Hey y’all. I figured you might want an update from “The Handy Home.”  There have been so many changes, you won’t believe it! I have some amazing Before and After pictures for you. (Because I know how much everyone loves to see drastic changes.)

Kitchen Before:

Monotone cabinets and appliances. No visual interest. Read more

Update Your Ceiling Fan with Paint
I’m back, but only for a minute  because I’m working hard on transforming our pinky-beige bonus room into an art and craft studio fit for an art show! This is compounded by the fact that the room has many angles and dormers. Who knew that such a small room would take FOREVER to paint! Gah.

Do you have a brass ceiling fan cluttering the view on your ceiling? It is hard to imagine getting rid of a perfectly good ceiling fan. Especially if you live in a hot climate like we do. Ceiling fans are our salvation in the heat of the summer. But, they aren’t always the most attractive things.

Update Your Ceiling Fan with Paint

I encourage you not to rid your home of a perfectly good fan if it still works. Instead, why not paint it? AND, even if your blades are white, I’m going to show you a trick that will help make that fan almost disappear on the ceiling. 😉

Update Your Ceiling Fan with Paint Read more

I admit it, I believe in UFOs. I’ve seen them, honestly! I even captured a picture of two of them, see:

Yup, we have two UFOs that are frequently seen in our kitchen. Why did I purchase and install them when we first moved in? I’ll never know. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t horrible, but they just don’t go with the casual country vibe I want in my kitchen. Read more

Making your own colored chalkboard paint is nothing new. The first recipe I found was from Martha Stewart and it worked for me. Since then, I’ve made the recipe a few times, but now I eyeball the amount of unsanded grout I use until it has a cake batter consistency.

The first time I made the chalkboard paint, I freaked out a little because it was so lumpy. But, after working with the recipe several more times, I realized that this is somewhat normal. I figured you might like to see a little video clip showing the consistency of the colored chalkboard paint.

Here is a quick video to show you how I mix the colored chalkboard paint and the consistency I get: Read more

There was some tough competition in this week’s One Project Closer Before & After competition. I read through every single entry and tried to leave a comment on as many as I could. (Psssst: Several of you still had word verification turned on. This made it harder for me to get through the security codes. If you are on blogger, this setting is defaulted to ON. Please double check your settings. I promise you’ll get more comments and won’t get more spam.)

It was such a bummer that I had to choose just one winner, but I promised to be a fair judge and stick to the rules (picking half a dozen winners was not in the Tightly Wound White Wig rule book.)

Read more

Happy Wednesday! Something kind of exciting happened to me yesterday. Woman’s Day sent a photographer, an assistant and a stylist to photograph me and my garage. They worked together like a well-oiled machine and made my garage more beautiful than I could ever imagine! If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@PrettyHandyGirl), I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. I am still in the “I’ll believe it when I see it mindset.” But, this was for a small feature on organization for the September issue. Honestly, I’m a little concerned that the editor will take one look at the photos and drop them in the garbage. After all, it is the LEAST attractive room in my house! But, the editor assured me that they really want to show an organized garage space. So, I’ll be sitting on pins and needles until the issue comes out.

Two weeks ago I got an email from someone at Woman’s Day expressing interest in my garage. She politely asked if I could make a few changes to complete my workbench. They were all changes that I had wanted to do eventually. But, that date suddenly became last week. So, I put my tail in high gear and added those finishing touches to my workshop.

This was the workbench area of our garage before: Read more

When I took my custom mailbox to the postal service for approval, the postmaster handed me a form that details how a mailbox should be installed. Believe it or not, there are more requirements for the placement of the mailbox than the mailbox itself. Read more

Yesterday, I unveiled my mini-me house mailbox. I appreciate the kind comments (even it they were coerced ;-). )

Today, I wanted to give you a little tutorial on painting a mailbox to look like your house. If you can color in a coloring book, you can create a painting of your home! Read more

Our plum colored front door has served our home well for over 5 years. Actually, I can’t take credit for the color choice. The previous owner chose the color, but luckily she and I had similar taste. I know I told you that we used to live across the street from our current house. But, did I ever tell you that we both painted our powder rooms at the same time? We saw each other on Monday and were shocked to learn that not only had we both been painting our powder rooms over the weekend, but that we had chosen the same color!

Time has passed, and I’m yearning for a brighter and cheerier front door. A door that makes people rubber neck! Read more

It’s DJ P-Diddy Handy Gee in da Howzz today!

Yo, yo, you, listen up! I have a rhyme for you. Give me da beat boyz:

There was a little roof called Barn-ey, oh yeah…
and he was too purple and greeney, oh no…
So, he got the yank and hit the curb-ey, yeah yeah
In its place is some shiney de-light woot woot!

Yes, I can rap with the best of them! Don’t you think?  Oh alright, I’ll stick to my day job.

When I left you last week, I was trying to decide what type of roofing to use on the little side entrance roof.

Many of you were onboard with the copper idea. If that was you, you’ll be happy to see that I decided the same thing.

I did want to show you one more picture I took at the Southern Ideal Home Show before we move on. Look at this adorable dutch colonial with all the copper roof accents. Gorgeous, right?!

Built by 2sldesignbuild.com

When I saw that photo, I pretty much made up my mind that we needed to have a little copper roof on our home. I got a few quotes from some local companies, but ultimately decided to use The Aluminum Company of North Carolina. We’ve used them before to install gutters and gutter helmets on our house. (Which we are super happy with! No more tree debris filled gutters on our home.)

We’ve always been pleased with the Aluminum Company’s workmanship and their customer service is top notch!

Last year after we had a new gutter installed, we discovered some new wood rot over our front door (a recurring theme on our house.) I had a question about how the gutter helmets were installed and if water could be leaking behind them. I called the Aluminum Company and within 24 hours they sent out their inspector to double check the workmanship. Not only did he come out and was super polite, but he took an hour to take apart some of the gutter to show me the hidden flashing behind the shingles. Then he took a hose and painstakingly ran water on top of the gutters and then each dormer until we narrowed down that the leak was coming from our middle dormer window.  When the roofing was installed (before we lived in the house) there wasn’t enough flashing put around the dormers. But, the new gutter and gutter helmets were working perfectly. I don’t have to tell you that this was above and beyond the call of duty.

Back to the present day. Within a few days of getting an “over the phone quote” for the copper roof, this smiling young man, Joe Nemeth (no relation to the football player) showed up to take some measurements for the job and get an exact estimate for me.

As you can tell from his truck, they do a lot more than gutters and copper roofs. (Windows, siding, doors, shingles, and a whole lot more!)

Next, I received a phone call from the scheduler who gave me some options for a date to install the roof. I love that they give you options and a definite time. (Ahem! Local Cable Company, please take note: The Aluminum Company gave me options for an exact date and time, not some crazy 4-8 hour window on a day that you chose, not me!)

A day before the work was scheduled, a big 18-wheeler rolled down our street and left all the materials for the job. The next morning, bright and early, this kind gentleman (my apologies for forgetting his name) showed up on time to start constructing the copper roof.

He took exact measurements and cut the copper with tin snips. Then he used a metal break to create the folds in the copper for the standing seams.

Each section is installed and the seams are fitted together so there are no exposed screws or fasteners. Really sleek, right?!

I also learned that a copper roof is very energy efficient because it reflects the suns rays. Whew, let me tell you when I climbed up the ladder to get a closer look I felt the heat reflecting off the copper. It was enough to roast a marshmallow on top of my head! Plus, the copper should last a long, long, long time. Which means, there is no waste going to the landfill after 15-20 years like an asphalt shingle roof. That makes me happy.

Within a few more days the Aluminum Company sent their gutter guys out to install the short run of gutter and connect it to the existing downspout on the front of the house.

Those guys were really great!

They put up with a lot of my questions and even a last minute decision to change the downspout from white to black so it would blend in with the roof.

{Squeeall!} I’m super excited by the little bit o’ bling that adorns our home now. I find myself rubbernecking as I drive away to do the kids to school shuttle every morning.

What do you think? Did you doubt my choice to use copper? If so, do you like it now? Or do you think I’m crazy? (This is definitely debatable, ask my husband.)

Granted, that bar wasn’t set too high when it came to improving upon the purple awning.

In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show as the copper mellows from that shiny color to a warm brown and maybe one day if we’re lucky a pretty patina!

Modified from ColourLovers user: Koala988

I’ve heard all kinds of stories about how to patina your roof. The installer said he heard if you put ketchup on it, it will speed the aging process. I’m sure my neighbors would definitely call the state mental hospital if they saw me up on a ladder slathering Heinz 57 on our new roof. I think I’ll just leave it for now. Because this looks 300 times better…

than this…

Side note: I actually had a conversation with the birdhouse manufacturers at the Southern Ideal Home Show to find out how they patina their birdhouses.

Birdhouses by Tim Chorba (919)664-8383

I was told they order a special chemical that speeds the patina process from Triple-S Chemical in California. Hmmmm, that has me thinking.

Until next time.

aka DJ P-Diddy Handy Gee
(my apologies to Busta Rhymes for copying his look for today’s post.)

Disclosure: I offered to write this post and mention the Aluminum Company in exchange for a discount on our roof. They had no idea what I was going to say about them. But, I knew it wouldn’t be hard to say good things about the company because we’ve used them before and I’ve always been happy. I would never recommend a company to my readers that I didn’t like myself. One thing that I really value is that the owner, Jeff Monsein, stands behind every job his company does. He even gives out his personal cell phone number for customers to call if they are unhappy! How many CEOs do you know that will do that?