The State of the House, 2017 – The Exterior

I feel like I need to give y’all an honest-to-goodness overview of the whole house. The entire thing, not just the pretty parts that we have finished, or the parts we are currently working on, but the whole house in all its unfinished glory. So today I’m starting with the exterior, since blogging about that part is quite a bit less intimidating that blogging about the entire inside.

So here we go, this is what the house looks like right now, May 2017. I didn’t clean it up for the internet, I just grabbed my camera and got to snapping.

house exterior

farmhouse exterior

We’ve lived here for about nine months now, which kinda blows my mind. A lot of the time Adam and I feel like we are moving really slowly on finishing the house, but then I see pictures of where we’ve been and feel better about the whole situation. I mean, two years ago we had a new piece of property and sketches of our dream house on some graph paper (and half as many kids!).

family photo

blue print sketch

A year ago we had something that resembled a house.

house during building process

And today…well, today we have a home.

dream home

The biggest change as of late is that there is a lawn. Real grass!

family friendly front yard

dream front lawn
(My boys are pointing out “eagles” in the above pics. They’re vultures, but you’d better believe I’m getting a huge kick out of the fact that the call them eagles and have no intention of correcting them.)

We just installed the lawn about two weeks ago and its made a huge difference. No only do my kids now have a great place to run and play, but I’m also not having to sweep mountain of construction sand out of my house each day. There’s a little more than meets the eye with this lawn though, so I’ll dig more into the details in another post. Also, we still need to put in the walkway, here is the view from the front door –

front door view

The cornice crew just came and installed the sunshades a few weeks ago (there are six of them total) and now we are waiting on the roofers to come finish them up.

cornice piece

One of my favorite aspects of the house is that it has so much outdoor living space, here is the front porch.

family front porch

You can see that we are missing paint in some areas, this part on the porch the painters just….forgot? I can’t remember, but its been like that for a while and I barely notice anymore.

farmhouse lightng

I’ve never talked about the exterior lighting on the blog, but all the sconces were sponsored by Lamps Plus. There are SO MANY options when it comes choosing lighting, and when Lamps Plus and I decided to work together I was like “Thank goodness, that at least narrows it down for me.” But no…their selection is huge, they have great prices and sales, and they even have an open box section where you can score stuff for even cheaper. I’ve scored a lot of great deals on their site since receiving these lights (they sell furniture and home decor too!)

front door

We ended up choosing these lights from Kichler since they checked all the boxes….oil ribbed bronze, seeded glass, and they throw light in all directions (not just down). They also happen to look great on all our different exterior finishes.

farmhouse outdoor lights

front porch lighting

We wanted lighting to run the length of the porch and not only by the front door, and since we decided to do ceilings that exposed the corrugated roofing material recessed lighting was out. Instead we added these little lights above the windows…

outdoor lighting

Online I thought they were a great solution, and I was even more thrilled when I got them in. I feel like it’s rare these days to purchase something and for it to exceed your expectations…these did though. That piece of glass on the front is solid and it is heavy. You could use it as a paperweight… just a weight for  exercising. I love that they throw off the perfect amount of light without being in your face about it.

ambiance lighting

Alright, so here comes the part where you actually start to believe that I didn’t clean anything up for the internet. Here is our breezeway.

breezeway between house and garage

Here’s the thing….our garage is giant. It’s 25 x 50, which a basically a four car garage. We plan to park our cars in the front half and have the back half be a for woodworking, projects, and storage. During the building process we decided that to save money and wire the garage ourselves…but we haven’t gotten there yet and the garage has no electricity. Also, when the cornice crew was here installing the garage door trim they put it in so tight that none of the garage doors will budge. So no lights, power, doors, or ventilation means we don’t use the garage for anything but storage (I use the term “storage” lightly, since the garage makes our breezeway look clean).

breezeway storage

You may have noticed the water fountain on the breezeway. My parents bought it for us for Christmas since my kids are thirsty and begging for water 24/7. They have water bottles with them everywhere they go (in the car, in bed, outside, upstairs, watching TV) and they are constantly sucking it down and asking for more.  And while it’s super annoying I can also sympathize, because I’m the same way. If I get in the car and realize I forgot my water I an instantly parched…just like my mom. Seriously, if the world ever runs out of water my family will be the first to go. Anyway, in restitution for passing down this ridiculous thirst gene my parents gifted us a water fountain for the breezeway. It’s awesome and makes life just a little bit easier.

outdoor water fountain

We also still need to figure out lighting and a fan for the breezeway. I already have a huge fan for this area (this one from Lamps Plus), but we need to skin the center beam and hide all the wires before we can install it.

outdoor fan

We also want to add some lighting to the ceiling, but because of the exposed metal (no soffits) porch lighting is a little complicated. I’m thinking we may just add some more string lights like we did in the backyard.

The siding on the mudroom area (Ranchwood) has yet to be finished in a few places. Adam was chugging away at it, then we ran out and progress stopped….like, a year ago.

outdoor breezeway progress

Alright, onto the backyard.

domestic imperfection back porch

The immediate backyard actually looks amazing, it’s clean and usable….grass really makes all the difference in the world.

Here is looking into rest of the backyard from the porch, to the right is the kids domain. They have a trampoline, climbing dome, and zipline, all compliments of their very generous Mimi.

kid-friendly backyard

To the left of that is the view, Adam and I like to sit out here at night and watch the sunset after finally wrestling all four boys into bed (or really any time either of us is at our breaking point…it’s a great place to escape and reset).

view from the back porch

Adam has been busy annihilating cedars and we have yet to clean them up. There’s only about another 30 feet of brush to bust though before we clear to the creek though, and I’m hoping we will be able to see the water from the top of the property.

clearing property

Speaking of the creek, it is just as pretty as ever.


We haven’t actually played in it much since moving into our house, but we haven’t lived here when it was summer either. (It looks like a trickle in these pics , but it’s about five feet wide and two feet deep).

Texas creek

Back up the hill we also have the chicken coop. I’ll blog all about it when it’s finished, but this is what we have so far –

chicken coop

We designed it to look like a miniature version of our house and it currently holds 31 chickens (we are down a few since raccoons are freaking smart).  All my boys love the chickens, but my oldest is our little chicken farmer. He spends hours down here with them, and I can only imagine he will enjoy it more when they actually start laying eggs.

farmhouse children


Here is the view of the house from the backyard –

rear house view

house view from behind

rear view of house

So that’s the tour, you are now all caught up on where we are on the exterior of the house. As you can see we still have lots of works to do, but I feel like the exterior/property is chugging along at a good pace. I have a few more posts to write about the outside and then we’ll move inside!

*Lamps Plus provided the exterior lighting in exchange for promoting their company and products. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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  1. It seems quite momentous that you are at a point where you feel the need for an overview. I would think that that means you’re moving from thinking of it one project at a time, (the trees) to stepping back and seeing at it as a whole (the forest.) That only happens after a long haul of tons of work, so congratulations! It’s not only building the home and moving, but also doubling your family size…just mind-boggling! You may never have such an eventful, life-changing span of time again in your lives. It’s a good time to take a moment to exhale and let it all sink in.
    And furthermore, the exterior of your home is lovely. What a great place for a family to grow and thrive. Ya done good, you two!!

    1. Thank you so much Jan, you are always so encouraging! That’s a good point about the trees vs the forest, I definitely feel like we are at the forest stage with the outside. There are still a ton of projects but I mentally clump them together as one big project. The inside of our house is a different story though, it is a million different projects and completely overwhelming….you will see :)

  2. Wow!!! That chicken coop is AMAZING! I can’t wait for that blog post. I would love to hear all about how you selected the chickens you did, how you built the coop and what/how you care for them. We are planning chickens next Spring so the more info the better. Congrats!!! And here’s to tons of eggs. :)

  3. The house looks great. Y’all are doing an amazing job on it. You will get it all done at some point. Your chicken coop is so cute! I was wondering if you have a roost in there for them yet. A place elevated off the floor for them to sleep at night. Maybe I just can’t see it in the picture. Nice to have a miniature chicken farmer in the making too!

  4. The house looks great now! In a couple of years you managed to deal with all the outside mess, and you provided yourself with a very nice environment to live in. There’s more than enough storage space and you can create a garden in front of the house if you want. How is the inside going?

  5. I love the outside of your house and it so goes with the area in which you live, I do love that stretch of road! It is all so perfect and the fact that you have that wonderful creek behind your house, what fun your boys will have for a long time, especially during our hot, hot, hot south Texas summers.

  6. Hey Ashley, congrats on the project.
    It looks like you guys worked hard, and it makes sense, at the end of the day that is going to be your home for the coming years.

    Very well done, the most that I like about it is as you mention in your post as well … is the amount of good quality outdoor space you guys have now. The grass foe the kids to play, the little porch were you can read a book or chill a little a bit in the evening … I have to tell you, I envy you :) …. I would love to have that amount of outdoor space, only have a balcony at the moment :(

    Good luck future DIY projects !

  7. Your house is looking very nice now! I like the way you made your home. Even you had to deal with outside mess, and you showed yourself to live in. I thought you have lot of enough space for the garden in front of your house if you want. How about the inside? you can tell us!

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