quick google search has a handful if tutorials for pressure washing siding, but I’ll definitely do some more digging before we finish the rest of the house. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Laura C4.16.14 - 9:36 AM

      I had a similar question/comment. I always thought it was OK to power wash siding using a fan nozzle and lower setting, but only if you do it from above, so that the water isn’t going up under the overlapping boards.ReplyCancel

  • David Vargo4.16.14 - 8:19 AM

    Kim, I would be more than happy to help with the deck steps. Please send me pictures from all angles.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design4.16.14 - 9:42 AM

    I have a power washer obsession ;) they are so much fun and make such a difference.ReplyCancel

  • […] The patio was a huge selling point for us, and what started as a drab and poorly constructed space was slowly transformed into a welcoming, bright and cheery lounge. But what’s the perfect space […]ReplyCancel

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