The front porch has been in need of repair for…years…really… We weren’t entirely sure if they were the original floors or not (ca. 1906), but we knew they were very old and that the edges nearest the concrete steps were disintegrating with each step the postal worker takes onto our porch. Thus, it was one of my “summer projects” to figure it out.
I checked around a little bit, once with someone who was recommended by a neighbor but never called me back, and then a second group recommended by a different neighbor who did finally call me back. Their price seemed reasonable, though higher than we really wanted to pay for it (like anything), but we figured it would be worth it. Firstly, it wouldn’t take extra time on my part. Secondly, it would be done by professionals (i.e. correctly). Thirdly, and importantly, we weren’t even entirely sure how to complete the work by ourselves because of the way the columns were on the porch. The columns needed to be removed and the roof propped up with posts if we were going to replace the whole floor, so we figured the pros was the way to go.
So save a little bit on the total bill, once we knew exactly when the work was happening (and it took over a month from “yes, we’ll do it” to “actually starting”…), Brooke and I tore up as many of the boards as possible. We also removed the railings and scraped them down so they can be re-painted. While I was working on the floorboards, Brooke cleaned, sanded and started priming the lattice covers that go down closer to the ground.
Our “Labor Day” was rather labor intensive…
We couldn’t remove the boards under the columns, so we saw that coming, but the boards in front of the door, we thought we’d be able to remove. Sadly, they were pinched underneath a 2×4 that was a part of the doorjam, so no matter what we did, we couldn’t get them out. Ultimately, we think we saved the pros some time, but we kinda hoped we could do more.
We did notice another set of nails underneath the existing slats, so it’s likely this was at least the second set of floorboards on that porch. Still, they were old, so they’ve at least been on a few decades…just maybe not 100 years…
Anyway, they started on Tuesday morning and got some of the work done, but not as much as I’d hoped. Rain is a substantial issue this week, so we’ve been keeping an eye on the weather for when exactly we could prime and paint the new boards, so having it all done in one day would have been ideal, but alas, home improvement rarely happens according to schedule.
They got the columns removed and propped up the roof with boards and removed the extra floor slats we weren’t able to (somehow). They also switched out some of the more rotten joists that have been there since the beginning of time.
And that was about all they got done that first day. The rest of the boards had to wait until today, when the rain was scheduled to hit.
Thankfully, the rain was pushed back into late-afternoon (parts of Missouri are expecting 7″ or more…so yeah…rain is coming…), so they were able to get everything finished up by early afternoon.
Brooke came home early after stopping to pick up primer and paint. I left work a little early to help, and it’s good I did because the clouds were coming in…
The new boards are made of pine, rather than the red oak that we used to have. Sure, they won’t last as many years as the last ones, but if we keep them painted appropriately, maybe we’ll get a few decades out of them.
Speaking of which, Brooke was slapping on primer when I got home, so between the two of us, we were able to get it mostly primed before the rain hit. Unfortunately, it did start raining before it was dry, so some of the spots we primed are lighter than others, but hopefully that single coat does some good in keeping the rain off the boards these first few days.
We’re going to prime the columns, too, once the rain is finally over in a few days. We’ll still go with a “gray” of some kind on the floor and paint the columns and other panels white, much like it’s been for the last few decades. The railings will be painted black as well, but again, we’ve got to get through a few days of rain before we can start on a few of those things, and even then, we have to let them dry before we can put them up again.
Therefore, I’m posting this now because, frankly, I have no idea when all of it will actually be done. Hopefully we can get to some of it this weekend, but the way the weather is going (the remnants of Hurricane Gordon are making their way up toward us as I write this…), it may be next week before we can actually sit some of that stuff outside for painting and drying. The garage is full of the wicker furniture for the porch, so there’s not a ton of room in there, but if we get ancy, perhaps we can rearrange a bit to make more progress.
Regardless, we’re happy with it! More pictures will come after it’s all done!