First Time Homeowner 3: Exterior Makeover

Danny Lipford with daughter Chelsea at the First Time Homeowner house.
Danny Lipford with daughter Chelsea at the First Time Homeowner house.

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In the third of our six-part series, homeowner Chelsea Lipford is on a mission to give a big boost to the curb appeal of her new house by making a number of major home improvements to the exterior of the house.

Framing up the front porch on the First Time Homeowner house.
Framing up the front porch on the First Time Homeowner house.

Exterior Home Improvements

Our makeover of the exterior of the house included:

    • Removing cedar tree and shrubs.
    • Adding a new front porch.
    • Roofing the house with asphalt shingles, and installing a solar powered attic vent fan from Broan.
Solar powered roof vent fan.
Solar powered roof vent fan.
    • Blowing cellulose insulation into the wall cavities, and sealing any cracks with spray foam.
    • Removing the old asbestos siding, making sure to take the proper safety precautions.
    • Using the Dream Designer website, which allows you upload a photo of your house to visualize how it will look with different styles and colors of vinyl siding.
Installing decking with hidden fasteners.
Installing decking.
    • Replacing the existing deck with new pressure treated decking with the CAMO hidden deck fastening system and stainless steel screws.
  • Roofing and siding the garage, as well as installing a garage door.
Completed exterior of First Time Homeowner house.
Completed exterior of First Time Homeowner house.

Other Tips from This Episode

Tying string on trash can and lid.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Keeping Up with Trash Can Lids

To keep the lids to your trash cans from becoming lost, run a 4’ long piece of thin rope through a hole in the trash can lid, then tie a knot in it to hold it in place. Tie the other end of the rope to the trash can handle. As an extra precaution, write your street number on the inside of the lid for easy identification.

Ryobi 24-Volt Cordless Trimmer/Edger

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi 24-Volt Cordless Trimmer

The Ryobi 24-Volt Cordless Trimmer/Edger has an auto feed head and converts from trimmer to edger in seconds. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery that can recharge in less than an hour with a run time of an hour per charge. The Ryobi Cordless Trimmer/Edger is available at The Home Depot.

Weep hole in brick wall.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Sealing Weep Holes in Brick

The small openings between the bricks near the bottom of a brick house are called weep holes and are used to allow moisture to drain out of the wall and air to circulate. Never fill weep holes with solid material like caulking or mortar, but you can insert strips of fiberglass screen wire or scouring pad into the weep holes to keep insects out.


  1. How is a home chosen to be on your series? I have some project that I would like to address and posibly be one of the lucky homeowners that you can visit.
    Thank you Nancy

  2. My more-than-70 year-old home has been mine for 15 yrs. It was added onto several times & that resulted in ceiling heights from 9 ft in the original room that was built, to 8 ft in most of the house, but only 76 inches in the main bathroom, which was originally a porch.
    The house is structurally sound,(some rooms are actually square in terms of walls being perpendicular to each other!)and while I have had lots of updating done since I have lived here, am not sure if raising the bathroom ceiling would be cost effective or even do-able.
    Thank you! (Live in Cullman County ALABAMA)

  3. Excellent, informative series, and the home remodeling project is very attractive and well done. I am unable to find info on the unique soffit product used on the roof. Could you please provide a compny name and web site link for it? I’d like to use it on our pending roof remodel project. Thank you.

    • Hi David,
      The vinyl hidden vent soffit, as the rest of the vinyl siding and trim on the house, was made by Exterior Portfolio. You can watch our video about the soffit and siding on the First Time Homeowner house at Choosing Vinyl Siding for Your Home.
      Thank you for your interest!


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