Sort-Of New Porch

I guess everyone is due a good, long post since I haven’t written one in a while! The reason is that right now we are in the midst of a few big projects, the kind of projects where you start out and think, “Oh, this will be done in a month.” Then two months later you are 1/4 of the way done and your original timeline is as much of a fantasy as The Chronicles of Narnia.

I have one big project now that is approximately 95% of the way finished (sometimes they just stay that way…), so I feel that it is in a good enough state to share. Here goes!

Late last year I came home in a bad rainstorm to find water seeping down the walls of the back corner of our basement. After a panic attack (by me), my (levelheaded) husband figured out that the problem was our back porch. We had never realized it, but the wooden porch boards had no subfloor, no waterproofing, nothing, and they sat directly over the right-back corner of our basement. This meant that whenever there was a storm bad enough to blow rain onto the back porch, the water went straight down into the basement.


This is the only thing that protected our basement from torrential downpours.


Just those boards stand valiantly between us and wet basement disaster.


Well crap. Move that one high up the priority list!

After MUCH deliberation, my husband, his father, some guy friends, and I decided that three things needed to happen. 1) We needed to get the water to angle away from the house, 2) The porch needed to be waterproofed, and 3) after steps 1 & 2, it needed to be de-uglified. We opted to create a slight angle by laying down a series of thinner and thinner boards, covering them with a plywood subfloor, and then waterproofing the entire underneath portion with tar paper.


Laying out the boards


More of the initial layout process


After the boards were all stained, they were ready to be screwed down permanently. Side view here shows the slight angle we created to make sure that water does not pool under the boards, but instead runs away from the house.


This entire process took a few months of weekends to complete, but finally the porch has been rebuilt and looks better than ever! Not only does it look more in keeping with an original Arts and Crafts style (we got rid of the flimsy aluminum railing that had been there and replaced it with a sturdy wood one), but it is so much more functional and keeps our basement dry. You will see in the following pictures why I say that this project is 95% finished – the husband is going to create an Arts and Crafts style pattern with scrap wood pieces along the railing (it is started in these pictures, so you can get the idea of what it will look like when done). This is just for aesthetic purposes, and will be the proverbial cherry on top of this big project.



Stained, installed, and done!



You can see where Dan started to put in the design element – hopefully just another afternoon and that finishing touch will be done.



Speaking of finishing touches, after realizing that the gutter looked sort of ‘ugly’ just sitting there, Dan took a handle from a set of 1930’s era kitchen cabinets and installed it as a strap over the gutter seam. Bonus – the cabinets were from his childhood home!

PS – There was an ‘incident’ in this whole process that caused us to waste some time re-cutting and re-measuring boards. Word to the wise – pressure treated wood can shrink A LOT, so be sure to cure it somewhere dry and hot, like a garage, for a few weeks BEFORE cutting it out for installation. Trust us on this one.


One comment

  1. […] as, do you remember a year ago when we fixed up our back porch and added 10% of a design element but didn’t finish […]

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