Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sylvia Road Front Gardens

We have finally come to the end of the Sylvia series and there is a lot to share in this last post!
This house had very little street appeal so the last thing on our list was to finish the gardens and do a few things to make it look a bit more attractive from the front.
The wow factor of the property was its huge lawn at the front of the house. For a long time this was completely exposed to the road as there was no fence and this meant that I couldn't leave Rosie and Harry to play by themselves outside in case they ran onto the road.
We had quite a bit of clearing to do in the front gardens and also a large tree to chop down. We held off on this as before the fence, it was our only privacy from the street!
While Karen was up she decided that there was no need to call in the specialists to cut down the tree, she offered to do it herself! We did it while Taff was at work one day so he came home and the tree was gone.

I must mention that she chopped the whole lot down with a hand saw too! I was very impressed. :-)
After we had cleared the gardens we replicated the same look as we did out the back.
That included laying weedmat, lime chips and pavers.
Luckily we were able to back the trailer right up to the front of the house and dump all the lime chip outside the garage so we didn't need to move it far to cover the garden.
We then found these great large green pots for a bargain price at Bunnings and after putting some modern plants in, we were done. The best thing about this was that we were able to take them with us when we moved!
The fence was a great success and totally transformed the way we lived and our enjoyment of the house. By having a safe place for the kids to play, they were able to get outside as much as they wanted and we had a lot of great times on our front lawn. We loved having family running races from the fence to the house, this was always a favourite activity with the kids.
When it was first built it was a huge expanse of plain raw pine and was not very attractive at all. Taff likened it to a prison fence but I wouldn't have taken it that far! I had the builders make a gate from a photo of one I had admired up the road and they did such a fantastic job. To try and improve it's appearance, Taff sanded (he is so patient) the fence and sprayed it a dark charcoal on both sides. It looked a thousand times better once it was done and although we did it very inexpensively (we found the builder on Trademe) we feel that it was one of the things that added the most value to the house and really finished it off.
We spent a LOT of time (and not a lot of money actually) on this house and were working on it literally up to two minutes before the first open home. As we were selling it in the recession (2009 wasn't a great time to sell), we needed to make it the best we possibly could to try and get a sale.
We were blessed with an overwhelming response to our little house and people were lining up for the open home 45 minutes before it started. We had also taken to locking our gate in the days prior as people were walking off the street and trying to get us to let them in for a look. After one weekend of open homes we had 10 offers and the house was sold. We could then start looking for our new place!

Despite the challenges of this property I am very grateful we bought it and had the experience of working on it. We learnt so much and it has helped us to appreciate the little things at our new a laundry which isn't one metre away from my kitchen sink! lol.

Back to normal blogging from tomorrow. :-)

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