The Exterior Remodel Begins...

How do we overcome this worn out boing exterior?

Over the years, living in Northern California in the Sierra Foothills, we have come to appreciate the architecture of the mountain homes in Tahoe, and the look of stone and cottage/garden homes in Napa. It is not difficult to understand, being the right-brain thinker that I am, that I really wanted a Tahoe/Napa-fusion style to our home. It may not happen in a year, but that’s the look that we desire, and so it begins; how do we achieve this?

After 6 months of researching siding and other such products, we have finally come up with a plan. The Garage will get stacked stone on the lower half and above it will be James Hardie Staggered Edge Shingles in Heather Moss. The Gable peak of the Garage and the Gable peak in the back of the house will have James Hardie Board and Batten siding in Khaki Brown for the base, and the batten trim boards will be the color Cobblestone.

Randy first begins by removing the rotten siding off the house. No, Susie doesn't do ladders so she will cheer him on and pray he doesn't fall off the ladder. So far the weather is cooperating nicely with cool breezes.

Yes, that’s Randy up on that ladder on the second story. Now I’m really praying hard that he doesn’t fall. In the meantime I’m sanding, caulking, priming and painting the porch area.

Now we must add the lath and scratch coat to prep for the stones. I lay on the concrete to the lath and Randy makes the scratch lines. –Team Work!

It’s coming along nicely.

I mud the stones and Randy places them on.

Now it's time to add the shingles. This took forever. Lots of cuts had to be made.

Randy managed to cut out perfect size holes for the lights. He's so smart that way.
The front porch is in great condition due to the roof sheltering it so we will just paint it Khaki Brown, with the ceiling done in Cobblestone, and the rails of the porch repainted in Cream White. The door also gets repainted in Maroon.

While Randy was busy wrapping the house, I was laboring away on the front porch. I am painting the ceiling the color, Cobblestone.
There was a lot of detail that went into painting the front porch and I was thinking it the work would never end.

At one point, I fell off of this step stool and banged and bloodied myself up pretty good. --And that's why I don't go up high on ladders!
The second story of the house is getting its siding replaced with lap board siding in Khaki Brown on each side, and the middle of the second story will have staggered edge shingles in Heather Moss (to coordinate with the garage) and Cream White trim.

Now Randy's working on putting up the lap siding shingles in Khaki Brown, while I continue to pray that he doesn't fall.
As you can kind of see, the front porch is finally done.

This is the garage side of the house completed.

Now onto the next project, retaining walls and vegetable garden beds.

As for the back of the house, it will have to wait until next year but it will be getting new James Hardie T-111 siding. -Or the year after, as life keeps getting in the way!
New plantings are in order and we’ll slowly get there. 

Still in the future plans are Planter Gardens, retaining walls (Sneak peak at the above completed house) and extending the front porch and making a front yard entry to the house, but first we need to replenish our bank account…. Or win the lottery, whichever comes first.
Click here to see the updates on our exterior.


  1. Hi, Susie! Looks like you haven’t been blogging about the progress of this exterior remodel project. How is it now? How far have you progressed so far? The improvement you made in this post looks fantastic. I can’t wait to see the final updates about this. I’m sure this is going to be a beautiful Tahoe/Napa-fusion style home. Keep blogging!
    ***Lida Swisher

    1. Hi Lida, you're right. I haven't posted any new pics but do plan to. We are done with the siding remodel, but I've been waiting to get the retaining wall in before posting any more pics. After all that heavy labor on the outside of the home, we took a break to remodel the inside of our motorhome for a trip. Now we're back outside when weather permits, working on mapping out our garden boxes, having rocks hauled away and planning the retaining wall. I will definitely post once we get going again. Thanks for reading. -Susie

  2. You have a lovely home! With those improvements you’ve made there, you gave it a new style. The combination of brick walls and shingles sidings turned out fabulous! It was a right decision that you renovated your exterior. It looks beautiful with those lovely plants around. Good job! @ Royal Roofing & Siding, Inc.