The Liberty House: The First Big Decision

Next week I plan to hit the ground running with the repairs that are being required by the bank to get my huge chunk of cash out of escrow. The first two projects that other people will be taking care of are fixing the radiator pipes so the house has heat and having the roof replaced. I’ll personally be focused on things like changing door hardware, starting to make headway on the large rubble pile in the North yard, removing 17 bags of what I’m pretty sure is dismembered body parts but what I’m pretending is dirt (for some reason stored in garbage bags?) from the basement, and decontaminating the fridge so I have a place to store my beer.

That last one is going to be important because the other thing on my list is picking out a new paint color for the wood portion of the exterior of the house. If you don’t know this about me yet, paint swatches make my eye twitch.

Even though painting the trim and exterior is one of the projects I’m hoping to tackle myself (time and weather permitting) in a month or two, I need to have the color picked out so the drip-edge and flashing for new roof can match it. Back when I did this on Memorial there was a big debate about whether the drip edge should match the fascia or the roof shingles and the end I matched it to the fascia so that if/when it ever needed to be repainted you wouldn’t have to “cut in” around the drip edge. Since I definitely will be painting the fascia on this house soon, I’d like to do the same thing and save myself a little hassle. Luckily I’ve already narrowed down my choices from the entire color spectrum to just one: Gray. And even more specifically: Dark Gray.

Still, when I search for “gray” in Benjamin Moore’s color gallery, it returns 130 results which is more than enough options to make me break out in hives.

But, since I’ve already done this once in the last 24 months and have learned a thing or two since, I can tell you this: Drip edge ain’t worth stressing over. That’s right. Ain’t. Or my new favorite not-really-English word: “in’nt”, which I’m pretty sure I say more than once in the O-fficial Liberty House Video Tour that I’m going to post for you tomorrow.

Anyway, what I know for a fact is that I’m going to pick out the shingles for the roof first (also a dark gray) then take a sample to John’s Color Concepts which is my favorite paint store ever (and I’m bummed they don’t have a website I can link to, but I’m telling you, John is so good he doesn’t even need one) and John will pick the perfect shade of gray for me that’s a few shades lighter than the roof, but several shades darker than the existing color.


Then I’ll sit out on my patio with an umbrella drink and bask in the glory of my paint color victory. At least, that’s how I see it going in my head.

In the meantime I’m looking at Owens Corning Duration shingles in these colors:

Based on the brochure, Estate Gray (the first option) is currently my fave. But what I also know from having done this not too long ago is that those things look absolutely nothing like the brochure when they are on an actual roof. Which means for the next several evenings you’ll be able to find me in my inconspicuous bright-fricking-yellow vehicle trying not to get arrested while surreptitiously taking pictures of other people’s houses.

Getting arrested would be bad, by the way, because tomorrow is The Big Day where I get to run through the last of the red tape surrounding this house like a marathon runner crossing the finish line at a race.

It’s been an adventure so far, that’s for sure, and it’s only going to get better from here. Stay tuned for the full tour (complete with possible ghost sighting) tomorrow!


22 Responses

  1. bags of dirt == compost?? My parents stashed a bag of weeds and leaf debris in the bushes in prep for a big shindig and promptly forgot about it. When we rediscovered it, the contents had turned to dirt. I think one of my neighbors actively uses this as his compost method.

    1. It’s more of a fine silty dirt that burns the shit out of your skin if you touch it. If it’s not a body decomposing in lyme, then I’m guessing it came out of the iron filter or water softener. (Not that that makes ANY sense, but it’s less disturbing.)

  2. Your new house is “frickin” gorgeous! What a find!!!! You deserve this after all you’ve been through the last year or so.

  3. “Debris” – thought of stashing it in a barn, to pick through later?
    Roof – does metal have a chance? Supposed to be much more durable and longer-lived than asphalt. LOTS of really OLD (and many NEW) metal roofs around here. (Seems to be three color choices, though! RED, GREEN, or SILVER). Keep it up – we’re all with you!

  4. We chose Estate Gray for our roof and we’re really happy with the decision. The brick color on our house is similar to the Liberty House so I don’t think you can go wrong with it. I remember dealing with the crazy banks and their requirements – good luck!

  5. Based on shingle pics, love the Estate Gray…can’t wait to see if it’s as good when you actually look at it! As for paint colors, like the last line, last three on my computer!

  6. For the exterior paint, I first pictured a darker gray, then thought of an awesome greenish gray. That was before I read the post. Hmmm. Take your time and you will get it right.

  7. I like the Estate Gray the best. I say a greige (gray with beige undertone) is worth a look. The warm undertone would look good against the red brick. We have SW’s Perfect Greige in the spare bedroom (aka. where we’ve been sleeping on the floor for the last 6 months) and in looks like two different colors depending on the lighting.

  8. I seem to recall from an earlier post that there is a moisture/stability problem in the basement/crawl space/foundation area. I highly recommend you move that fix higher on the project list, and have the space sealed off against RADON while you’re at it. We don’t want to lose you before your forever house comes to fruition!!!!!!!!!

    1. Nah. It’s an old Michigan foundation… it’s typical moisture for the wettest year we’ve had in a decade and structurally is fine. The drains down there work as they should. It was more a question about whether or not the appraiser was going to have a fit about it and block the loan. Luckily that didn’t happen.

      Radon is possible, but I’m kind of hoping if I get enough exposure I’ll start developing some spiderman-like superpowers. I’d love to be able to hang an appraiser from the ceiling 😉

        1. BTW. Daughter tells me that in Texas they would have accused the appraiser of “PITCHIN’ A HISSYFIT”! Yes – that is ONE word, when used correctly! [;-))

  9. And since my mantra is “It’s All About the Color” (my presonal speicalty) Here’s my opinion for what its worth – I am liking a darker grey for the trim and the roof, or have you thought about BLACK for the roof? I love using black wherever I can. I think it would sharpen it up alot. Otherwise the slatestone or estate grey would be my choices.

    As far as a base color for the siding on the back addition I would seriously try and match the brick color. That would give everything so much more cohesiveness and not make it look so much like a “90’s addition”. But I think I am a little bit more of a purest in regards to old houses than you are.

    BTW – got the flooring down in the Victorian’s Bathroom, back to tiling the walls in MY bathroom today. Would really like to get the toliet back in soon! Yep got two bathrooms going at once in two different houses. AND brushed my donkeys yesterday. Somehow they managed to get all covered with little cockleburry thingys… Rolling around in the wrong spot I think.

  10. Re: KC’s comment – really like her idea of matching to brick to make cohesive! Unless you want to paint the brick to match the siding! Okay…leaving work…leaving computer….no more comments.

    1. No No No-painting beautiful 150-year-old brick is just wrong. Paint the 20-year-old siding to match.

      1. I actually agree, but it was a thought. Now, here’s another…can you do matching brick facing on the additions to tie it together? 🙂

  11. Awesome freaking house – can’t wait to see what you do with it! And if you can’t get the fridge clean enough, please put “buy new fridge” at the TOP of your list. Because beer is important. And I think you’re going to need a shit ton of it 🙂

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