Well well, I never thought this day would come. It’s been quite the journey with this exterior. We were really undecided on what to do and how to approach the whole project! First off we live in a very mature community and most of the homes around us are still occupied by their OG owners. We are talking 40-50 years here.
Major changes ahead for this oldie
So you can imagine that most homes still have a very…hmmm…OG feel to it. I will leave it at that. Our home is so unique in its architecture and design. It feels like it was so ahead of its time. Very square, geometrical and linear feel to it. All the sleek lines, big windows and the grand entrance was being hidden behind the overgrowth of plants and camouflaged by the weird monotone green color scheme that just blended in with all those shrubs and trees.
We also wanted to ensure that we somewhat kept with the vibe of the community. At first. Deep down inside I didn’t want to paint the existing cedar or do the more traditional looking James Hardie board. It was a discussion we kept flip-flopping on over and over. Do we go with an Arts and Crafts look and/or do we stay more traditional on the outdoors in order to complement the hood’? or do we follow our gut and do something totally different.
This was an ongoing discussion but part of me kept coming right back to what I really wanted. I wanted the outside of my house to match the modern west coast feel of the inside. I wanted to stucco my house. I wanted a sleek acrylic white stucco with black accents. From the get-go that was all that I could see in my mind. So many of our friends and family would hum and haw over our decision…questioning us and taking a long time to really answer us when we asked. In return, I would question myself and Ben…A LOT. To the point where even once the paper wire went on, I still worried that we were making the wrong decision and halted the project for 3 weeks!
If you notice in the original images our windows were white. During our reno, we didn’t need to replace all the windows as some had been recently replaced. Lucky us? ya not really! Once I decided on white stucco, in my mind I had imagined my windows were black…but they weren’t! WHAT A MAJOR OVERSIGHT! I guess at the start of the project we were thinking of doing a light grey Hardie board…so windows didn’t matter at that point but once the paper wire went up and the black soffits and fascias, I stood there once again second guessing our stucco color choice and stucco altogether! White stucco on white windows? I just wasn’t sure that that was the look we were really going for.
This led to our next big challenge. We needed to make those windows black but stay on budget. After hours upon hours of research Ben and I came across a great company that warranties their work for 15 years! Dave (Owner) at Spray-Net Calgary was amazing to work with. We had a great experience. His crew was quick and clean. They actually came back 2x for touch ups! They were super reasonable and incredibly careful when they did the touch ups the second time AFTER the white stucco went up. We were so happy with the results and it didn’t break the bank. I was sooooooo worried before they started and concerned they would ruin the windows, the paint could peel, that it would look cheap? BUT NO NO NO! It’s incredible, no peeling and I can’t foresee it peeling, their product is amazing. They sprayed the outside frames and the screens. The house finally started to look like the vision we had! The white stucco idea was back!
Our stucco crew was also incredible. If you live in the Calgary area and are looking to do a stucco job on your home, send me a message and I will get you their contact information. Their pricing was unbeatable and they did such an impeccable job. I asked from some big requests, like our garage door return, I didn’t want to have any weird wood return or smart board trim. I wanted a clean stucco return! not an easy feat to create clean straight lines but they did it and I love it. From start to finish they were very professional and clean! Before leaving any step of the way (paper wire, cement, stucco) they would clean up and leave no trace of debris or mess. We also went with a simple, modern black garage door.
The roof was a light grey when we bought the house and was poorly installed about 10 years ago, so we replaced the roof, got rid of some old venting and added proper venting where needed. I went with a black roof, which was another risky move because the roof is very dominant when you look at the home. I think with the bright white stucco it created just the right balance! Phew!
The overhang was also replaced with a beautiful cedar wood accent and this creates a warmer feeling when you walk up to the home. We are currently on the hunt for an outdoor pendant light to hang above the door. At each peak and corner of the home, we did add outdoor pot lighting. This totally lit the house up at night. In addition to adding lighting (there was none! the house looked scary at night and very dark), We also added a railing to the stairs and cement pad. This really inexpensive feature (I’m talking $400!) was exactly what the stairs and front of the house needed. It seemed a little boring and bare but as soon as the glass railing with black caping went up…it just seemed to pull the front together.
Now let’s not forget about the forest growing in front of the house. I want to address the gigantic cedar ball that was 9 feet high and 6 feet wide! That thing had a crazy life and I didn’t really want it to end. Do you know HOW HARD it is to grow a cedar in Calgary?! but I wanted it gone from the front. It was taking up precious space, for my chair where I could watch the boys play out front and of course, creep on what’s going on in the cul de sac. (lol I am just being honest!)
So we had an arborist come to see the cedar and luckily he was confident we could move it to a new spot in the yard. So we did. Yay cedar, let’s hope you get another 40 years! Ben and I worked tirelessly and landscaped the entire front of our home on our own. We worked on taking out over 7 wheelbarrows of old plants and dirt, adding new sod, buying new plants, etching out the new space, planting and finally mulching with natural cedar chips. The end result was clean. balanced and much more modern and in line with our home exterior.
So are we done? haha, for those who know me? are we ever really done? The backyard is a whole other beast and is something we will begin to work on this summer (I will share as we go) I am also trying my hardest to convince Ben that we need a pool (it’s not working) but at this point in the project I am so happy with the everything, the whole journey, this was the perfect envelope for our beautiful home. We couldn’t be more excited about how it all turned out and I am so happy we get to share it with you.
Till the next post,