Sunday, July 7, 2013

Covered Porch Renovation Begins!

Apologies for the radio silence this week. I've been making trips to Home Depot, working away on the vintage shop, and helping with the big BBQ and school play in town. But I'm back and sharing some "before" shots of the downstairs porch we are planning to rehab over the next 3 months. It's an eyesore and needs some serious help. I cringe just looking at these photos.

As you can see, the space has potential but it is incredibly rough to say the least. We have bare concrete floors, window openings but no windows, a chain link gate door, and plywood walls. Currently the space is being used to store construction supplies, but the plan is to spruce it up significantly and add a door between the porch and the downstairs chiropractic office space so that patients can enter directly from downstairs instead of walking through our living room. Here's our To Do list for the space:

> Add insulated door to the chiropractic treatment room
> Frame out and install windows
> Sand, prime, and paint wood doors for the two entries into the covered porch area
> Add steps and railing leading up to the porch
> Install flooring (we are still undecided on what material to use)
> Add wood plank walls and paint them white
> Add a facade on the foundation around the front of the house (stone?)
> Landscaping around the front of the porch
> Spread blue stone gravel in front of the porch so patients can drive right up to it

Once again, our To Do list feels overwhelming, but we do have a good start on a number of the items already. Our new full window insulated door (pictured below) arrived earlier this week, and I think it's going to be really nice as an entry door and for adding light to the office space.

We've also have a full set of windows that will be used in the window openings. Framing out and installing them will be the largest job on the porch. We found two wood doors with full glass window inserts at the Brimfield flea market last summer that we will sand, prime, paint, and install as entry doors into the covered porch area. One will replace the chain link gate door shown below, and the other will lead out of the back of the porch area (the opening behind the yellow concrete footing tube).

What to do on the floor is still up in the air. We need something that will work for the porch floor but that will flow with whatever we end up doing on the bare concrete foundation in front of the house and the stairs we are going to add. Anyone have ideas for this eyesore?

We've been procrastinating work on the covered porch because the job is daunting, but it's time to get down to business. I am hoping we can start framing the windows over the coming week. My job is to scrape, sand, and paint all of the windows and doors that will go in. It's lots of work, but peanuts compared to the framing and installing Josh will do. As usual I will share pics as we make progress!

Oh, and if anyone has been wondering, we are so close to finishing the bathroom! The shower glass wall and door is scheduled to be installed within the week, and after that we just have a few small things like hanging the bathroom door, installing light switch plates, paint touch ups, hanging a wall cabinet, and adding a threshold between the concrete and the tile. I've been holding out photos so that I can show a finished product for once. I also need to figure out how to get nice photos in a room with no natural light. Is there any way to do this without splurging on expensive photography lights on tripods and umbrellas?

That's all for today! We're off to serve 500 BBQ chicken lunches at the town parade/BBQ.


  1. We don't have a lot of natural light either. I find that if I put the item under my OTT light I get pretty good photos. I know you're talking about a whole room...I googled how to take photos of a dark room and here's the link The solutions are all camera related, hope it helps!

  2. How about staining the concrete and putting a gloss or matt finish over that. They have beautiful concrete pictures, ideas and how to on the web. Here is just one place to go for ideas

  3. Regarding the concrete - what about doing a simple geometric pattern in paints? You can lay down tape and paint in between and the once you sheer coat that with some sort of polyeurothane it's easy to keep clean.
    I'm a quilter, so I tend to think in geometrics, but I am sure you could even do some sort of floral or wavy patter as well with some stencils.
    Can't wait to see what you come up with. I'm loving the rest of the stuff you've redone.

  4. Carol - Thanks so much for the link! I am heading over to check it out now.

    Shibui - Staining the floor is one of the things we're considering. It's what we did on the floor in the basement and it turned out pretty well. We just need some kind of facade for the foundation because the cinder blocks can't really be hid with stain, unfortunately!

    Dana - It's true, painting or staining with a sealer on top seems the easiest. I kind of have my heart set on some type of flagstone veneer, but painting/staining may prove to be so much easier. I'll keep you all posted!

  5. They make a lightweight concrete for leveling rough concrete surfaces. It is easy to apply, pretty much self leveling and can be stained as well. Maybe you could apply over the top of the cinder blocks and fur it out toward the center of the room.

  6. Wow! Are you thinking of hardwood floors to cover the concrete? or nice cool tiles? That could get slippery though...How about some beautiful slate? That place is going to be so lovely!

  7. You still have so much to do for the porch. I can't scold you for procrastinating 'cos I, myself, know how more convenient it is not to work. XD Kidding aside, do you keep a timetable for the construction? I think it would greatly help you to finish this off faster. Boring? How about giving yourself and the crew some kind of a reward everytime you are able to keep up with the schedule? It need not be expensive. Try it! :)