The photographs of Dignowity Hill and San Antonio used within this blog are the property of Juan A Garcia Eastlight Photography. All rights are reserved to the owner. Copy and use of these images are forbidden without written permission. Contact Juan at for permission.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Roof

Finally, after almost 3 months of slowly working on cleaning, scraping the rust off, priming and painting, the nearly 100 year old metal roof is sporting a new coat paint! The old gal looks good!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Back Porch


When we first bought the house back in 2011 the back part of the house was as a mess. The house had been converted into a duplex somewhere along the way and 3 concrete stair steps had been installed that gave entry to the back of the house to different rooms. We had originally planned on restoring the original back porch area, however, plans changed as they often do in these projects and we used the back porch space for the kitchen.  This left the back part of the house begging for a deck. Well, we finally got around to building a small 8 x 14 foot deck off the back door.  The size of the deck is in keeping with the scale of the house and creates a nice outdoor space for relaxing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Additions!

Before: Ugly Fence!
Before: More Ugly!
Nice Fence!
Improved Curb Appeal!
The work on the roof continues slowly but in the meantime we've done some additional work that has given the old gal some new found curb appeal.  One improvement was replacing the old chain link fence with a combination of a short wrought iron fence along with a 6 foot wooded privacy fence. We took down the chain link fence in front of the lot and decided to leave it open with no fence. This opened up the front yard and exposed the landscaping of front of the house. It's amazing what a nice fence can do to improve the looks of a property!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Roof

Metal Roof

Sanding and Cleaning Progress
Primer coat
Although we technically completed the overall restoration project a few months ago we and because we still own the house we decided to give the roof a paint job.  The roof is a standing seam possibly made of galvanized tin. The fact of the matter is that we really do not know how long the metal roof has been in place.  Our closest guess is that the roof is at least 75 years old and could possibly be the original roof covering that was installed when the house was built around 1912.  We were pleasantly surprised at the relatively good condition the roof was in when we first bought the house.  We did find some small leaks that were easily patched up and the entire surface is pockmarked with old hail damage but the integrity of the metal covering is not compromised.  The biggest issue is rust. So we decided to give the old gal a roof paint job.
After some research and speaking with local contractors we settled an a three step approach.The first step involved removing cleaning the as much of rust off the metal. Because of the age of the roof we decided to do this slowing with wire brushes and hand held power sander. As you can image this is a slow process but worth the effort. The second step involved brushing on a good coat of primer designed to stop the oxidation process.  The last step will be to paint on a coat of metallic colored paint to give a metallic look of a new metal roof. As you can see from the picture the paint job is still a work in progress. Stay tuned....more to come later!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Catching Up!

Its been awhile since I've posted an entry on this blog so I need to catch up! We finished the project in Oct of 2012, well actually we are still doing some work on the house but the house is now totally livable. The folks that were interested in buying the house back out of the sale but they agreed to lease the house at a market rate rent so we are getting a positive cash flow. So its still a good deal for us.
Rock Pile

Recycled Rock Pile

Nice Rocks!
In the meantime I got busy doing some landscape work in the front of the house. Remember that pile of rubble and stone that was removed when we demolished the wall around the porch? Well, the cut stone came in handy for some low cost landscaping. We also laid down crushed or decomposed granite in the drive way and sidewalk.

One last thing....It's always nice to get noticed. The house was featured in the city's Office of Historic Preservation Jan issue of their newsletter as an example of a substantial restoration! You can check out the newsletter at:

Very Cool!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Painting the Exterior

The first coat of color was painted on the house today! The colors reflect Victorian themes typically found in houses called "Painted Ladies". Victorian era houses, especially wood and stick homes, were painted in vibrant color schemes that enriched the details such as ginger bread styling typically found in folk Victorian or vernacular styled houses.
The porch decking was also painted and what a difference a little color makes. Notice the color on the porch ceiling, its a pretty sky blue. The word is that traditionally houses in the south typically would have their porch ceilings panted a sky blue color to confuse wasps from building nests underneath porches.
The skirting around the house was installed a few days ago and that also received a couple of coats of paint. Vents still need to be installed and that will be done in the coming days.
We're reaching a point in the project where most of the work is now touch ups and detail work on the structure. We are close to the finish line. We still need to get final inspections on electrical, plumbing and HVAC system. The front porch roof and work on the drive way need to be worked on but we can feel the end in sight!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

House is Primed and Ready

A big milestone in any restoration project is when you get the house coated with primer.   Of course there's a lot of prep work that goes into getting to this point.  Ideally you want to scrape off as much of the old paint and get as close as possible to bare wood. In this case most if not all of the paint had either fallen of over time or had been scraped off in previous attempts.  Lead abatement is always a consideration when working on homes built in the early 1900's however in this case there was so minimal paint on the walls that we did were allowed to use a water method to remove any existing paint. Using a gentle power wash method minimizes dust and aerosols. Any flakes that came off were collected and safely disposed according safety protocols. 
After the cleaning of the house the entire exterior of the house was coated with high grade primer. At this point the house ready for it's colors!