Porch Work

I started this blog six years ago to keep track of the renovation work we were doing on the new old house we’d just acquired. It was a house and acres filled with history on both sides of our families and I wanted to document it. You can read that story here.

We’ve become complacent lately, and though the place is far from finished, the work we did this past winter is far from noteworthy. (What bathroom?)

Except for the last few weeks.

I finally found time and money (they don’t usually go together) to get window box planters for the front windows.

I also found time to paint the other front door that’s been white forever. Let me tell you — painting  those muntins around each pane of glass was a definite pain. (A small DIY tip: If you ever have to paint a door with many glass panes, don’t bother taping it off. I laboriously taped every one, and it just didn’t work. The best thing to do is just paint on the glass, and then scrape off the paint when it is dry). I also spray painted the metal chair and put it next to the door. And lest it sound as if I did all the work, the door trim had to be put up, primed, and painted too. The carpenter did that.

So now that the front is finished — it only took six years —  we can concentrate on the back.

The Back Porch. I’ve written about it before — here and here. I always say I have a love-hate relationship with it. And now? Now the hate parts are mostly gone:

  • The ugly sliding glass doors that were so cloudy it always looked like a foggy day? GONE!
  • The ugliest screen door ever? GONE!
  • Thirty-three year old indoor-outdoor carpet? GONE!
  • The closet that once held the largest hornet’s nest ever documented? GONE! (The door was opened cautiously every single time.)
  • The cedar shakes that were un-sweepable, un-scrubbable, and un-cleanable? GONE!

What’s left? Well, at this point, it’s still ugly.

Once the cedar shakes were taken off, the old clapboard siding was in remarkably good shape. If you were under the delusion that cedar is an insect-repellent wood, you are Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Under each one of those cedar shingles lived at least two stink bugs, an unknown cocoon, and/or a wasp nest. Taking off those shingles was one of the more disgusting jobs I’ve had. I got really good at killing stink bugs with one blow from the hammer. After awhile I didn’t even notice the smell, and although I got buzzed by more than one wasp/hornet/carpenter bee, I didn’t get stung.

This cupboard is now gone. The siding on the inside of the closet was painted porch red and will have to be painted white, but the porch looks much larger without it.

Here is Mr. H. C. Getting rid of the ugliest screen door ever made. He put it out by the road with a “free” sign next to it. True confession: I told him not to bother–no one would take it. It was gone within an hour. I think the guy took it for the aluminum.

It was a Memorial-Day-Work-In and while we were taking down the closet we discovered this writing on a 2×4:  it dated the closet from another Memorial-Day- Work-In in 1985.

It seemed appropriate that Mr. H.C.’s parents were putting the closet up on a Memorial Day weekend, and we were taking it down on a Memorial Day weekend thirty-three years later.

The Circle of Life, indeed.

14 thoughts on “Porch Work

  1. Your home is just lovely! While it’s great and important to finish the less visible jobs that often cost a bundle, it’s a wonderful feeling to complete a task that gives you such ongoing gratification. Congratulations from my cottage to yours!

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    • Thanks. It’s been a three-year episode for the porch. First the ceiling had to be replaced before we could do the house roof, before we could do the rest of it. (You wouldn’t say it was lovely if you saw the bathroom…) :-)

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  2. I admire your perseverance in doing tasks that seem endless and “buggy”. . . yuck!! Great work on the cedar shakes.


    • Thanks! We had boxes and boxes of them from other places where we’ve taken them off — like inside the mudroom. We finally agreed that, no, we won’t ever use them, so we’re keeping one box for kindling, and the rest are going up in flames. :-)


  3. Sounds like a productive weekend. 🙂 Making progress that can be seen is very satisfying. Wish my Memorial Day weekend was as productive around the homestead. We opted to relax from the daily grind instead.


  4. Love what you have done. Progress is amazing. The final picture was the heart-stopper for me. Joe and Clara would definitely approve all the countless hours you two are investing in this charming home. They are proudly looking down with love,


    • Thank you! Actually one of our sorrows is that Clara never knew we would be taking it over and fixing it up. I hope you are right — that they know. :-) And we always thank you for your part in it…


  5. Your back porch looks delightful. I get tired just thinking about how hard it must have been to paint around all those little panes on the door. And, I loved how the closet was put up and taken down on Memorial Day week-ends. Sometimes there are uncanny coincidences.


  6. You and your husband the carpenter are making such nice improvements to your home. I especially like your window boxes; what a lovely touch they add to the front of the house. I also liked your thought that home renovations represent the circle of life because it rings true to me and my experiences updating an older place. I enjoyed this post and the photographs very much.

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