Front Porch Remodel

Front Porch Remodel

We chose to paint our house during the summer of 2011. That summer unexpectedly continued into the next summer. Our house is small and we didn’t think it would take too long to prep and paint it. The problem was we decided to repair a “few things” before we started painting. We thought we’d quickly replace the front stairs, which were slopping at an odd angle. We assumed it was because someone built them that way. Turns out the porch was actually sinking. We also wanted to remove the plywood that covered the porch balusters, and replace them if they were in bad shape. That “little” project turned into us having to remove the entire front porch, including the porch roof.

Under the plywood we found crumbling, rotting wood. Once we took the skirting off we discovered that the west side of the porch was supported by a single, crumbling brick. The porch roof had detached and was only hanging on by a few nails on each side, completely unattached from the house in the center. This discovery was hidden by new shingles that were installed right before we bought the house. This was all too dangerous to ignore and much more work that we ever anticipated.

Since we had already started scraping the house of old paint, we continued that project while we dealt with removing and rebuilding the front porch. This taught us a huge lesson…only do one big project at a time. As everyone will warn, there are always surprises during a renovation. Some much bigger than others!

rock and nest exterior house before and after


porch before

The old porch roof had detached and was only hanging on by a few nails on each side, completely unattached from the house in the center. This discovery was hidden by new shingles that were installed right before we bought the house.

rock and nest porch remodel

Once we took the skirting off we discovered that the west side of the porch was supported by a single, crumbling brick.

old rotted porch wood

rock and nest rotting wood front porch renovation

Under the plywood we found crumbling, rotting wood.

old stairs removed

The original porch was probably built at a slight angle so rain water would run off. Over time the porch sunk even more, making the slope quite extreme.

roof propped up

We propped up the existing roof while we removed the bottom section of the porch.

porch idea sketch

Since this was not a planned renovation, we quickly drew up some ideas for the new porch with a friend of ours.

cement

We began pouring a new concrete footing for the porch. No more cracked bricks!

graig mixing cement

Graig pouring cement.

cement pad

With the porch roof still suspended over us, we continued to pour the cement pad.

porch bottom framed out

Once the cement pad dried completely we built the frame for the porch. We decided to use the bottom section as an enclosed storage space.

porch roof removed bottom framed

Now that the bottom half of the porch was built, we could use it as a work surface to remove the porch roof.

front porch removed

The house looked really sad without a front porch!

evening work with firepit

We worked as late as we safely could during the long summer days.

z porch renovation

Living in a construction zone!

stair risers

At the end of the first summer things start to come together.

rock and nest working remodel

Wedding anniversaries used to be about special dinners, or little getaways out of town. Now we wear matching safety goggles!

porch roof framed

Since there was nothing structurally sound to attach the porch roof back to where it was originally, we decided to extend the exiting roof-line straight out to cover the porch.

stair risers and roof line

Extending the existing roof-line also gave us a few options for enclosing the porch, as well as a vaulted porch ceiling.

porch mock up

We then had to decide if we wanted to leave the front of the porch roof-line open, or enclose it.

porch idea 1

An example we found of an open porch roof-line.

We looked at as many examples as we could find online, as well as around our neighborhood. We lived and breathed every inch of this porch remodel!

porch idea 2

An example of what it might look like if we enclosed the porch roof-line.

porch mock up 2

We also hastily Photoshopped what our house might look like if we enclosed the top section of the porch.

porch roof progress

In the end we decided to enclose the top section of the porch. For a quite a while our house didn’t only look like a wreck, but it also looked like we didn’t know what we were doing. It’s amazing how all of the finish work and paint really make things come together!

progress

Although we never found any examples of an enclosed porch roof-line that also incorporated a vaulted ceiling, we decided to do it anyway. This decision made the porch feel much more spacious.

roof line

The siding goes on and we build the new porch balusters and railing.

rock and nest porch remodel graig

As the summer comes to an end we continue working when we can, weather permitting. In this photo Graig is checking something out as we leave to go to a friends house for Thanksgiving dinner!

replacing front door

Spring rolls around and we are able to start some serious work again. We knew exactly what door we wanted, but the cost was keeping us from buying it. Then, as luck would have it, we found one listed for sale at Second Use, a reclaimed building materials store. This was the exact 4-lite, 4-panel exterior door, in the exact odd size that we wanted. Rather than paying $500, we got it for $100, and it was brand new with the plastic still on the glass panes!

porch progress with new door

The new door is installed.

rock and nest new door

The new door and handle set.

rock and nest porch remodel railing 1

The railings…of all the things that a married couple could argue about during a huge remodel, this one was probably the worst!

A simple wooden post with a handrail was absolutely not going to cut it!

The posts needed to be wrapped and capped. The balusters also needed to continue down the handrails to complete the look.

rock and nest porch remodel railing 2

Once this was agreed upon, then we had more simple choices to make. Like, how to cap the end rails. With a simple cap, or do we build it out a little?

rock and nest porch remodel railing 3

We chose to build out the end rails and then cap them.

rock and nest porch remodel railing

This made the porch railing look a lot more substantial and balanced.

front of house before paint

Our house looked pretty bad, for a long time. Even after the porch re-build. It took us months to finish all the detail work and paint.

Another anniversary, another day of working on the house!

rock and nest porch storage

The bottom section of the new porch was framed out with two doors so we could have extra storage space.

rock and nest porch remodel light

The new vaulted ceiling awaits something special…

big light

We really needed a statement light to accentuate the vaulted ceiling of the new porch.

smaller light

We narrowed it down to two lights from Rejuvenation Lighting, and once again hastily mocked something up in Photoshop to see what they might look like.

testing light placement

In the end we decided on the larger of the two lights. We spent a fair amount of time measuring, and even mocked up a cardboard version of the shade to determine just the right length.

light is hung

The perfect light for our porch! Even though we still had a lot of painting to finish, the installation of the light really made things feel complete.

rock and nest exerior paint porch remodel

Another summer gone by, still touching up the paint on the new porch.

rock and nest exterior paint and porch remodel 1

Finished!

rock and nest exterior paint and porch remodel 2

porch after

front porch after2

rock and nest exterior house before and after

xo

Advertisements

One thought on “Front Porch Remodel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s