Thursday, May 20, 2010

It has begun...

Last summer we took off the asbestos cement shingles from the west side of our house and began restoring the original clapboard siding.  There is a whole series of posts I wrote on this if you're interested, starting here. We are planning on going around the house, doing one side at a time.  This summer, we are beginning with the front of the house, including the front porch.

Here is a picture of the porch before we began.  It is not a traditional bungalow full-front porch; it's small, about 5ft. x 15ft. The wicker couch and footstool were a curb-side freebie.  There was that red plastic outdoor carpet on the floors, plywood on the ceilings, and some odd issues between the ceiling and floor.
The porch had always been part of the plan for redoing the front of the house, but neither of us had expected the extent of work that was required.  We found rotted wood everywhere, plus a lot of poorly done repairs (I use the term repairs lightly in this case).  So, we ended up replacing every single post!  Luckily, we had help:

That is our almost brother-in-law, Ken.  He's done this kind of thing before, and proved to be a huge help.  While the dudes worked on the posts, Kevin's sister (also Sara) stripped paint with me on the interior of the porch.  She looks like a pro!
They were a huge help and even talked of coming again!  I guess the Bungled House didn't scare them too much, although I don't think Sara will ever look at her new house the same way again....

My dad came to finish the job with Kevin on Sunday, so we really made a lot of progress.    Here is a picture taken early in the process.  This is of the doorway. There is no support behind the trim! EEK! And the trim is rotted!  EEEEK!  

They went around the porch, replacing the trim and installing 2x4 support under all of the new trim.  Kevin just has one area to tweak and one more post to install, and that part of the job is done.  Bonus: Wherever there is new wood, I don't have to strip paint!  Yes! This side of the house actually should go quickly.  There is a dormer on the front of the house that has cedar shingles, so we just need to repair the bad ones and wash and stain.  There is trim that needs to be stripped up there, but not too much, so that shouldn't be too painful.  The clapboards on the bottom of the house are going to be stripped using a Paintshaver, which will make it a lot faster and not kill my native gardens. On the side yard, the plants took a beating because of the tarps covering the ground. Hopefully with the Paintshaver, we'll just have to cover the specific area we are working on, as it hooks up to the Shop-vac and the paint shavings will be captured.

As a reward for all the boring paint stripping on Friday and Saturday, I pulled down the plywood covering the ceiling. Guess what I discovered? Haint Blue!! And a hole, but that's not important.   Here's an article on the history of painting porch ceilings blue. I am so utterly excited about the blue.  although the bead board is in pretty rough shape.  I think we're actually planning on putting plybead (plywood beadboard) up because of its condition- painted Haint Blue, of course.

The floor is also in rough shape, but we are planning on stripping it and repainting it Porch Floor Blue (they should really think of a catchy name for gray-blue floor paint).

Okay, Online House Community and Friends, here's where we need your help:

1. Should we keep the porch open or reinstall storms? It had a full set of storms and screens, but they were ALL in very rough shape- we think a PO of this house had a crooked saw. Seriously. Should we go with tradition and have no storms and screens? Or should we make new ones?

2. Should we paint the inside of the porch to match the exterior of the house?  There are clapboards inside the porch, as you can see from the picture above, but do they have to be the same color as the house?  Or could they be white? And then what color should the beadboard surrounding the interior of the porch be?  Here is our color palate on the actual house:

I'm just thinking with the gray floors, the gray all over the porch might be too much.

Please weigh in, I'm all ears--or eyes, I guess, right?


Reuben said...

Looks like a great project. I'm usually just a lurker, but since you asked for advice and all...

I think you should leave the porch open. I've never liked enclosed porches - I dream of opening mine up someday. As for colors... if you enclose the porch, I think it can be a different color. If it's not enclosed, I think it should be the same color as the house.

Chris said...

Wow, you guys have guts stripping the beadboard. I give you a ton of credit. I have ceilings that I am dying to take my Speedheater to but just can't get up the courage for such a huge undertaking.

Shane and Casey said...

Minneapolis sprays for mosquitoes right? If so, I'd opt for no storms/screens.

throwsmud said...

We spent a lot of time thinking and discussing whether we wanted to have an open porch or 3 season storm/screen porch. Then we finally tore out the ugly aluminum storm windows and door and sat on our porch and met our neighbors. I now look forward to sitting out there and seeing the life on my street. My neighbors don't mind exchanging a hello and brief conversation when they walk by and I feel more connected to the outside. I can still see the benefits of screens when the mosquitos come out and if you are more private people, maybe you wouldn't want to chat with neighbors too much. But we plan on having a screened in space in the back, so we can sit outside longer on hot summer nights and have our privacy when we want to. your porch project brings back memories: I recognize the box posts very well.

bungled said...

Thanks, all for the comments! We really like the feel of the porch being open right now, however there are some practical benefits of the enclosed porch I can't deny. For instance, we live on a busy street and it's nice to have the porch as a buffer so the dog has two doors to sneak through to get outside. He actually escaped for the first time during the porch redo weekend and ran down the block. Right now, our plan is to get the house and porch all done and then see if we like it open. I also like the idea of screens and a door to do a three season thing.

Again, thanks for the comments!