The craziest part is that I truly believed we could do this project for about $50,000 and have it done in four months while doing most of the work ourselves. It feels good to write that. I feel like I'm confessing to a room full of recovering renovators, "Hi, my name is Matt..."
With the city kindly requesting that we begin our renovations on the outside and work our way in, I got started. For the first few weeks, I patched siding and recreated some of the exterior's rotted trim with pressure-treated wood, trying to stay ahead of the painters I'd hired. Candice, meanwhile, began work on the neglected front yard, digging out stumps and building rock walls.
Shown: A fresh coat of paint, rebuilt portico, and new landscaping perk up the home's exterior.