One of the most difficult, exciting, and potentially overwhelming parts of renovating an entire homestead is that even though you know that the completion of it will take years, you have to at least have some idea of how everything is going to fit together before you can really dig in.
We've already dug in, but the planning continues. It is a lot of fun to have the different elements come together in my mind, but at the same time, it's a little nerve-racking. What if I forget something? What if I incorrectly estimate how well two things will look together? What if I lose my mind first? What if it's already gone?
The work on the outside of the house will begin soon. I've got a plan A (what I really want) and a plan B (in case plan A is entirely too cost-prohibitive). Plan A is to brick the front and install Hardie siding (concrete-derived siding) on the rest of the house. While I was against this look at first, thinking it wouldn't go together, I've found several houses that look great this way:
Of course, the house will still have the 2-story porch. I can't find an exact example but this is fairly close--just imagine a porch upstairs, too!
I think the red brick will really complete the Georgian look, be in keeping with the "old" look to the house and yet update it and make it stand out, not to mention also making it more resilient to the weather (the front of the house faces west).
The plan is to start on the north side of the house with siding late this summer, install all the windows and then move inside and get the new bathroom and laundry room (on that side of the house, lower level) finished this winter. Next summer hopefully the front of the house can be done--windows, brick, new porch and new front door. That's the plan--but you know how plans go. I'm hesitantly excited. Regardless of when it is finished, it will hopefully look very nice.
Another item I have been planning has been my barn. The actual construction of my horse barn is years off into the future, but it has to be planned nonetheless. The old barn has to be destroyed, unfortunately (it is too far gone to save) and then my dad wants to put in a large shed/garage. This means I need to decide on how big of a barn I want and where I want it, so we can fit all the buildings in the correct place.
After some research and planning, it looks like I'll end up with a 36x48 barn, something like the one below:
I don't need anything huge--it's just me, after all. I don't want 20 stalls to clean! Three stalls is plenty, plus hay storage, a tack room, a grooming stall and office. One day, probably when I'm too old to ride, I'll be able to afford to add an indoor working area on the back of it. That's the plan, anyway....
"Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning."