After a couple days of standing back and admiring, driving by, staring, admiring some more and then a bit more staring...I realized something was missing. Sound familiar? With the shutters up above, the lower half of the house looked out of balance somehow. Of course that bank of windows off the dining room (we simply refer to it as "the bumpout") wouldn't fit shutters, or even look okay if they did, but that area seemed the likely culprit.
So after a few days of hemmin' and hawin', I decided to take the plunge. Because the aluminum framing around the window has been there for many years now, I had to scrub to make sure I got all the chalk off. After that...it was just time to get up there and start painting. I started with the black first...and let me tell you - standing there on the ladder, brush loaded with black paint, looking at that factory-painted white flashing, the first stroke was tough. But hey! Throw caution to the wind!
That brings up another point...the ladder. Dear lord I've gotten so I hate ladders, even if it's only to the top of the first floor. But I got the first coat of black on with just moderate anxiety. The next day while I was at work, and I have no idea how such random thoughts pop into my mind, I had a brainstorm...get a ladder stabilizer! So after work - off to Lowe's...and I found this:
The Werner Ladder Stabilizer! It cost $42 and I have to say, this was among the best $42 I've ever spent! The assembly instructions came in Spanish, but luckily I can follow picture instructions pretty well! I assembled it and attached it to my ladder in less than five minutes!
Not only was it affordable, and easy to assemble and attach, it made a WORLD of difference! That ladder was incredibly stable and the rest of the project was anxiety-free! Onward we go...After getting the second coat of black on, I stood back and admired my work!
Buuuut...something was wrong. I didn't like the look of the bare, gray aluminum frames on the storm windows. I know! I'll paint 'em! Next day - scrub the frames, and tape around the windows.
About an hour-and-a-half later the frames were painted. What a difference it made! Unfortunately I'm not much of a photographer, so it's hard to get the look to really show, but I can tell you, in real time it looks striking!
And here's a further-out shot:
See what I mean? I think the window frame painted black really adds something to balance the upper and lower floors! And how about that sky? The photo hasn't been enhanced, it's just the kind of beautiful day I got to work in!