Exterior/Landscaping Home & Decor Home: before and afters Lake House

Lake House Exterior Roof Addition // New Veranda

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Every time I talk about our house, I refer to the original listing and can’t help mentioning that it was low on my list of homes to see in Lake Arrowhead. I didn’t like the way the exterior looked at all and since there were no interior photos listed, I begrudgingly added it to the very bottom of my list of homes to look at with our realtor.

And then of course, we walked in and almost immediately knew it was “our house” because it suited our needs to a T and we got that “feeling” you get when you just know. And though I’d love to somehow add a formal living room and an entry way as well as renovate the kitchen, all of the bathrooms, and change the flooring in the main living space, the house is more than livable, so I settled with painting a few rooms and walls, swapping out the old beveled windowed doors, and decided to focus on the exterior first.

We found a contractor and landscaper and got to work last Spring thinking we’d have something done by Summer and got our first set of blueprints March 2014. But everything seemed to take longer than I had expected and we didn’t have final exterior landscaping plans until August.

With winter coming and the new puppies using the deck as a potty, we decided the most functional of all the renovations and that would serve us best, was adding the roof canopy to our deck turning it into a veranda of sorts.

We walk the dogs twice a day but potty trained them on the deck outside our back door {because it’s the safest area for them} and with winter coming, we knew we’d be using it more than not. Construction began at the end of August/beginning of September and finished in three weeks. In theory, the second part of phase one, the new decks and refacing existing ugly concrete, could have been completed before winter as well, BUT I wasn’t willing to watch my brand new decks get destroyed by winter and have to clean them next year to use them. I wanted to get to enjoy them all sparkly and brand new at least once. So we had the roof done and halted the rest of the projects until Spring of next year.


Besides the pops of red from our umbrellas and old patio furniture, and the two men prepping to paint it, this is {what I refer to as the “back” of our house} looked like when we bought it.

Back of House -BEFORE with playground equipment

lakehouse backyard playground before

Before the new paint and removal of old playground equipment, the exterior of the house was shabby and so drab to me. The first thing we did was remove the old and painfully large playground equipment from the late ’50s that just seemed like an accident waiting to happen. It opened up our land, but it’s still not land we particularly use just yet. It mostly serves as Bebop’s exercise/potty area while he’s in his wheels because it’s the only flat surface in the area.

Eventually, this entire flat land will be landscaped with cute pathways, lush greenery {drought tolerant-low water plants}, a possible garden, gazebo, and fire pit PLUS a concrete driveway/parkway and a fence all the way around. We finalized the plans this year but will be renovating in phases to stay within budget AND within season.

house exterior-brown green before

New Exterior Paint…

white house-a frame-black trim


We had it painted white with black trim and I think it made a HUGE difference to the way the house looked. I couldn’t handle the drab color it was when we bought it, which was almost camouflaged within the mountain dirt and tall trees surrounding it and now it looks like a happy house, proud to be where it is.


Plans for the Roof/Veranda…

roof plans-1

roof plans-2

Next spring we hope to begin work the new decks that will step down and emerge from the existing decks – plus reface the existing concrete deck {that is now a rusty color} with smooth concrete and brick accents.

During Construction…

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Above: As seen from my office sliding door which steps out onto the deck.

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Side Note: We had to cut down a HUGE and very old tree at the edge of our property because it wasn’t in good health. I hate to cut down trees but this one split hear the middle and had two trunks shooting out from it. One of the trunks fell during a storm a few years ago and killed the power lines for the entire street. The remaining trunk swayed dangerously through each storm and was apparently in bad health as per an inspector.

Our local firewood guy, Carl, was able to chip it for us for firewood AND keep/sell the rest, so it worked out well for all.

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The roof took about three weeks to finish, just one week longer than the original estimate due to the Lake Arrowhead Association rules for retaining a consistent mountain-y vibe and apparently the original plans didn’t meet the pitch standards. So there were a few days of waiting for inspectors and reworking already finished work, but the extra week wasn’t a problem. I always assume construction of any kind will take twice as long as estimated and cost twice as much as well. And it did.


We are so happy with the final roof line and the way it added depth to the exterior of the house, which was very long and flat. It’s wonderful to sit under and really allows us to enjoy our patio space. Next Summer, after the Spring renovation of the flooring and the new deck additions, new patio furniture will accompany it and I can’t wait to see the finished look.

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It rained the day after the roof was finished so we could test it out… besides the footprints, because Trevor is obsessed with falling water and the rain, we were so happy it stayed completely dry where it was supposed to.

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The dogs LOVE it as much as we do and although I’m still terrified of coyotes in the area, it feels just a tad bit safer with the roof up… though we NEVER let them sit out here unattended. EVER. It’s more like an extension of the house, an extra living space that we get to enjoy that is super functional as well.

Pet Potty Options…

Because we trained the boys to go potty out on this deck and because it’s nice to have a space they can go when it’s raining or snowing or whatever, we’d like to keep this as an option. But as you can see in the photos above, we’ve been using pee pads lined up and weighted with rocks {in the corner} as their potty, which work surprisingly well, but visually makes me squirm.

I’ve searched for alternative pet porch potties and found a variety of better options at various prices {listed below} but I’m not exactly sure which to go with.

The largest one at the bottom is my favorite {looking} AND it has a self-cleaning option and possible drainage system that could work well -or not, but I don’t love that the boys would have to jump up on it to use it, that the price is rather steep, and I’d need TWO to make work. So I’m leaning towards the one below with the Frenchie sitting on it because I like how flat it is, the rounded edges, AND being that I’d have to buy at least four to make this situation work, I’d still be under cost of the the first one.

pet potty

1. 33×33 Pet Loo Indoor Yard Training System available at Pet Loo Indoor Yard Training System $148 –

pet potty

2. Home-X Pet Potty, 20×25 Pet Park only $46.95

pet potty

3. Large Dog Potty 30×40 $49

pet potty

4. The original Porch Potty {Standard 26″ x 50″ x 7″} $225

I really think any of these options would work, but I’ll need quite a few to mimic the length of what we’ve already trained them on and am happy to be able to move it to the other side of the deck once the weather permits, but I’m not sure which to go with still.

Have you tried any of these above or have an entirely better option I should think about? I’d love your recommendations!

And Finally… No more this…

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Or This {though it is beautiful}…

snow on the trees-winter

Local Resources… Lake Arrowhead & surrounding
* Painter : Mike Zweber at Z Painting (909) 273-0466
* Landscaping : Scott Peterson Landscaping Architect
* Construction : Aspen Construction / Pat and Stacey (909) 337-6242
* Woodwork/Windows/Doors : Wilhelm {wil} Wolfsohn {WilhelmGW.com}


Maegan Tintari

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

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