Follow this flip: Landscaping and porch prep

Hello friends! Wow, it has been quite a week. We closed last Friday on the flip house and I have been hard at work outside while the weather has cooperated.

Typically, when renovating a home from top to bottom, you’d probably save the landscaping details for last. But since cold weather is creeping up on us like ill-fitting underwear, I had to take care of that part first, so my poor plants wouldn’t croak.

One thing I’ve discovered is that the end of October (or the very beginning of November) is the best time to get shrubs for dirt cheap (no pun intended)! I was able to score eight good-sized (about 2-gallons apiece) evergreen shrubs and flowering bushes for less than $100 total. Everything was either half or 70 percent off at the Home Depot. Lowe’s gave the last of their shrubs away for $1 two days before I got there. #acryingshame

Here’s what the front of the house looked like before the planting began:

Landcaping-BEFORE-1 Landcaping-BEFORE-2 Landscaping-BEFORE

And here’s what it looks like with a good spade shovel, shrubs, landscape fabric and mulch:


(Above, from top to bottom) Angelica Blue Juniper, Japanese Barberry, Gold Thread Cypress


(Above, left to right) Rhododendron and Azalea (plus a stump from my backyard)


What a difference some shrubs and mulch make, don’t you agree?

Next up on my to-do list this week was porch and window prep.

The porch finish on this house is an absolute disaster. I scraped off old, chipping paint for days people, then finally got to the point where I could clean it really well and prepare it for new finish.

By the way, I’m loving this Rust-Oleum® Restore® Deck & Concrete Cleaner*:


This concentrated solution is biodegradable and non-toxic. It removes dirt, grease, etc., and kills mold and mildew.


I applied it, then rinsed it off about 15 minutes later using my HomeRight® Deck Washer Flow-Through Broom.

While the porch dried, I went to work scraping window trim and sills.


More chipping paint! Aargh. Fortunately, I had a miraculous product on hand that glues down chipping paint while priming the surface and building it back up to a smooth finish.


This stuff is nothing short of amazing! It’s Zinsser® Peel Stop® Triple Thick High Build Binding Primer. It’s been a lifesaver for the dilapidated exterior of this house.

Stay tuned for more progress and transformation photos from the flip coming next week. In the meantime, you should join the Creator’s Studio by Rust-Oleum. It’s a community for DIYers where you can ask questions, share tips, bounce ideas and even win prizes. Check it out here.

*Affiliate links provided in this post for your convenience

Special thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing the cleaner and primer needed for this week’s projects. 

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2 Responses

  1. Big Mega says:

    Wow what a transformation! It went from crusty to incredible looking, great job with the landscaping, I wish I would have known about that awesome primer for outdoor painting prep before I painted all around my porch, I could have seriously used that. I’m looking forward to seeing your porch redone!

  1. December 2, 2015

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

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