Friday, September 11, 2015

Curb Appeal - Phase 2

This has not been a short process, we started Phase 1 in March with removing our damaged porch and having it poured with proper supports. I think May was a bit confused thinking it was April, there were only a few days without rain until late July. In June we had a few days where it only sprinkled so the porch was quickly poured.

Within 48 hours we had to cut expansion joints so when the concrete cracks, and it will, then it will be more prone to do it in the designated joints instead of making its own path. My sister and brother in law were passing through so I was given a break from being the assistant for the evening. 

My sister became my design partner...ok she talked me out of changing all the cushions and instead adding outdoor throw pillows. Which has turned out MUCH better.

It took 28 days for the concrete to fully cure. Even though it has rebar and fiber infused we wanted to make sure the concrete was the strongest it could be before putting the weight of the roof on it. It gave us time to go to Yellowstone on vacation with my family, start school, and get a good plan on how to proceed.

Once again Mom and Dad made a quick trip to help set the new posts and start making plans for Phase 3. 

Dad's 100+ year old Transit has been very useful as we work on this house. I also love that it has a story being passed down through several generations in our family.

The porch comes out almost a foot further than originally planned. Which means that the flowers I had planted are under concrete now. Mom and I had to run an errand for the guys and while out grabbed some flowers to do a test run. Then we discovered the pillows we had originally picked out were had been discounted even more!

We definitely got our workout tilling the flower bed by hand. Mom and Dad had to go home that afternoon but they got us a huge jumpstart. We didn't want to loose momentum so we kept going. 

Remember how our Playroom walls were cedar planks? We always had a plan to reuse or sell them but this is the first time that we put that plan into place. 

The first challenge was how rough the boards were. We contemplated between sanding, planing, or just painting them. After placing the white boards against the house we decided to get a planer and in one pass the smoothness and color persuaded us to use the true cedar look.

The next challenge was making sure we didn't mess up because we had exactly enough boards that were long enough without damage to make the columns. So we started with the faceboards to use the best ones to the outside. Then attached the back followed by the sides with finishing nails.

As he worked on attaching the wood I continued working on the flowers, stopping to help him make cuts.

One column done! By getting this one done it gave us the motivation to keep going. Especially after I finished planting the flowers!

The front porch has always been one of our favorite spots. I sit out there as I am on the phone to keep away from the kids, they love doing their schoolwork, and we all enjoy eating out there.

After "we" assembled the post then came the recessing of the nails, sanding, and a clear protectant that I think was actually slightly tinted. If it was, I'm glad because I really liked the wet look whenever I would wipe down the posts after sanding them. 

We also did a little tree trimming. There was one limb that drove me nuts that hung over the sidewalk. During the winter you had to duck because it hung so low besides it blocked the view of the house. 

Phase 2 only took a week to complete, could have been done in a few days but we couldn't work late without being swarmed with mosquitos and we still were operating our daily lives of work/school, exercise, and church. The weather was perfect to work in with very little humidity and temps in the 70's...Did I mention this was middle of August!?! All in all Phase 1 & 2 took a little less than 6 months.

Phase 3 will involve removing the Dogwood trees on either side of the porch, and 2 bushes along the right side (between the two houses) of the house. Then we will have to regrade to make a swell to help keep flash floods away from the window wells as well as replacing the current ones.

We hope to spread some grass seed soon and replace the large picture window...

And I think replacing the black cedar shutters with some cedar ones will help bring it all together. What do you think?

2011- At this point we had put in new windows, lights, and drainage.
September 2015

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