Our Veranda: Yes, another home improvement project…

We’ve done about all we can do to stimulate the economy and yet another long-delayed ‘change’ to our home is about 90% complete.

When we first had our home built back when I moved to Georgia in 1992, I made a lot of changes to the basic plan.  In fact, I made so many changes that our house was technically a “custom” home and even the crews building the house weren’t quite sure what they were building. It was a new plan with a big breezeway and added a sitting room to the master bedroom, but was otherwise your basic, Georgia “Five, Four and a Door” type of home (i.e., five windows across the 2nd floor with four windows and a door in the center on the first floor).


Back of the house & breezeway "as was": something's definitely missing.


While I wanted a basement, apparently they didn’t put basements in Georgia homes unless they were building on a slope that needed a basement to create the foundation. I asked if they’d dig one out, but they quoted a price for that which was high enough to make that a non-starter. So, the compromise was to add a 3rd garage bay, a spare room over the garage and a second attic. There were a lot of other changes throughout the house, and that caused me to pull back a bit on adding a veranda to the back of the breezeway, noting that the back of the house looked somewhat incomplete per the original design, made even more-so with my extra deep, wide and tall garage “wing”.

I’d ignored it for the most part since our backyard was not something we did much with for the first 16 years. Yeah, we did a lot of landscaping, but none of it survived because there just wasn’t enough sunlight given all the trees we’d left standing to screen our neighbor’s home… plus quite a few others that I added to further screen their home from view.  After cutting down 90 some-odd trees and large evergreens in Spring ’09 and redoing our yard, we realized that we now had a back yard we could enjoy.  I wanted to add the rear veranda to our breezeway as a compliment to our front gallery, but the cost of the complete overhaul of the backyard and installation of the Tennessee fieldstone retaining wall & Meyer’s Zoyzia sod pretty much consumed our discretionary resources.

As I worked on my shed project this summer I was constantly reminded of how ‘incomplete’ the back of the house looked, so the seeds were sown for adding the veranda that I first conceived in 1992.  Once the shed was done and the garage was underway, I was contemplating moving on to the veranda as my next project, but at the same time realized I was getting a bit burned-out from spending every spare minute working on the house instead of cycling with Debbie on our tandems.  During the August PEACHES (aka, Tandem Club of Georgia) ride our friend Roger — who was missing his better half and riding solo — mentioned that he had a crew on site installing a screen porch and new deck on the back of their home and noted that they were doing a great job.  I got the name of Roger’s builder and asked them to give me a quote for adding the veranda, which they did… and a few weeks later the project was underway.


Ahhh, that's just what it needed...


While I cringed at the cost — mostly labor — I really didn’t have the experience and help needed to put a no-kidding addition on our house. So, in retrospect, we’re both really pleased with the nearly completed veranda… noting that after the electrician finishes installing the ceiling fans it falls back to me to finish the project by staining the ceiling and painting all of the trim and siding.

Ironically, the closer we come to getting our home “just the way we wanted it to be all along,” I’m reminded that this is typically when most folks end up having to sell a home.  I’m not actually aware of any upcoming changes that would require relocation, but I’m reminded that the minute I finished a large part of the restoration of my 100-year old brick cottage back in Redlands, California, and adding a deck around the pool installed by the previous owners, I was headed to Georgia.  Time will tell…


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Bloggishnish. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Our Veranda: Yes, another home improvement project…

  1. You just great designing your backyard. i love it so much. Regards, John

    • TG says:

      Thanks for the kind words; much appreciated. We’ve been very pleased with how everything has come together and plan to enjoy it for many years to come.

  2. Bill Cotney says:

    Perhaps you should read, “Have You Over-Improved Your Home” on MSN’s real estate site. Here’s a link:



    • TG says:

      Yeah, that’s always a bit of a concern. However, we’ve been able to do all of our projects out of pocket instead of leaning on a rarely used equity line, and they’re things that we’ve had on a to-do list for over a decade. We are decidedly home-bodies who like nothing more than piddling around the house, garage and/or yard and all of these recent projects have really exceeded our expectations. In fact, all of our projects over the past two years combined don’t come any where near the cost cited in the MSN article for a total kitchen re-do… About the only thing that comes close to that figure is the sunk cost in ‘rolling stock’ that we have hanging in the garage! Yet another reason for reminding ourselves that we really DO need to get out and ride now that this year’s projects are nearly behind us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s