Aah, the unintended project. We knew our back porch needed some work, but it was ~fine~, so we figured we’d get around to it eventually. And then… last summer happened.
We wanted to tackle the outside of our house when the weather was nice last year. Specifically, the chipping paint around our door frames and window frames. There was exposed wood, so we didn’t want to risk water damage come the winter.
Of course, in order to strip the chipping paint, caulk, prime, and do two coats of paint, we needed a full rain-free weekend. And that didn’t happen until the 4th of July, so we got to be the lucky ones out in 90-degree weather painting our house. Yaaaaay.
While I was working on the front door, Sean went around to the side of the house to check on a crack he had noticed in the window sill of our porch windows.
Dun dun dunnnnn.
As he was trying to fix it, he ended up removing the window sill and finding very wet and rotten wood. Like, he was scooping wood out of the framing with the claw of his hammer. Honestly we could have used a spoon.
We had to rebuild the half-wall under the storm windows, and in the process, two of the storm windows (which were shitty anyway, if we’re being honest) broke, so we needed new windows, too.
Then the project turned into one of those “while we’re doing this…” projects. And it’s now almost March, about 9 months later, and it’s still not done. But we’re much happier with the space now!
Let’s see a few quick before-and-after shots.
This is the view when you walk into the porch from the back yard. The windows straight ahead look into the sunroom (one of my favorite rooms in the house!), the doors to the left lead into the dining room, and the windows to the right look out toward our neighbors’ house.
We raised the ceiling by about 18″ (there’s nothing in the space above the ceiling so it was pretty straight-forward to do), which enabled us to add a ceiling fan. Previously there was just a bare light bulb without a fixture because the ceiling was too low for most ceiling lights. We also installed an entirely new ceiling that’s a more traditional stained wood instead of painted, and put some crown molding around the top. I love the look of it!
We also painted all of the shakes (after installing new ones around the top of the wall where we extended the ceiling and on the walls we had to rebuild) the same light grey color we use in the rest of the house. It used to be white, which was nice, but we’re going to install a white floor this summer, and we didn’t want it to be too much. Plus, now it feels unified with the rest of the house!
We plan to touch up the door frame and the french doors eventually, but that’s down the line a bit. We also want to get a new storm door with a doggy door so we can leave the french doors open in the summer and Stanley can come and go as he pleases!
The biggest difference is the windows! We went back and forth a long time about what types of windows we wanted to install, and ended up with the Eze-Breeze Windows. They’re a bit strange, because they’re a soft latex instead of hard plastic or glass, but we really like them! They’re made up of four vertical panels (the line in the middle of each window is decorative) and can be opened up to 75% of the way with one hand! I have the feeling we’ll sit out here a lot in the spring and summer.
Oh, and for you Midwest folks, the windows were available at Menards, so we got them during an 11% off sale. Thanks to that rebate, we got our 7-ft Christmas tree for free!
We also added twinkle lights around the ceiling that we love. They plug in, so we’re not constantly changing out batteries, and we put them on a timer with Alexa so they automatically go on in the morning and at night. It’s really nice when we get home after dark and forgot to leave the porch light on; we can still find our keys and get inside with the soft light!
In addition to finishing up the french doors, we need to give the sunroom windows some TLC. As we were rebuilding the porch, the window frames got a lot more outdoor weather than they were expecting, so the paint is in pretty rough shape. I have the feeling we’ll tackle that this summer!
While we weren’t expecting to work on the porch quite so soon and for quite so long, we’re really happy with how it has shaped up so far. There’s still plenty to do, but at least we’re confident it won’t literally fall apart on us any time soon!
Things We’d Still Like to Do in the Porch:
- Touch up some paint on the shakes
- Touch up the door frame, doors, window frame, and windows
- Replace the storm door
- Tack the twinkle light cords to the door frame
- Install a tile floor
- Find furniture and plants!