This is long, so fair warning!

There were squirrels living and birthing in the siding all over the house when we bought it.  This place was like a ginormous hunk of cedar swiss cheese, and we had the utility bill to prove it.

…and trees needed trimming….

Waking up at 5 a.m. every morning to the sound of gnawing wood right by your head made the whole family tired and cranky. We spent our first 6 months on ladders patching the holes with hardware cloth and foam insulation.  No matter.  They would chew through again overnight.  We sprayed the house with hot chili solutions…nope.   We just couldn’t stop them.  It was war.

Our weapon of choice…METAL. (All posts related to the siding project can be found HERE.)

The entire house was wrapped on top of the old cedar for extra insulation, plus cedar doesn’t rot. Replacing the cedar with OSB would not only have doubled the cost, but could rot if ever there was a leak between layers.

Then it was time to address the hazardous front steps.  The rotted timbers had provided a refuge for chipmunks, rat snakes and the like.

Mud, mud, everywhere…..

So now we have new concrete steps…but no way to get to the front door…..

With no other access…the pea gravel patio had to be hauled up bucket by bucket.  Just about killed me.

We also built decks connecting the 2 back entrances in an “L” shape.

Then we replaced the old railing with the hog panel we used in the front, and moved/rebuilt steps over to center on the doors and make them wider.

Then we added Camp Vågö, a little firepit area just below the deck.

…..and some string lights for ambiance…..

Next up…repainting the back doors.  We painted them when they were first installed and the cedar was still on the house.  The two browns don’t work…gotta change that. We’ll probably just paint it the same color that we painted the window trim.  Stonehenge Greige by Porter. If you made it this far…well done..you deserve a cocktail.