Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Weekend Update #14 PORCH DESTRUCTION!

These guys hung on all winter!
I apologize in advance for all the exclamation points in this post, but this project is very exciting for me!

I am finally caught up! This all actually happened this past weekend, as in yesterday and the day before.

This Weekend We:
-peeled layer upon layer off of our porch! There.were.many.nails.
-got a glimpse of the original porch from 1921!
-went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of porch supplies using a very generous Christmas gift card from my work (I've been saving it for this project)!
-got a free nice new cabinet to hold up the mini fridge (our attempt to be European)

This past weekend was stage 1 of a multi-stage porch renovation event.  The primary objective was to destroy the porch so that this Wednesday (mini spring break! 5 days in a row at the house!) we can begin rebuilding it.  

We couldn't fully do what I had been imagining because my Dad didn't want to leave the porch with temporary supports for two days with no one being there. FINE LET'S BE SAFE I GUESS.  So there is a good chunk of porch still standing to be taken down in pieces Wednesday and Thursday as we put in temporary supports to hold up the roof.  

The biggest reason I wanted to take down the porch was that was so god damn ugly and terrible. But as we dug into all the layers of the porch (you'll see what I mean by layers later on in the pictures) it became apparent that it is a miracle that the porch (AND OUR ROOF!) was still standing. So all in all, I'm a smart person with smart ideas.

On to the interesting part! PICTURES!-

Let's start with a BEFORE, because the beginning is a good place to start:

The plan is to remove everything but the roof and foundation.

Just taking the windows and screens out already makes it feel so much more open:

The door is gone! They hung it the opposite way they should have so that when the door swung open it was almost impossible to get in the door.

Aluminum siding is gone! Revealing another layer: the original wood siding-

We pulled off the later of original siding to uncover the backside of one of the layers inside the porch:

Ladybugs. Ladybugs EVERYWHERE:

And with a triumphant roar my mom knocked down the doorway!:

And here it is with the two tiny walls gone:

More of the window framing is gone. Some of it was redwood! We plan to reuse it somehow:

Evidence as to why this porch was crumbling away and should have fallen over already. This post should be taking a majority of the roof load and yet it is crumbling and detaching from the porch:

Crumbling wood that was hidden under aluminum cladding:

Originally these two pieces of wood met and were nailed together. The front of the porch has been slowly detaching from the rest of it:

Layer #1 on the inside of the porch was paneling. Layer #2 was plywood:

Layer #3 was the original wood siding that matched the outer wood siding:


Layer #1 of the floor of the porch was carpet. Yes this porch was outside and yes I did just say carpet.  I never got a picture of it, but it was brown and gross.

Layer #2 was plywood that was nailed down just about every inch. And each nail was hidden by carpet glue and very, very difficult to get out. My mom got out most of them:

Layer #3 of the floor of the porch is the original wood planking. We are taking this out to be able to shore up the wood supports underneath, but are replacing it with similar flooring so it will look original to the house.

There was only one layer to the ceiling surprisingly. We had to peek at what was up there to see if we needed to fix anything. There was no way to pry off the beadboard so we had to do some blind cuts to get at it. 

We climbed the ladder, peeked our heads in and found cool surprise, the original roof!:

So originally the whole porch wasn't covered, there was just this little eyebrow over the doorway and the rest of the porch was open.

I can't wait to go back on Wednesday and get back to work. My brother is coming to help us (another generous Christmas present!) and I hope we can make a lot of progress by Sunday night.

And here is our fun and functional addition to the kitchen:


  1. Amazing amount of rotted wood in the vertical pieces. Just in time, your project.

    The floor wood will be hard to replace, based on the new wood versus old wood in my current porch. The old wood was still good 100 years later and the new wood has problems in the first 10 years of its life (splinters coming off, hard to keep the seal coat working right, not quite level for draining but that is the supports underneath the floor). Not cured long enough? Trees too young? I do not know the reasons, but it was a surprise.

    Rotted wood is scary, isn't it? You are so lucky to have that crew of helpers. Thoughtful Christmas gifts, too.
    But all in all, destruction is kind of fun. Seems like you had a lot of fun.

    Next round of photos will be stunners! I think you are very wise not to leave temporary structure untended. Those are hard choices but good ones,

  2. Oh yes, destruction is very fun. No skills necessary :)