To be honest, we weren't planning to work on the Front Porch and Garden Project this year. We thought we were going to tackle our backyard gardens after doing phase one for our backyard wedding last Fall. But as the Spring was trying to come and we all found ourselves in quarantine times, our overgrown Front Yard and blah Porch were staring us in the face. Any of the updates I had done over the years to freshen up the curb appeal were just not cutting it anymore. It needed a proper design overhaul stat.
I had originally pondered adding a porch roof, and even dreamt of adding a second floor. But neither of those are really necessary, and not happening anytime soon and perhaps ever. However, reclaiming the home's curb appeal was needed. There are other things that need to be taken care of, like any homeowner knows, and for us the driveway and doors will be a substantial future cost that will add to our budget makeover. We had a small budget, a designers' plan (well mine). During a pandemic quarantine gave me more time to do work on it, and filled my need to focus on something positive.
You don't necessarily need a substantial budget to make a large impact. The key to success starts with a good design plan, using and repurposing what you already have, and doing what you can yourself.
We did the hard work ourselves, and DIY saved a lot. I also wanted to use what we had whenever possible, and that went for furniture and decor, and also plants. This was cost-effective, but is also my overall approach to design for myself and my Clients. I strive to include existing furniture that makes sense to keep, repurposing meaningful pieces, mixing vintage with new, and shopping homes first for styling.
I think it is important to see that while it still cost money, we were able to make large impact and changes for relatively low cost. And I'm sharing it all here with you so you can have an idea of the costs involved and perhaps help you budget and plan your own DIY home transformation.
Here's a breakdown of what our Modern Vintage Front Porch and Garden Project actually cost. (This is news for my hubby seeing it all together with a grand total!) --
Pressure treat Lumber and materials $530.
For the 12' porch and 2'6" garbage privacy fences, 4x4 walkway edging and for the 8' long Planter/Bench. Includes screws, wood preservative and shutter anchors.
Note: Approximately $200 goes towards the Planter/Bench. I calculated and considered the cost beforehand and was confident the architectural detail and multi-purpose element was going to substantially add to my design, would last a long time, and I couldn't source anything like it for close to that cost.
Shutters (Wayfair Canada) $ 270.
Outdoor Area Rug (Wayfair Canada) $ 158.
Fountain (Rona) $ 224.
House Numbers $ 70.
(Modern House Numbers - 50% sponsored)
Decor (Urban Barn, Indigo, Homesense) $ 120.
(2 outdoor cushions, lantern, candle, bottle and glasses)
Tools $ 57.
(reciprocating saw blades and a turf edger)
Extra primer for privacy screens & planter $ 25.
Dumping fees (three trips) $ 62.
Garden Bed Soil & Mulch (p/u) $ 190.
(1 cu yd premium soil and 3 cu yds natural cedar mulch)
Garden Bed Plants $ 111.
(2 sedums, 2 grasses, 3 yuccas, elderberry lemony lace shrub)
Planter/Bench Pre-made Arrangements $ 113.
Planter/Bench Soil and Rocks $ 54.
(14 bags of black earth, 1 lg bag potting mix, and 2 bags of 1/4" white decorative rocks)
Concrete planter succulents and tropical $ 12.
Grand Total including taxes and delivery costs $1996.
I think that is pretty darn good for the end result!
We were able to keep the overall costs low because we used furniture, decor, materials and plants wherever possible.
We already had:
- gray chairs and repainted table with leftover paint
- vintage chair saved from neighbour bulky garbage pick-up
- snake plant and planter and small plant from inside house
- vintage marble tray, bamboo wall planter, and blanket
- some primer, clearcoat for the bench seat, and paint for the privacy screens and planter
- vintage concrete planters and tall planter
- decorative metal shade string lights
- small grasses from Client
- rearranged existing plants and shrubs where possible
And big savings was also in the DIY. And we got some help with that along the way.
Special thanks to the family help and tools borrowed!
- truck, trailer, and wheelbarrow borrow, and help dumping and soil/mulch pick-up from FIL
- reciprocating saw, hammer drill and spare concrete anchor sleeves from Sis
- gardening help from MIL
- priming help from Mom
- gardening clean up and mulching from the teen boys
And of course thanks to the hubby with pick axing the elephant grass, and helping me remove shrubs, build the privacy screens and doing most of the hammer drilling into the concrete, and installing the shutters. (Basically the stuff that needed a second person and the muscle power)
I couldn't have done it without all of your help! Thank you!
As for curb appeal and increasing home's value, I would estimate we added at least $5k for a $2K investment and a DIY project. Any real estate experts can chime in with their thoughts...
While maintaining your home and property value is important, creating your home and haven is good for your mind, body, and soul. And as I've shown you here, it doesn't have to break the bank! We now have another comfortable and inviting outdoor space for us, our neighbours, and our visitors to enjoy. And that is the best reward.
If you are considering working on your home's curb appeal and don't know where to start or need help with a plan, I can help you too. I offer Exterior Concept and Curb Appeal Packages. They are designed to arm the DIY'ers with a plan, concept images, colour schemes, and purchasing specifications so you can to get started on improving and transforming your home into a haven. Contact me here to reach out for more info.
So what do you think about our budget and and actual costs? Do you think it was worth it? Does it inspire you for your own home exterior and curb appeal? And let me know if there is anything else you would like to know about our project. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Your Designer and Modern Boho Mom,