It turned out to be a mostly mild winter after all, with a few very cold days and nights in between. We even hit six degrees at night once. This week will be random temperatures of all kinds, with some 20s at night. But that is March around here in Virginia; it is the unpredictable month. Winter temperatures started early, and I thought that we would have a very cold winter; not so. The birds have been arriving again, in February, a sign of an early spring, I thought; not so. We had a bit of snow last week, just when we were expecting rain, and so far, the only time it snowed around here. March is hard to predict as far as gardening projects.
Thanks to the mild weather in December through February, we were able to tackle many projects around the home. Most of them were cleaning up, setting up areas, clearing brush, and overall getting things ready for the planting and gardening season. Most of the dead trees were chopped, and all the wood that was put out for people to take and use for heating is gone. Most people prepare a season ahead, so wood is always in demand. Most of the wood was oak and maple, with other species in between. All of it appreciated for sure. I am glad that the large tree near the kitchen entrance was able to keep on giving, and that it lived beyond in many ways: as wood for heating people’s homes, as garden decor here at the farmhouse, and as mulch for new gardening areas. I loved that tree and hated to have to cut it, but it was a liability at this point. I am happy that the tree lived beyond and nothing of it got wasted. We left the enormous stump and have decorative plans for it. Here are a few pictures of the work we did during this mild season.
There are many other chores to do around here, weather permitting that is. All due in time. Hope you enjoy this post.
When we bought the old farmhouse, we decided to coat the roof because it was the original tin roof, and it was not leaking or damaged underneath, but needed protection since it was 100 years old at that time, and by now, 112 years old. Tin was the metal used back then, sturdy and durable, less pliable as well. Modern metal roofs are easier to bend and work with, and they come in a variety of styles, colors, and grades. They are more expensive than regular asphalt shingles, and they last a bit longer. We decided that when it was time to replace the roof, we would select a metal roof because the house was originally built for a metal roof. Shingles weigh about four times more, and being that the house is 112 years old, it makes sense not to add more weight to the top. However, that would mean for us to save the money for a new roof because it is a cash project, as it has been the rest of the house renovation, hence why it has taken longer to do. In the meantime, we decided to paint the porch roof because it was showing signs of deterioration and rust. It has been 6 years since the coating.
This project presented an opportunity to play with a favorite color and see if that color would work when it is time to purchase a new roof. I discarded the color black although it is the one that will make more sense if we decide to change the siding color in the future. Black looks more traditional, elegant, and put together, but it also attracts a lot of heat, and the upstairs ceilings are very low, so that would make the upstairs unbearably hot in the summer and not energy efficient. I also like copper or light brown, much lighter than black, and also neutrals, which would go very well with my favorite blue accents and the white siding. In the end, we decided to paint the porch roof the color that we liked more but were not sure how it would look in the long run or if we would become tired of looking at it. It is a test. After all, you cannot change a pricey roof once it is installed. We chose Glidden Premium French Country Blue for exterior applications and metal. We are happy with the results, and the porch looks a lot cleaner now, until it is time for a new roof. We decided to paint the side entrance awning and the steps as well, for continuity and balance. Here are some pictures of the project.
We estimate the total cost of this project, including the entire roof of the house to be around $400.00. It presents a simple solution to protect the existing roof until it is replaced. After all, it is about simple living and simple solutions. It’s been a long way home.