Split Level Remodel 2021: The During Pictures (Part 2)

This is a three part series about how we updated our midcentury, split level. Here are the before pictures.

In the year or two leading up to this project, we had to make a hundred small decisions. Vinyl or Vinyl Shake or Hardie Plank? White or Color? Change Windows? Which Windows? Change Door? What Kind of Door? Enough money to fix the front stairs? No. How about the garage doors? No. Inset lights in the soffits. Nope. Keep the brick a natural color or paint it? What color? Is the chimney going to fall down? Does it need repairs?

Each one of those decisions required tons of research and phone calls. The chimney, for example, looked worrisome to me, so I called one guy who said I needed a whole new chimney for $4,500. Then I called a friend’s husband who told me that it just needed a little gluing and he would do it for free.

In April, we pulled out the front shrubs to prepare the house for the contractor, who said he would be there any day. Any day now. He showed up on June 25th, just as my in-laws arrived for a long weekend. No worries. They’re laid back people, so it was fine. Just fine. The project was supposed to take two weeks, took two months, because the contractor was juggling our project along with a half dozen others. A dumpster sat rusting on our driveway with no work happening for a month. No problem at all.

We put two kinds of Hardie Plank on the house — traditional boards and board/batten. We used the board and batten as an accent in the front and around the patio area in the back.

Our house was originally white, so we decided to stick with the white. It’s also super on trend with the Farmhouse look. We used Arctic White Hardie Plank.

The traditional Farmhouse look that is being put up around everywhere here is bright white with black trim around the windows and gutters. I wanted a softer look, so I used a black with a lot of blue (Benjamin Moore Soot) for the trellis and the soffit by the front door. The brick and the garage doors are painted a very light grey (Benjamin Moore Owl Grey). I wanted the monochrome look, so the trim around the windows is the same white as the siding. Everything under the trellis is that grey. I wanted to avoid the traditional white trim with color siding. Instead of black gutters, I used white gutters with round leaders.

I know, this is way more info that you really wanted, but you’re getting it anyway.

The window installation was a big project, because the bay window in the living room was very heavy. The front door made a HUGE impact on curb appeal. It was a good place to put the money.

Rather than enlarge the openings for better windows in the boys’ rooms and our office, we installed casement windows which swing out. The casement windows let in double the amount of light and air and gives the appearance of being taller.

We kept the original railing and painted it a shiny color.

Steve install all the outside lighting himself. We bought everything at Home Depot, except for the light by the front door which came from Wayfair. The numbers came from Home Depot, too. Changing the old light fixtures were low cost, big impact.

Some final pictures of the overall house tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Split Level Remodel 2021: The During Pictures (Part 2)

  1. “The traditional Farmhouse look that is being put up around everywhere here is bright white with black trim around the windows and gutters.”

    That is exactly what our new next door neighbors are doing to the (kinda ugly) 1970s red brick house next door.

    Mid-way through the exterior painting project, our neighbors’ contractors ran out of white paint! It sat half-painted for weeks. Apparently, it was a supply chain issue.

    I like your idea of blue black trim.


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