Archive for September 27th, 2011

September 27, 2011

Panic, Trees & Carport Planning

by Cait

We’ve been working a bit on our curb appeal on-and-off this year, mostly purely cosmetic things like the porch ceiling or the Spanish tile (and I still owe y’all a post on the door tile- oops). However, this time we need to take more of a form-over-function direction.

If you missed my photo-only post yesterday, the dying oak tree beside the driveway took out its post-rain wrath on my car’s window. My granddad always told me not to park under large trees because they can randomly huge drop limbs (especially the day after a storm), yet for some reason I never thought I’d learn this lesson the hard way by parking in my own driveway. You know, probably because of the conveniently placed driveway

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If we’re being honest, this was not the first time the car-eating tree dropped a limb on my car. The last time was about 18 months ago while we were in San Francisco for Robert’s cousin’s wedding. For whatever reason (probably that the limb only made a small ding on my hood that time?), we decided not to do the smart thing and listen to our parents remove the ailing tree then. We did pull a giant, been-there-since-we-owned-the-house, wedged-in dead limb out of the same tree back before Hurricane Irene, though. And there may have been some really ironic “we’re such good, cautious homeowners” type high-fiving after that. Who knows what kind of damage that sucker could have done to my car.

Fast forward back to today. Robert and I have pretty much decided to stop taking chances by doing the bare minimum after the burst pipe in the guest bathroom wall. So rather than continuing to sacrifice our cars to the tree, we’re going to have the darn thing removed. We decided this amidst all the panicking and taping of bags over my car window, but we know it’s the right decision, and one we should have done months or years ago.

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We have also toyed with the idea of adding a carport along the side of our house, possibly with a covered walkway to the front porch. I don’t know that  both removing the tree and building a carport are really necessary, but better safe than sorry I guess. It’s not like there aren’t other tress in the area, and a carport would protect my car from things like hail, too. 

The (first) problem we run into is that we would be putting it on the guest room side of the house, where it may block most of the light coming in the window. Young House Love has the same issue with the window over their desk, but their office still seems to get enough light (of course that room also has a second window). As I told Robert, we could add some sort of tubular skylight later on if the room is too dark. (Though we haven’t priced those yet. Heck, we haven’t even priced the carport or tree removal yet.)  Another option is just making the guest bath window larger when we get to working on that project again, and then adding the window I’ve been wanting in the laundry room when we get to that. (Oh how projects snowball into one another.)

Getting back to carports, Kara Paslay and her husband Tim improved their house’s curb appeal by adding an arbor in front of the carport.

Kara Paslay’s carport

I also found this carport on Pinterest, but it is originally from a company that builds carports.

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And then there is YHL’s carport.

YHL’s carport

So that’s our latest need-based curb appeal project. We’re hopefully getting the tree removal estimate today, and after that we’ll work on figuring out what kind of carport we may add. We would love to one day have a garage (with a studio space above it), but after yesterday I think we’re planning on biting the bullet and putting up a carport, at least for the time being.

Anyone else have to make design choices after something unexpected happened? Any other tree horror stories? Or if you’ve seen any great carport designs I’d love to see them!