Our first order of business was to paint the exterior doors black. We were already working on this process with the interior doors, so it just made sense to keep going on the outside as well. Check here and here for more information on those projects.
As soon as we moved in I knew that the house would need a little extra something to give it personality. It seemed drab. There was also a lot of dead space between the windows and doors. So...after careful consideration, we decided on shutters (also discussed here). Not a very novel idea, since most houses in our neighborhood have it, but we also thought about painting the trim in an accent color or adding molding on top of the windows. Ultimately, shutters were the best way to go though. After MONTHS of stalking Home Depot and Lowes' websites (it was bordering on obsession....I almost felt as though I could will them to post a discount with my perserverence).....Home Depot advertised a sale on their vinyl shutters. WOOHOO!! They regularly run from $32.50 - $37.50 each (for sizes 15" x 48" or 15" x 55"), but they were offering them for 25% off PLUS free shipping!!!
So of course I ordered that very instant! I couldn't get my credit card out fast enough. And they arrived at our doorstep right before we left for vacation. It was AGONIZING not to run out and install them THAT NIGHT....but we waited until we got back, had a tall enough ladder (thanks, Dad!) and there was a little daylight to work with. :)
And now (drumroll please) here they are:
What do you think? Definitely not the best picture I could have taken. I actually snapped it with my iphone while I was backing out of the driveway. I even caught B on his way out of the house as well. I'm not sure if he's locking the door or hiding from a photo op....we may never know! I will take a better picture this weekend though (since I am never at the house during hours of daylight....seriously. It stays dark most mornings until after I leave and then I come home around 7 and its already dark). So depressing!!
But back to the shutters....I'm so happy with the outcome. It may not be clear from this angle, but I think it adds a lot of dimension to the house. And for around $235, it was totally worth it. They have a 20-year warranty and seem to be pretty well-made! Plus, on top of all that, they were REALLY easy to install. Brian just measured each one for the desired height, drilled a hole at the top, middle and bottom of either side and then inserted the supplied screws (which are made from the same material as the shutters for added longevity). He put all 9 of them up in total (we chose to do the three on the right side of the house, as well as the front ones, but leave off the ones on the left side (since our neighbors are the only ones that see that side of the house) in about an hour. Easy AND affordable. Who could ask for more?
As always, I love a little before and after action, so here goes.....