Dave Ramsey, Home Projects


Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  A lot of things have changed!

First, Anthony and I have made some big progress toward paying off our debt.  In the last 2 months, we’ve been able to pay off one more student loan, a credit card and a big chunk of another student loan.  It feels amazing!  The Dave Ramsey system really works, and it feels so good to cross another debt off our list!!

Second, I quit my second job.  Long story short, the hours weren’t what I had agreed to (in my mind, off at 10:30pm means off at 10:30pm, maybe 10:45, but not 12:45am), I was being asked to do things that were not in the description of the job I’d applied for, and the owner of the business is a complete and total ass.  He’s also very involved in the daily workings of the business, so he was there most days.  In the end it became just too much, the atmosphere was SO negative and I was so, so exhausted from so many late nights (plus a 40-minute drive home after getting off work in the middle of the night), so I decided to be done.  This, also, feels amazing.  I’m going to get to be at home more, see Anthony more, see Steve and Lucky more (they’re really starved for attention, or so I’ve gathered from their insistence on touching/being on top of me at all times the second I walk in the door), get more rest and eat better.  Overall, this is a really good thing, and I am really excited.

Third, we did a bunch more work on our house!  I woke up feeling pretty crappy this weekend (summer colds are the WORST) but thankfully my family was able to come over and help us get some serious work done.

My oldest brother, Brian, got to work adding thicker trim around the windows in the front.  There was trim there, but it wasn’t really anything great, it was just…there.  I’m a big fan of thicker trim, I think it holds color so much better and adds more polish to the overall curb appeal of a home.  So the thin trim had to go!

See how thin the trim was here?


It was fine, it just wasn’t anything great.  Brian to the rescue!  Seriously, he is a whiz with tools and saws and things that make loud noises that I’m afraid to go near.  He sent Anthony and I to Lowes to get some lumber, which didn’t end up costing nearly as much as we’d anticipated.  Especially for cedar!  Then he measured, cut, and installed our fantastic new trim.

We painted it white to match the rest of the trim on the house.  For trim we decided on Silent White, a Clark & Kensington color.  We used C&K Exterior in semi-gloss for the trim, and it looks great!  Anthony spent most of the day on the tall ladder painting trim, which needs a second coat, but he doesn’t want to do it yet, because he hates ladders and painting.  So, uh, maybe next weekend?

Here’s my darling husband hating being on a ladder:


And here’s the front window with the new, painted trim!


So much better!  I absolutely love it.  I’m a huge fan of white trim because I love the stark contrast of a colored wall with crisp, white trim around it.  Plus, it’s a really classic look.

Our next project of the weekend was the front door.  Oy, the door.  Here it is, in all its glory:

Door 1

We learned a lot about doors this weekend!  Ideally, we wanted to replace the door all together.  I was hoping to get something with a Craftsman look to it, with some windows up top to let more light in.  Our entryway is pretty dark if we don’t have the front bedroom door and window open, so those windows would’ve let in a lot more natural light to help brighten up the space.  So we went to Lowes to look at doors, where we were given some not-so-great door news.

It turns out, most houses built before 1980 have doors that are not the same measurements as today’s standard.  Normal doors are 80″ from top to bottom.  Our house was built in 1972, and it’s 79.5″ from top to bottom.  Long story short, if we wanted to get a new door, we’d basically have to have a custom door made and installed, which then turns a $250.00 door into a $700.00 door.  NOPE.

So, painting the old door it was!  It’s actually a nice door.  It’s real wood, which is expensive, so we’re pretty lucky in that regard.  It was pretty dinged and banged up from years of slamming (and possibly kicking), so we had some work to do.

Plus, the freakin’ peephole.

Okay, folks, let’s talk about the peep hole for a few minutes.  Lots of doors have peep holes.  I love peep holes!  So convenient for peeping!  On most doors, the peep hole is positioned in the center of the door, at eye-ish level (some are a little higher or lower, whatevs).  It’s fair to assume that ours is positioned in the same way, right?

Oh, no.  No, no, no.  Not our door!  Behold the stupidity of our peep hole:

unnamed (3)

To be fair, our deadbolt is a little higher up than most (although our knob is also much lower than most, it’s a whole weird thing), but the peep hole is way off-center and basically at boob-level.  It is weird as hell and I hate it.  So Brian took out the peep hole thingy and filled it in.  It took about an hour for the stuff to dry, then we sanded it, and it’s impossible to tell that there was ever a hole there!  It’s amazing.

My mom did the bulk of the work repainting the door because I am Useless.  We took it off, cleaned it, sanded it, and primed it, then Anthony and I (for the first time EVER) agreed completely on the color we chose.  Seriously, it never happens.  But it did!  We chose a Valspar color called Watershed, and went with Clark & Kensington semi-gloss exterior paint.  Normally for doors people use a hi-gloss, but since ours is a little banged up and we didn’t want the imperfections to be as noticeable, we chose the semi-gloss.  It took (I think) 3 coats to get the color just the way we wanted it, but I must say, it think it looks pretty dang good:


(Please ignore how terrible the trim around it looks, we didn’t get around to painting that this weekend)

We also added new hardware.  The old stuff was kind of commercial looking, really blah, and I did not care for it one bit.



So we went to Lowes and picked out a handle-set that we really liked.  My dad installed it, and I am absolutely obsessed.  It’s the Kwikset Hawthorne set in Oil-Rubbed Bronze.  Look how much better it looks:


It’s a much more residential look, and I could not be happier.  Overall, we got a lot done this weekend, even though I hardly did anything because I felt like crap and didn’t want to!  My family is awesome, I am so grateful that they were able and willing to come spend their weekend helping us do stuff around the house!

Here’s the 3 stages of our exterior so far:


It’s getting there!  Next month we tackle the front yard, which is still SO UGLY!  It’ll be beautiful soon, though, and for now we are enjoying our much cuter grey house with the crisp white trim and fun blue door. 🙂


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