Published On: Wed, Jun 5th, 2013

Taking a Tour of the House’s Exterior From Back Patio to Front Porch

What I love about this house is that it’s more than just what’s on the inside. Some of the amenities I wasn’t expecting to get, this house has a lot of them. And a couple I didn’t even think about. I was so focused on making sure inside the house had the basics, I forgot to want a shed, a grill, a back patio, private parking and some other stuff that this house comes with.

The biggest feature I absolutely love is the back patio. It has a really good size, it’s elevated high above ground level, and it’s under a huge tree [a really huge tree] that provides plenty of shade from that killer sun.

I can very easily see us getting a grill; some seating, maybe chairs, a patio set or what I really want is one of those outdoor sectionals, if they make them a bit smaller than what the rich people can afford and fit in their backyard; a grill to barbeque on the back patio as opposed to the grill I’ll get to in a moment; an umbrella, even though there’s lots of shade, to keep from getting hit by acorns falling out that tree; and whatever else people put on back patios.

Back Patio/Deck

Back Patio/Deck

Back Patio/Deck

Back Patio/Deck-patio

There’s a lot of room underneath the patio to store stuff and steps that lead to the basement. The area needs some TLC, but we’ll figure something out. At the bottom of the steps leading into the basement has a drain hole to keep water from collecting. Have to make sure that stays clear.

There’s already a water hose hooked up which is good. I get the feeling I’m going to be asked to wash the car often. The exterior wall, actually all of it, needs a serious deep cleaning though. The back patio needs to be restained and restored. The area under the patio has a lot of potential but just needs some cleaning up.






Ugly shovel, but I’ll take it if they want to leave it.


I’ll be replacing this hose and how it’s set up.


And then, there’s a shed. I never expected that we’d have an actual backyard so I never thought about having a shed. This shed looks like it’s about to fall over at any moment, but it’s a shed. We don’t have anything to store in it yet, but it’s still cool having a shed.



And then, there’s the private parking. The main street doesn’t require a parking permit, which is good for when we have guests, but having a private place to park is essentially priceless in a city like DC. Whenever my mom visits, she can park there because she can’t parallel park anyway.

Private Parking

And then, there’s the grill. Not the kind you buy at Home Depot but one that is built by hand, using bricks and isn’t going anywhere no matter how windy it gets.

I’ll still be buying a grill to cook on the patio. This grill is functional, but I want to grill on the patio. But we’ll take it for a spin some time, just because it’s there.



There is a lot of debris that needs to be cleaned up though. There’s debris behind the shed, between the patio and fence separating us from the neighbor, lined up on the fence by the trash cans, and just here and there. There’s more you’ll see in just a moment that absolutely needs to be cleaned up.


I’m the man in the mirror



Moving along the side of the house, it’s obvious that those weird looking plants were intentionally planted there. I’m not sure how I feel about them. I will say that I like that we have this tiny precious little sliver of land. Ideally I’d do some landscaping and clean this up a bit so it doesn’t look like just wild growth.

The screens for the basement windows are going to have to go. They’re filthy. What I’m most surprised about, though, is that there are no burglar bars on the windows. Those are standard for any windows at ground level. I prefer not to have them though. Just have to be vigilant.





Sure hope this security light works.


Utility meters. Ugly but necessary.

One thing that I’m not used to living in DC having to worry about is a power line going down causing a blackout. Within L’Enfant city the utility lines are underground so there’s no threat of a branch falling and knocking out a power line.

But beneath that huge tree in the backyard are all the wires we need for power. One nasty storm knocks one heavy branch down that falls right on these wires, we’re going to black. I’ll buy some flashlights and candles just in case. The heat is gas so we should be good there.


Now, underneath the front porch is a disgrace. That is a no-brainer that it has to be cleaned out. The shed is locked so there’s no telling if there’s anything in there also that needs to be cleaned out, but under the porch is just chaos.


And finally, getting to the front of the house, I love the front porch. It has a good size, one in which we can put a bistro table and chairs out there and just sit out there and chill. On the porch there’s hooks to hang plants, a rectangular flower thingamajig to plant flowers, and it’s carpeted so it’s comfortable and inviting.

I like that there’s larger than normal sized window for the living room. I like that there’s already a screen door and the front door. I’m not sure about the mail slot. Najwa may like playing with it, but it’s terrible for insulation. For whatever reason, I like having those peep holes to see who’s knocking.





The street really is a quiet, peaceful street. It’s tree-lined and has a canopy which is another thing I really wanted. We have a front yard, something I absolutely wasn’t sure we’d be able to get. Land and space is at a premium in DC. And the lawn has some really good grass. Najwa will have fun playing out there. And there’s a lamppost that lights up at night.

The awnings were something I knew I’d want to remove, until I stood on this roomy porch. Love the awnings. At first it made the house look old, but it is an old house so it’s okay. But the awnings help with heating and cooling and makes it possible to stand on the porch during even a heavy downpour.

But also, there’s the flowerbed in front of the porch. The roses just add a little color to the house. Love it.


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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.


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