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2909 E Arkansas Ln Suite C,

Arlington, TX 76010

817-841-9632

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BEFORE & AFTER: The Amazing SUNTEX Transformation, Part 2 of 2

In yesterday’s blog post, I gushed about the work SUNTEX did on our home. In all honesty, I’m still not quite used to it yet, and we’ve been home for just over a month now. However, in this post, I plan not to speak for the work, but to simply let it speak for itself – after all, they say a picture is worth 1,000 words…

Exterior Paint

Home Improvement, Exterior Paint, BEFORE

Exterior Paint, BEFORE

Home Improvement, Exterior Paint, After Photos

Exterior Paint, AFTER

The Posterior, and improved Exterior Door

Home Improvement, Exterior Paint, Before

Exterior Paint (back of house), BEFORE

Home Improvement, Exterior Paint (back of house), After

Exterior Paint (back of house), AFTER

Though I briefly mentioned this in a prior blog post (check it out, here: https://suntexllc.com/overwhelming-gratitude-to-suntex-part-1-of-2/), one of the major improvements SUNTEX was able to help us out with fixing our back door. Initially upon moving into our home, we had a thick, brown door that closed off the back yard to our kitchen, and provided no natural light inside. My husband and I took it upon ourselves to “DIY” install a new door with a large window, so that we would get some natural lighting to our kitchen and be able to see the backyard from inside, while also giving us the feeling of a larger kitchen.

While we did a pretty decent job for a first-time door installation, it was no where near ‘professional’ (we couldn’t even close it completely without locking it); so when Ally and Jose told us they would be able to re-use all of our same materials, paint it to match the exterior trim, and re-install the door so that it would close upon shutting it, we were truly grateful. The end result is safer, looks much better, and didn’t break our budget since we were able to use the existing door. 

Gutters 

SUNTEX Home Improvement, Gutters

Lack of Gutters, BEFORE – see base of house for examples of rain damage

SUNTEX Home Improvement, Gutters, AFTER

Gutters, AFTER

Before, we did not have any gutters or “official” rainwater catchment system, and you could see that every time it rained, the water would outline the foundation of our home – leading to backyard flooding. Now? Our foundation is protected, and we couldn’t be happier with the work. Thanks to the team at SUNTEX, and Norandex, for this major Home Improvement!

Windows

SUNTEX Home Improvement, Windows, BEFORE

Windows, BEFORE

Home Improvement, Windows, AFTER

Windows, AFTER

The Fence & Gate

Back Fence, BEFORE

Back Fence, BEFORE

Back Fence, AFTER

Back Fence, AFTER

The Sliding Barn-doors

SUNTEX Home Improvement, Sliding Barn Doors, BEFORE

Sliding Barn Doors (and trim), BEFORE

Sliding Barn Doors, AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors, AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors, AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors, AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors & Trim, AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors (and trim), AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors & Trim, AFTER

Sliding Barn Doors (and trim), AFTER

The Energy-Reduction Reinforcements

Austin Energy, Usage

Austin Energy Annual Energy Usage Chart

While this one is a little more difficult to take photos of, it includes a few things: 1) fixing our back door so that it could shut fully without being locked, 2) adding insulation to the trim of each of our doors and garage door (an added bonus we didn’t even know to expect!), and 3) adding wood trim to our garage door so that light and temperature couldn’t enter/escape.

It’s also difficult to say which home improvement led to a particular amount in energy reductions to our energy bill, however the chart above should give you a good picture of what I mean – pay close attention to September of last year, to this year, after the Home Improvements from SUNTEX were integrated. 

I think it’s safe to say we owe SUNTEX a huge debt of gratitude for the Home Improvements they made to our home, which was nothing short of amazing. I am incredibly grateful to work for a company who’s product and service I believe in, and to have been able to benefit from it myself. They have made our house into a home.

I also wanted to say, Thank you for allowing me to explore my creative writing skills while telling you the story of our trip through the lens of green energy this month! It was an absolute pleasure to write this for SUNTEX since I truly believe in the work they do, and the goodness that they bring about each day. Thank you for sharing in our merriment, and reading along this month!

Now, onto September. Fin.

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Overwhelming Gratitude to SUNTEX, Part 1 of 2

Ecclesiastes 5:12 states, “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.”

 

My prayer is that Alejandra and Jose are sleeping soundly, because their labor of love knows no bounds.

Before leaving on our month-long road trip, and because we had worked out this highly unconventional, yet perfect agreement – to ask SUNTEX to complete our house repairs and key upgrades while we were out of town, while also requesting they house-sit while we traveled through the country to see family and friends – we were able to create perfect synergy in our plans. I’m a stickler for efficiency, so this was my dream come true, and Ally and Jose made it 100% possible.

The week before we left, Aaron and (I wish I could say the dogs, and) I cleaned the house through and through. We worked until we sweat, as we were hoping the house would feel as though it was home – and I even asked Ally to grade me on cleanliness, thinking that we might some day rent it out online.

Yet with all of the back-breaking work we put in to clean all the way down to replacing the drawer lining, sanitize every last crevice of the fridge and kitchen, and make up the beds as a hotel might – it was nothing compared to the work the team at SUNTEX put in, to make our wildest home project dreams finally come true.

Home Improvement, Exterior Paint, Before Photos

Home Improvement, BEFORE Photos

A Little more Backstory…

When we moved into our home, there was really no direct sunlight into the kitchen; the windows were poor-quality and then failed to hold up under (literal, ice) pressure during the winter storm (some even sealed shut). Because we don’t have a ton of space in the home, we’ve done our best to reduce wide-door entries eating up surface area, while still allowing coverage for privacy (sliding barn doors, which admittedly, needed additional improvement).

We hope to raise our family in this home, but weren’t sure how long we would stay – living a fairly nomadic lifestyle. We also wanted to experiment in hosting our home for rental income in the future, should fate allow. All of our personal efforts however, while definite “home improvements” were not quite professional-grade quality, and aside from all of that, I would not have wanted anyone to stay here with the exterior yellow and brown paint.

The Review…

So when I say that SUNTEX made all of our dreams come true, I mean it. Driving home, and the relief we felt upon arrival, went way beyond my expectations for what we thought our house could and would look like, and I am so grateful that we hired SUNTEX to do this work, and make our house feel like a home.

Home Improvement, Gutters

Gutter and Fence Installation, AFTER Photos

Home Improvement, Exterior Paint

Exterior Paint, AFTER Photos

When we walked in, there was a collective sigh of relief as we walked from room to room, gazing upon the new features – after of course, staring excitedly at it for about 5 minutes right when we got home. Because it was late at night (about 11pm on a Sunday evening), we couldn’t really call anyone (exception: my friend, who’s birthday was also that day!) to share in the elation of our new home, so we just stood there, beaming smiles while admiring the paint color, the gutters, the trimming of the front bushes and lawn, and the new home before us that for some reason, we had the keys to.

 

Home Improvement

Home Improvement, Framing AFTER Photos

Upon entering the house, we examined all of the new details of our home which we knew well – and noted how each single project amounted to boundless improvement on the home. The gutters would save our foundation, and the sides of our home from moisture. The new windows would keep moisture out, keep cool air in (during the summer, and retain heat during the winter), and gave the house an overall “brand new clean” type feeling (even our indoor plants had been arranged in the same way we would want them displayed).

 

My favorite piece might have actually been the trim that SUNTEX added around the main closet and bathroom floors, as well as adding the surrounding framing, of course (see right for photo). Also check out the BEFORE & AFTER photos within this post, and tomorrow’s blog post – these rooms all now feel complete, rather than “in progress,” which provides immense peace of mind.

 

 

 

Though I’ve mentioned each project distinctly this month (see below for reference)…

Installation Project Preliminary Review & Photos
(9) brand new Elevate windows The most Beatiful Lake in Montana + What’s happening to the House now?!
Power washing & Cleaning, the driveway, sidewalk and house in preparation for Exterior Paint and Trim

SherwinWilliams: Rosemary Green (SW 6187); Netsuke (SW 6134))

Mr. and Mrs. Sims go to Washington
Coordinating the Installation of Norandex Gutters surrounding the home, with well-thought out locations for the downspouts Just like that, Gutters are Up!
Fixing the back door so that it closes; and fixing our sliding barn-door project (AKA fixing our DIY installations!!); Fixing the backyard fence D-I-Y
Cleaning the Entire House until spotless See this post, Overwhelming Gratitude to SUNTEX, and subsequent Blog post for Before & After photos

…it is important to note that I chose to hire SUNTEX originally because I knew they would do great work, for the best price – and I was right. To see more of the “final version” of our home repairs, please do take a look at tomorrow’s blog post: BEFORE & AFTER, The SUNTEX Transformation.

Directly to my Boss’s, Ally and Jose…

Thank you for every last detail you put into this project. Upon entering the threshold, and every single day thereafter, our home has felt like a dream. It genuinely felt like we were in someone else’s home the first time we walked in – and I had to ask my husband to double check that we hadn’t wandered into the neighbors house by mistake.

It was no mistake. The house had just been significantly improved by excellent craftsmanship, and the love you poured into each and every aspect of the project. We could see and feel it, and cannot thank you enough for all the work you’ve done.

I’ll check back in after a couple of weeks to let you know what we break – just kidding, so far so good – in the meantime, I could not be happier with having hired the best team at SUNTEX to help us bring our home improvements up to par, and our goals and dreams across the finish line.

I work with this company because I continue to believe in the products, solutions, and education that we provide to our customers; and as a customer myself, I am thoroughly impressed with SUNTEX.

Thank you SUNTEX

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Mr. and Mrs. Sims Go To Washington

WashingtonROAD TRIP UPDATES: We arrived in Seattle after another 14-hour drive in the car – refreshed by the mountainous and pine scenery, along with all of the incredibly diverse scenery in Idaho and Oregon – but once we finally all piled out of the car, we were ready to party! We get into town and catch up with family we hadn’t seen in over a year, since before the COVID-19 pandemic began; but once we finally all got together, we laughed until we cried.

Ever since mentioning the 4-week road trip to his parents, my husband’s mom had been preparing a small get together for anyone who might want to come and hang out with family again, post-vaccination. Of course, only a meager 30-40 people replied yes.

So, it’s safe to say the party grew in size and complexity from day 1. For starters, there would be an army of 3-8 year-old nieces and nephews to entertain, and plenty of food would be needed for the remaining adults at the party. Of course there was the added question of masking up or not, so it was decidedly held outdoors – which, for anyone who’s been to Seattle in July and August lately can tell you, it’s quite hot – in fact, it might even be reminiscent of Texas summers (see Climate Change) – which means we also needed to think about keeping everyone cool. Thus, all week long, Aaron and I were running around Seattle getting food, setting up the outdoor equipment and furniture (underneath the artistically placed shade awnings for the occasion), and scheming up the menu and planning for the event which would take place that Saturday.

Sherwin Williams

HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT UPDATES: Finally the rain in Austin has stopped! This certainly has been a crazy summer in Texas with all of the rain we’ve been getting throughout June and July – check out what I mean here: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/june-2021-us-climate-outlook-wetter-and-cooler-average-start, and honestly I couldn’t be more grateful for it. My garden has never looked better.

Alejandra and Jose are working more quickly than I could have anticipated, but now that it’s finally dry, it’s time to to finish up the exterior paint and install the windows.

When we first discussed this project, I had some slight idea in mind of which colors would go naturally with our exterior brick, however wasn’t quite ready to take the leap in painting over it. Plus, I had hoped to keep the materials looking as natural as possible, thus deciding to go with a green and tan exterior. While I didn’t anticipate him being so passionate about this part of the project, my husband and I had a lot of fun doing some reconnaissance in the area to see which colors looked the best on different homes, so we could test out our theories, and agreed on this palate. From there, it was simple, according to the SUNTEX Quick Guide steps below…

SUNTEX

SUNTEX Quick Guide to Home Improvement Projects

The beauty of working with friends that you trust is that you can leave the creative problem solving completely in their capable hands, while sharing your inner-most dreams and goals for your home, because they genuinely want to know what you want to see in your home! Working with SUNTEX as a customer was a fun experience because I got to see our work first-hand, and feel the pride in knowing exactly what was happening along the way.

Alejandra, and the entire SUNTEX team, did an absolutely incredible job in setting aside time that was convenient for Aaron and I to meet (outside of working hours of course), and walked us through the project every step of the way – without the burden of too many meetings or being bombarded with emails. She understood that as someone with a busy schedule both in and outside of work-life, it was important to communicate in ways that were effective and insightful. For example, while choosing paint colors we hit a snag when learning that due to the winter storm, as well as a national shortage due to supply-chain delays related to the pandemic, there was a shortage of paint samples. Gone were the days when we could paint a few small squares on the outside of our house to test & see whether or not we liked the color.

To Sherwin Williams’s credit (sherwin-williams.com), they had some pretty cool work-arounds for this problem that Ally was happy to share with us:

  1. small stick-able squares that allowed you to see the color you wanted on your home, or
  2. you can upload a picture of your home online and test out random paint colors.

House Rendering - Front

House Rendering - Back

Note: If you have a couple of hours to kill and just want to have some fun, I highly recommend checking out the ColorSnap visualizer here: https://www.sherwin-williams.com/visualizer#/active/default.

We opted for solution #2, and were able to design a couple of simple renderings of what our house might look like with a splash of paint, specifically rosemary green (SW 6187) and netsuke (SW 6134) – check them out for fun (left, front of house; right, back of house). Alas, before even arriving, we had been able to detail online exactly which parts of the trim we’d like to paint tan, and which parts of the house we hoped would be green (of course, deferring to Ally & Jose’s discretion on site), and were able to come up with the perfect outline for them to follow when painting the house!

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Travel Prep: Preparing for Home Repairs

Given our tendencies towards a more nomadic lifestyle, when we moved into our first home back in 2018, I made my husband promise me we wouldn’t sell it for at least 10 years. The market has fluctuated wildly since then, and even though we’ve mulled over the idea of renting it out from time to time, we are still just really grateful to have a place we call home. We have come to love our neighborhood haunts, and have made some good friends here as well.

As you might have guessed however, there are still a few things we would like to change about the place, and have even done a few DIY projects to get some practice. The first thing we changed about the home were the doors — there were several that opened into a room, drastically cutting down the space by almost half. We knew that if we put sliding barn doors in the main bedroom we would gain tons of space in our bathroom and closet; we also decided on a glass door that opened outwards from the kitchen, instead of the solid brown door that open inward originally. While we did a pretty good job for beginners, it was clear there were a few details we were desperately lacking in our construction projects, and we had waited over a year to finish them!

The next item I was desperate to change on our home was the outdoor paint, and if you take a look at the picture below, I think it’s easy to see why.

House: Before

When we first moved into the home, I remember asking the inspector what type of energy qualifications homes needed to meet in order to be ready for sale. He nearly laughed, and simply said, “None?” Since our house was built in the early 2000s, there wasn’t anything too outdated to be a major red flag, however we knew the thin window panes might not hold up for much longer. We had been gathering quotes for some time, however after the winter freeze when our windows started to fog up on a sunny day, we knew it was time: we needed to replace our windows.

Windows: Before

The final and likely most significant piece to all of the changes we wanted to make to the home was adding gutters. If you’ve ever been in Texas during a rainstorm, you know just how quickly a light rain can turn into a flash flood, and our home had started to show some of the tell-tale signs of the rain. See photos below for greater detail, however we had water stains on the brick in the front where water would flow off of the rooftop, and the foundation for the back yard porch had started to move slightly — something we were told would continue to happen with the heavy rains each spring. In order to protect our house, we knew it was time to add gutters — and of course I knew just who to call to help me out.

With just a few phone calls, a down payment on the project, and some carefully coordinated planning, we hired SUNTEX to help us out with all of the repairs.

 

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