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Our Complete Exterior Renovation: The Final Reveal and Cost Breakdown

by Contributing Author

In the two houses I’ve lived in so far, I’ve prioritized renovations on the inside rather than the outside. So when we moved to North Carolina, where outdoor living is so much better than Idaho, we wanted to focus on the outdoors first. And I am very happy that I did it right the first time. Because you can enjoy all the benefits for years to come. It’s been 2 years since we traded our black modern cottage in Idaho for this red brick modern colonial in North Carolina, and it took us 15 months to get here, but the exterior is done. If you’re curious about the cost, keep scrolling.

Please see below for past residential exterior renovation work.
Modern Cottage Exterior Reveal
Rexburg house backyard open to the public

front yard



Ultimately we plan to do more work on the exterior of the actual house, but that’s it for now. The roof and windows also need to be replaced soon, so I’d like to paint the trim in the meantime. We recorded a full walking video tour of the entire exterior for you, while we took tons of photos of the changes for you. fun!

We watched the first video tour of our home together and the transformation was stunning.

planter | fake topiary balls

I think this post did not expose the front yard very fairly because it was still branch season and there was a lack of greenery. Summer is approaching, and greenery has increased in the front yard. Every morning when I get home from the gym and park my car in the driveway, I get a little dopamine. Isn’t it the best feeling to “go home”?



Few of our projects are without controversy, but the vestibule evoked some emotions. It can be painful for people to see the ‘mature’ landscape being pruned and small shrubs and new plants planted. But this garden was overgrown and overshadowed the house. By keeping the landscape simple and uncluttered, both the kitchen and study were flooded with natural light. And thanks to this Carolina rain, those pretty holly bushes will soon grow.

parking pad



This part of our property is largely unpublished. Our garage, guest house and car park are around the left corner as you face the house. We expanded the parking lot, built a retaining wall, added a gate (with or without a pool). Oh, I removed some trees and added a walkway in the back. However, there is another gate entrance through an archway.

pool deck & pool



shop in our backyard

Your backyard is heaven. Another controversial practice is the cutting down of so many shrubs and trees. But I can honestly say that I have absolutely no regrets (which is also how many snakes we have seen on the property since we removed all the dense greenery).

I get a lot of questions about what I think of bluestone paving and lawns, and the honest answer is “I love it.” The lawn was a dream. I think that the appearance of part of the bluestone pavement being oxidized adds a lot of character.

umbrella | Umbrella stand | chaise longue | woven planter | fake pine tree

And as you can see from this post, this post, and this post, we’re totally obsessed with pools.

pool float

The girls swim in it for 10 months each year, making countless memories already and many more to come.

buy this view

Fun fact! Chris and I have only ever had white outdoor furniture. I’m obsessed with that bright white outdoors. There are so many colors in outdoor spaces, such as a red brick house, a turquoise pool in a spa, bluish-gray stones, green lawn, etc., so we believe that pool furniture should be white and black. I was. Visual freedom from all colors is what really ties all this together.

The entire backyard is filled with the atmosphere of a vacation oasis.

fire pit area



A recessed fire pit may be the most underrated part of a backyard renovation. Usually at the end of a day in the pool we change out of our wet clothes and warm up by the bonfire. I also always try to keep s’mores ingredients on hand because you never know when you might need them.

Adirondack chair

Check out this post for more information on the Adirondack Chair and other selections.

outdoor kitchen



pergola | lantern pendant | bar stool

The outdoor kitchen is used about 3 times a week, but not on a bad week. Chris cooks most nights, but this time of year he spends most of his time outside. This is his playground.

recently added These bar stools, which perfectly matches the aesthetics of your kitchen and is surprisingly affordable for a set of two. I like the low back so I can serve food buffet style without getting in the way.

We’ve revealed the total cost of installing the pool, but we get a lot of questions about the cost of all the renovations.

Of course, everyone’s budget is different, so it’s always hard to share numbers, but for greater transparency when sharing our renovation journey, here’s a breakdown of our budget before and after every landscape change. is shown.

  • demo
  • liquidation
  • grading
  • To give permission
  • plant
  • parking pad
  • pool
  • pool lighting
  • deck jet fountain
  • electric hard cover
  • all masonry
  • retaining wall
  • pergola
  • outdoor kitchen materials
  • Home appliances
  • landscaping
  • irrigation
  • drainage
  • trampoline
  • outdoor shower (shower system)
  • sunken bonfire
  • lighting
  • contractors and landscapers

All of these add up to $549,521. The exterior renovation was one of the projects he budgeted for when selling his previous home, and it took him 15 months to complete, but I’m glad it was a priority from the start. We will benefit from it for years to come.

Other articles on exteriors

Early landscaping plans

Revised Backyard Landscaping

Belated Backyard Update

our backyard plant plan

progress in the backyard

backyard pool installation

backyard outdoor lighting

backyard vacation oasis pool furniture

sunken fire pit

Outdoor kitchen open to the public!

Beginning of container garden

“Plant” artificial plants outdoors

front landscaping

5 things to consider before installing a pool

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