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The evolution of a house (from the outside)


I promised I would share pictures of our home's new exterior paint job this week, which of course requires "before shots". I couldn't just show you the most recent before pics though, because you have to see the many stages our house has been in to really appreciate where it's at now!

(This required MUCH computer hard drive and scrapbook album searching, a task that probably took three times longer than it should have due to all the cute baby pictures I was distracted by!)

And now I present: Our house.

Stage 1: Summer, 1999. Russ and I were freshly married (at the ripe ages of 21 and 19) and Russ had just bought this 1960's fixer-upper sitting on 10 acres out in the country the year before, all on his own, moving straight out of his parents house into it. Yup. It's pink.

Stage 2: Spring, 2000. We painted the house white and put a green metal roof on it. Russ bought the yellow tractor to mow our yard hay field!

Stage 3: Summer, 2004. After spending two years completely remodeling the two bedrooms from the studs up and building a large shop out back, we spent a year and a half remodeling the living room/dining room, including building the bay-out you see newly finished above. We did all of this out of pocket which is why it took so long.

Stage 4: 2009-2012. After remodeling the single bathroom and putting a new floor and appliances in the kitchen, we spent three years building a master-suite addition, again mostly out of pocket, adding 600 sq ft to our house. This required a brand new septic system and drain field as our old one was no longer up to code. At this point the old part of the house still has the old siding with new shingles above the living room bay-out added to match the new addition, which has pre-primed siding on it.

And now!

Stage 5: 2013. This year we replaced the old windows along the back of the house and put in a new back door, put new siding on, tore off the front porch walls and most of the decking to prepare for a new open covered porch with a wrap-around deck that will go across the front of the living room to our bedroom french doors, put gutters on, and as of last week, painted and had the shingles stained! The color is Sherwin Williams Cyberspace. (It's dark gray, not dark blue in person.)

I can't wait to get the porch and deck done and build new flower gardens around it... right now the front yard is looking a bit dismal! We plan on putting up four new pillars with stone coming half way up them and with the new deck stained to match the shingles I think the whole thing is going to look like a brand new house!

We also had our pump house painted to match. Russ built it in 2011 after tearing down the old dilapidated one. (Forgot to take a pic with my regular camera so sorry it's a blurry cell phone shot.)

So that's where we're at today. No, it's not a huge fancy home, and yes, it's taken a long time and still has plenty more to do (like a new kitchen and laundry room and great room addition out back and CENTRAL HEAT & AIR!), but guess what? We don't mind the years we've lived in disarray and building chaos. Our lives have been absolutely wonderful so far and raising our three kids and providing a loving home environment (no matter what stage it's in) is what matters the most. Throughout the whole we have never owned a single credit card and in six short years our whole mortgage (which is our only current debt) will be completely paid off. WOOHOOO!

When we are tempted by big gorgeous new homes or fun toys that we know we could afford if we went back to a 30-year mortgage, we remind ourselves of our favorite Financial Peace quote:

"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else" - Dave Ramsey

(I'll be honest though - sometimes we have to repeat this to each other quite frequently ;)


  1. I love it! You guys have done such an amazing job. It really does look like a totally different house. Very inspiring. I think you are extremely wise to live as you are right now. That quote of yours makes tons of sense. Congrats on a job well done.


  2. The house looks amazing!! Congrats on so much hard work and love poured into it. :) You guys have so much to celebrate and be proud of!

  3. Teri and I were talking about this kind of thing just this morning. His blessing is amazing. PTL. PopsH

  4. Awesome!!! Quite the transformation sis!!! And I love it that you'll be paid off in just six short years... that's incredible!!! Can't wait for BBQ dinners on your new wrap around porch! It's going to look GREAT!

  5. Amen to all the comments, especially Kelly's. so proud .

  6. This looks so good, you guys have done an amazing job! Would so love to come visit....especially because I last saw it in its original state!!

    1. I forgot you came here when you were in the states way back when! Hardly recognizable, aye? We would LOVE to have you visit some day!!

  7. Wow! Your house looks awesome. What a transformation!