Aug 12, 2013

a porch in the making

We have ONE area in our entire house that we are declaring FINISHED...the front porch. And wow it feels great to have a big project done. It's the 'hello' you see when you get to our house and it has come a llllloooonnnngggg way.

We liked the look before, but soon after we moved in the front step cracked apart and we had to patch it 'temporarily.' We also quickly discovered how annoying it was to have such a tiny step leading to the front door. You almost had to step on the ground to open the door. Such a pain with groceries or babies in hand.
The other annoyance about the way the house was is that there was nothing covering the front door. So if you needed to get in while it was raining, you got wet. Not very inviting.

So, if you have followed the blog for a long time, you'll remember when I found this inspiration picture (at the end of the post). Then I used Photoshop to mock up what I wanted the front to look like when it was done...and the process got started.

The first step was to build the roof extension over the front door. This was done at the same time the new roof was put on (the day I went into labor with baby #4...big day!).

Then, a year or so later, it was time to rip the old siding off of the house and put the new hardi plank/shake siding on.
It was looking better but needed to be painted. After everything was painted we could put up the lights and a mailbox again! We felt great about that progress...but still had more to do because we still had to deal with that tiny step.
We had gotten a bid from a contractor to build out the front for us, but we're gluttons for punishment and decided to diy it. We also couldn't justify spending thousands more when we had already paid so much to remodel every other part of the whole house. Not that the porch was cheap to diy...but definitely cheaper than hiring it out. (We fit right in at Remodelaholic.)

We would have loved to make the entire thing out of concrete but there were two problems with going that route. One is that it was SO expensive $$$. The other problem was that since our house is so old (built in the 1930s) we didn't want to add that much weight to our basement walls. We could have sured them up but it would have been extra $$$ again. Instead, we decided to build a 'deck' and we're really happy with that decision.

Holes were dug and filled with concrete for the wall and step footings.
Then Michael built a platform and initially covered it with plywood while we figured out what material we wanted to use as decking.
The side walls were framed up.
And then we found the Trex decking we wanted. We love Trex. Remember this when we wanted a Trex fence and the materials were going to be $19,000?? Well, we finally got our Trex, in a much smaller area and a MUCH smaller price tag.
Then a year went by again because we chose stone for the side walls that we didn't like...returned it...then our stone store messed up our order and we had to wait a whole winter to get the project moving again. But we finally got to add the stone.
The last step in the process was to make the concrete tops for the side walls. I'll be back tomorrow with all the concrete details.
Whew...sorry about the long post but a lot has happened in this little area over the past 3 years. :)


  1. Wow...what a difference your front porch makes. Your DIY projects sound like ours. We always tell ourselves that it will take three times as long as we have planned!

  2. Isn't that the truth? It definitely always takes three times longer...sometimes 10 times. :)

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