...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Happy Friday, everyone!  We’ve had a great week of Halloween parties and dressing up in costumes left and right.  We’ve also enjoyed a little renovation downtime with Handy Hubby while the pros take care of the insulation.  It’s been wonderful getting to eat dinner as a family for several days in a row…something we all miss while this reno is going on.  But it’s only temporary.

The winner of the Scout by Bungalow giveaway is Michelle who has two gerbils named Max & Ruby after the kids’ PBS show characters.  It was so sweet to hear about all of your pets {past and present} and how they earned their monikers!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend filled with tricking and treating.

Please keep my sister in your thoughts as she is losing her very bestest furry friend today and we are losing a special family member.  In loving memory of…

Harp Willow {a.k.a. Best.Dog.Ever.}

June 4, 2003 – October 28, 2011

Love you Doggie Harp.  May you suffer no longer.

image:  Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

The new metal roof, gutters and downspouts are installed!  Just for the sake of before-and-afters, let’s take a look at the Underdog with its old light gray asphalt roof…

And here she is rockin’ her new metal roof…

{Sorry about the long shadows.  It was evening time.  I couldn’t wait until the next day to take pics with the sun overhead.}

A few people were worried when I first said we were going with a charcoal-colored metal roof, afraid it would be dark and absorb heat.  We’re very happy with the color though.  It’s a nice medium gray…not too dark and not too light…and we don’t expect any problems due to heat.

The metal roof is a greener alternative to traditional asphalt shingles not only because we expect it to outlast an asphalt roof by 25 to 75 years but also because it was installed over top of the existing asphalt roof, keeping two layers of asphalt shingles out of the landfill.  This also helped to keep installation costs low since less labor was involved {no need to remove the existing shingles} to put the metal roof on.

Handy Hubby and I are thrilled with the roof.  We like the clean lines and slick contrast against the brick.  To us, it just looks tidy and neat.

The back of the house looks much busier than the front.  All business in the front and party in the back.  That’s mostly due to all the vents {bathroom, gas, radon mitigation, dryer, kitchen hood, etc.} required but also because we added four skylights above the kitchen.  I’m so happy we were able to keep the skylights off the front of the house.  With skylights in the front, we surely would have lost some curb appeal.  Just for fun, this is what the backside of the house used to look like…

With the new roof, we were able to get rid of some unnecessary roof clutter – ridge vents, original kitchen hood vent, etc. Read more about all that here.

So back to the new roof…

One reader had asked what color the gutters and downspouts would be.  As you may have noticed already, they’re white.

I think gray gutters and downspouts would have looked great but the existing soffit was white and in excellent condition.  To save labor and $$, we decided it should stay.  We thought gray gutters and downspouts might look ‘off’ with the white soffit AND we’ve thrown around the idea of someday lime washing the brick {to a lighter color}, so we went with white gutters and downspouts.  Although I’ve seen some pretty fabulous homes with white brick exteriors and black gutters!  White was just our personal decision.

The new gutters are wider than standard gutters used with shingled roofs to accommodate faster runoff from the metal roof. Oh, and all those holes in the soffit are where our electrician installed electrical boxes for exterior recessed lights that haven’t been installed just yet.  It was our electrician’s idea {versus the uplighting-from-the-ground idea HH and I originally had in mind} and we loved it.  A few homes in the area have similar outdoor lighting and they look so pretty washed in light from above at night.

It rained all last week and while I was at the Underdog taking pictures of the new skylights, there was quite a downpour at the time along with 20-30 mph winds.  Contrary to popular belief, the rain on the metal roof was no louder than what I noticed at our previous home which had an asphalt shingle roof.  And once insulation is installed in the vaulted ceiling of the great room and attic space, the noise should be even less.  Most new metal roofs are made with an embossed texture that helps to disperse rain and reduce noise.  Plus, when installed correctly new metal roofs shouldn’t yield a significant noise increase as opposed to other roofing alternatives.  Metal roofs have come a long way!

All in all, HH and I are 200% happy with the new metal roof.  Even though it’s not the standing seam design we had always dreamed of, it looks so much better than we could have imagined.  In case you’re wondering, our roof is the Everlast II in charcoal.  We hired a reputable metal roofing company that typically takes on commercial jobs but is looking to branch out to residential roofing since metal roofs are becoming more popular in residential settings.  We had to wait a long time {think 2-3 months} after signing a contract and being put on their waiting list, but it was worth it. Oftentimes, a company with a waiting list is worth waiting for {as long as you do your research, of course}.

The metal roof and skylight install cost us $3,000 out of pocket since we put money from our hail damage insurance claim towards the purchase.  The insurance adjuster based their estimate on what it would cost for a new asphalt roof, so that price difference should give you an idea of how much more to expect to pay for a metal roof on a small ranch home.  Of course, it all depends on your particular home.  And remember that our price difference {$3,000} included the skylight installation as well.  I still think the crazy hail storm that attacked the Underdog only a month after we closed on it was a blessing in disguise.

The only snafu we encountered during the whole roofing escapade was this…

I locked my purse – with keys and phone inside! – in the car while I took all these after shots. Luckily, our new neighbors let me borrow their phone to call HH to come rescue me.  I felt like such the idiot.  I’m blaming my forgetfulness on this…

Baby bump is going to my head.

FYI – I was not compensated in any way to use or mention Everlast metal roofing.  I just love sharing great products that we’ve used!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

10.25.11 / Light Skies

The highly anticipated skylights are in!  Maybe not highly anticipated by you, but Handy Hubby and I have been waiting and waiting and longing for these babies to be installed.  We’ve got a thing for skylights.  We love the way they let natural light flood in and give you a view to the skies when you’re inside.  So when we decided to vault the ceiling in the great room, adding skylights was a no-brainer.  The company that installed the new metal roof {pics to come!} also installed the skylights.  HH DIY’d the framing on the interior ceiling prior to the skylights being installed.

Since there’s a large picture window at the front of the house that lets tons of natural light in, we chose to have four skylights installed on the backside of the house {over the future kitchen} where natural light was lacking.  We also liked how putting skylights on the rear of the house would keep the front exterior of the house looking less busy and less cluttered.  {i.e. the roof on the backside of the house has a lot goin’ on now.}

At first, HH and I were set on adding a trio of skylights but once the ceiling was vaulted we realized things would look much more balanced if we added two pair of skylights – one pair lined up with the kitchen window and one pair lined up with the new french doors in the kitchen.

We were able to find long, skinny {14″ x 46″} Velux skylights available at our local Home Depot. The narrow width allowed the skylights to be installed without cutting into the existing rafters.

Of note – While the skylights were available in-store, we had to special order the flashing kit for our metal roof.  Our local Home Depot did have flashing kits available in-store for standard shingle roofs.

Other than providing the once dark kitchen area with much needed light, the skylights also provide us with a great view. Since they’re angled on the back of the house, the skylights allow us a 24/7 view of the tops of the mature trees that make up the tree line in the backyard.

I promise in real life the view looks 100x’s better than what I can capture with my camera.  It’s difficult to take head on pictures of windows/doors that glow with natural light but hopefully you get the idea.  Oh, and don’t mind the random electric cord.  It’s a temporary setup.  Anyhow, it’s fall here in the midwest and most of the trees aren’t as full as they are in the summer so I can’t wait to see how the view changes from season to season.  Everett refers to them as ‘light skies’ – hence the title of this post.

All of the images so far were taken on a very cloudy, rainy, dreary Ohio day.  The skylights’ effects are more pronounced when the sun is shining…like it was yesterday.  I snapped some more pics while the sun was out.

It was evening and the sun wasn’t so high in the sky.  I’ve yet to experience the skylights on a sunny afternoon when they’re sure to be at their best.

Now that the metal roof and skylights are in AND now that the Underdog has passed inspection {!!!}, we’re able to start insulating the walls and vaulted ceiling.  Last night, the boys, HH and I spent our evening clearing out the Underdog for insulation installation today – you know, moving stuff away from the walls, gathering all HH’s tools and putting them in the garage, and getting piles of trash out of the house.  We’re actually having spray foam insulation installed by the pros over the next few days.  That means we’ll be steering clear of the Underdog for several days to avoid any harmful fumes.  We’ll probably check in daily and just peek through the windows to see the progress.

With the Underdog under quarantine, the boys and I get to see HH more over the next few days than we have in months! I’m not exaggerating when I say HH has been spending every spare minute of his time at the Underdog plugging away.  We’re very much looking forward to seeing him this week and we’re grateful for all the hard work he’s put in over the past several months.  It will be nice to have him around.  Love you, HH.

FYI – I was not compensated to mention Velux skylights.  I’m just sharing a great product we’ve used!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Do you like practical style?  You know, stuff that not only looks great but actually works for you?  I do.  So when Scout by Bungalow contacted me I was more than willing to pass on their freakishly fab and functional goods to you.

{Doesn’t their Atlanta, GA showroom look like a fun place?}

The Scout collection features stylish tote bags, collapsible storage bins, insulated coolers, picnic and party coolers, travel bags, travel accessories and wedding favors.  The best part?  They’re totally wipeable!  That’s right.  With a durable water-resistant surface, any item will have you on your way to Easy Cleaning Street.

Here are a few of my favorites…

scout by bungalow

1 –  The Stiff One is a modestly sized insulated cooler.  Think picnics for two or BYOB.

2 – Little Draw is a drawstring backpack that keeps your {possibly smelly and dirty} tennies or cleats separate from your clothes.  I’ll admit.  It might even persuade me to workout at times when I’m really not feeling like it.

3 – The Original Deano is a generously sized carry-all perfect for trips to the pool or beach.  For you moms of school-aged children, I could see this bag making its rounds to holiday school parties and toting around all those classroom treats.

4 – This Megah Lil’ Slim fits laptops with a screen size {measured diagonally} of up to 13″.  The water resistant shell keeps your PC safe from spills and rain drops.

5 – How tough would this Junque Trunk look in a boy’s room?  Store Legos, blocks, cars, books and train tracks out of sight and in high style.

6 – If I had to pick one item, the Hilary Duffle would be it for me.  Small enough to fit in the overhead on a flight but large enough for a weekend getaway, this multifunctional travel bag fits the ‘does everything’ bill.

7 – Don’t let the name fool you, this Doggie Bag isn’t brown and boring.  It’s insulated, wipeable, reusable and available in an assortment of colors and patterns.  Eating leftovers for lunch has never looked so good!

But don’t let my picks sway you.  Click over to Scout to find your favorite product in the perfect pattern and color to keep your days feeling cool, colorful and collected.  And maybe if you’re lucky you’ll be able to put a $50 credit towards your purchase!  Here are all the details you need to enter the giveaway:

  • PRIZE:  $50 worth of goods from Scout by Bungalow
  • RULES:  You must be at least 18 years old and have a street mailing address {no P.O. boxes} within the U.S.  One entry per email address.
  • HOW TO ENTER:  Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “SCOUT ME OUT!”
  • DEADLINE:  Enter before Thursday, October 27th at 9:00 p.m. EST.  One winner will be chosen via Random.org and announced on Friday, October 28th.
  • WHILE YOU’RE AT IT:  Tell me your pet’s/pets’ name/names and how they got their moniker. ‘Scout’ is actually a real mascot in the flesh for Scout by Bungalow.  See his cuteness here.

images:  Scout by Bungalow