Side door transformation on a tight budget

Hello friends! I hope you had a blessed holiday season. I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break and just dove back into regular life and the flip project this week.

Today I wanted to show you how I transformed the carport entrance at the white house on a very small budget.

Here’s a peek at the “before” of the space:

Side-door-before Side-door-before-2

I started by cleaning out the carport and giving the aluminum siding a really good scrubbing. It’s amazing how even just a cleanup and clean out can make a huge difference. (I also painted the floor, ceiling and exterior walls in this space, which I’m excited to share with you soon.)

After cleaning, I removed the dated screen door and scrubbed and polished the solid wood door behind it.

Then I replaced the hardware on the door. Here’s what I started with:


Typically, pretty much every DIY project I attempt at the flip house takes twice as long and makes me sweat twice as much as originally anticipated.

However, installing this hardware took me a total of 15 minutes! I had never installed door hardware start to finish all by myself before, so I was prepared for the worst. But it was a piece of cake! I was really proud of myself that I was able to tackle this project with no problems. It is so very, very rare. 🙂

I chose the Schlage® Flair Lever Keyed Entry Lock in Aged Bronze.

Schlage-handleset Mortise



Here’s what the side entrance looks like now:


Can you believe what a difference new hardware, some paint and a good scrubbing can make?


Special thanks to Schlage for providing, at my request, the hardware I installed on this door. As always, all opinions and projects are 100 percent mine. 

‘Houston, we have windows’ … and a small roof leak

Hello friends! I hope you are all having a blessed holiday season. Christmas is right around the corner and I am behind on everything (as usual). But I have some very dear friends who are reminding me to relax, enjoy this very precious time with my littles, and to not sweat the small stuff. (Thanks, ladies … you know who you are.) 😉

Today I wanted to share with you some window progress going on at the white house. I sprang for new, vinyl replacement windows for this entire home and they look spectacular, if I do say so myself.

I’m finally starting to see a bit of my original vision for this house come to life, which feels absolutely amazing. Here are a few photos of the windows that have been replaced so far:


New-windows-4 New-windows-3 New-windows-2

I hired my dad to put in these windows for me and to also wrap them with aluminum. Isn’t he doing a fabulous job? I also get the benefit of picking his brain on a million other DIY-related tasks while he’s with me at the house, which has been a huge blessing. 🙂

A not-so-big blessing? The roof leak that was discovered yesterday. So today I was on top of the roof in the rain with a garden hose, trying to troubleshoot this mystery leak. A measuring tape fell to its demise in the process (thank God no one was on the ground below). But I think I found the problem, and when the weather turns nice again, I’ll be tackling the fix for that.

One of the really cool side benefits of this flip endeavor has been the demystification of what I previously considered “man jobs.”

For example, prior to yesterday, the idea of fixing a roof leak would seem terrifying and downright impossible to me. But after some YouTube research and a consultation with two of my favorite contractors (dad and Daryl from church), I’m confident I can fix the problem fairly easily.

It’s funny how some of the most daunting projects in this house have turned out to be the easiest … and the seemingly easy projects have turned out to be the most daunting. Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

Tomorrow I’m gonna try to finish some carport details. I’m dying to show you the transformation in there! Maybe I’ll even get the new hardware installed on the side entry door prior to Christmas. We’ll see.

What difficult project has turned out to be easy for you? I’d love for you to leave a comment and share your story.

Follow this flip: An almost-done porch

I hope you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving! Oh how I enjoy taking a break from the usual grind to spend time with family and friends, eating and recognizing the many, many things we have to be thankful for. Is it just me or is it tough to “get the train rolling” again after such a glorious holiday?

Anyway, although the caboose seems to be running a little slow this week, 😉 I’m back on the tracks again, so I wanted to share a bit of progress on the white house.

The front porch is this.close to being completely done. I’ve got to do a little bit of touch-up painting on the stairs and some staging to do. And I’ll be installing a new front door (new windows and trim are coming later as separate projects). Then this tiny part of the huge project will be wrapped up.

Let’s rewind a few weeks, shall we?

Front-porch-before Landcaping-BEFORE-1 Landcaping-BEFORE-2 Porch ceiling before Porch-rail-before

And now?


I did a bit of thrifty landscaping out front. Then I painted the porch posts, porch trim and floor.

I am absolutely in love with the color I chose for the porch ceiling.


I decided on a “haint blue” color I was inspired by while living in South Carolina. There, you’ll find many gorgeous, historic Southern front porches with this blue-green hue on the ceiling. Haint blue has a rich history you can read about here. I went with a fairly subtle blue so as not to scare all the Northerners away. 😉 I chose Clark+Kensington brand from Ace. I’ve had good success with their exterior paint in the past.

Before I added the haint blue color, I used Zinsser Peel Stop® Triple Thick High Build Binding Primer to seal all the cracks, chipping paint, etc. It made this old porch ceiling look brand new again! If I could marry this primer and have its babies, I would. 😉

I picked up an inexpensive porch rug at Ross to tie together the new ceiling and floor colors.


I spray-painted the old porch swing a rich mahogany color. My HomeRight® Finish Max Pro painted this thing in a snap and created such a flawless finish, the wood almost looks like it’s composite! I LOVE how it turned out.


It’s been raining cats and dogs outside for the past few days, so I’ve moved inside to work on the bathroom. It is a scary, scary place right now, people. I’m completely demolishing the walls. So far I’ve managed to step on a rusty nail, smash my pinky finger with a hammer, choke myself half to death on drywall dust, and nearly electrocute myself from a “mystery” outlet. All in a day’s work …

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