Reveal – The Exterior

It started with hope and a vision. We were hopeful there were wood shingles underneath the vinyl siding and we envisioned a beautifully restored red house. We think, in the end, hope sprung eternal and our vision was executed. And more to the point, it is finished!

The colour is Benjamin Moore’s “Caliente”. We love it. We picked it out weeks before the first shingle was to be painted. You see, it took us three days, with three people and two dumpsters full to get the vinyl siding and metal trim off. After that we needed something to feed our souls so we went to House of Excellence to pick out the colour(s). Given the siding didn’t come off until the end of August and we knew we would be painting well into October, we purchased paint that allowed us to work in temperatures as low as four degrees. We did not, however, think we would be painting into November. We were.

Although the shingles and clapboard were in excellent condition when we removed them, they still required some love. After all, the vinyl siding was put on with hundreds, if not thousands, of nails. Each nail hole was filled with a special wood epoxy, allowed to cure and then sanded along with each and every inch of the exterior. Then went on the primer, the first coat of paint, the second and last coat of paint and finally, the trim.

Parts of the exterior had to be restored. You will see in the photos that thee edges of the window sills were notched out at the ends so the vinyl siding could be placed on flush with the rest of the house. Sacrilege! In addition to this, the original headers above the windows and brackets along the eves were knocked off. We had new headers and brackets custom milled to restore the exterior to its original appearance and grandeur. The window sills were also restored.

We put all new windows in the house and they are, obviously, white. The go well with the white trim. The black, we think, is a very sharp accent colour adding some drama and an “anchor” to the house.

The condition of the back deck speaks for itself. It took C and I all of an hour to rip it apart and throw it in the dumpster. The new deck was custom built by Blackhawk Custom Builders (amazing work!) and we had privacy screens added for comfort. We kept the front step simple so as not to detract from the detail of the headers and brackets however, it needed to be painted black and not kept its original colour.

The exterior doors are Jeld-Wen and purchased from Metro Building Supplies. The exterior lights are off the shelf from Home Depot and we got an AMAZING deal on them. The previous exterior lights on the front of the house were solar-powered and we needed hard-wired! All the exterior lights are the same, as are the doors, for consistency and cohesion. The mailbox is a simple black one with a brushed nickel finish while the house number above the door is a little more ornate, for character.

The exterior is finished and we are very happy and relieved. Most of the interior is finished and what’s left will be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks. Today, for the first time since moving in, the house was organized and clean enough that we were able to comfortably walk inside in bare feet. The end is near, and so is our comfort. Much the way this jewel of a house was sprung from its oppressive siding, we are being sprung from our camping-like living arrangements.

Was this hard work? Yes. Did it take more time and money than we thought? Yes. Would be do it all over again? Absolutely!



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It’s here, it’s here, it is finally here! We are so excited to be teaming up with our friends at Cottage Industry to bring you our first “Giveaway”. If you enter our giveaway draw your name will be entered to win this gorgeous, ultra-chic Johnathan Adler Christmas ornament. Anything Adler is a must have – Christmas or not. This is your opportunity to have a little bit of Adler/Cottage Industry/Ottoman Empire fabulocity in your home. WERK!

So, what you need to do is visit Cottage Industry on Facebook, by clicking here, and “Like” them. Once you’ve done that be sure to also comment on this post so we know you “Liked” them and we have your name.  In the event you should not have Facebook, instead visit the Cottage Industry website and tell us your favourite piece of merchandise found there. Hint – the blog has lots of goodies.

Our winner will be announced in a special message from The Empire, one week from today. Have fun!

*Note: This giveaway is open to residents of PEI only. The winner of the ornament will have to pick it up at Cottage Industry, in Charlottetown, PE.