The front porch – our first DIY ever…

Our front porch just got a little bit better!

We have a new glider – a nice, comfortable, new glider.

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We replaced our old glider simply because it was uncomfortable. It was small and a bit cramped for two people to enjoy at the same time. It was squeaky with it’s less than good quality hardware. The wood was splintery and had not held up to outdoor use despite frequent maintenance attempts.

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I felt like we weren’t utilizing the porch as often as we could and would if the seating was more comfortable and free of splinters. We have been keeping an eye on this particular glider at our local plant nursery for over a year now – hoping for a really big sale.  It has gone on and off sale over the last year, but it has never really gotten low enough in price for us to snap it up. Over the holiday, it was on sale again. I also had some Greenbucks to use up between 7/4/14 and 7/17/14.  I had earned the Greenbucks by buying a bunch of plants this spring (mostly for my front flower bed redo – here and here).  I figured this was the time to just get it done.  I am happy to report it is done. The glider has been purchased at maximum discount and is now on our front porch! In fact, I publish this post from the comfort of our new glider.

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Since hanging out here on our new glider, we were talking about how nice our front porch is and the fact that it has been 17 years since we rebuilt the whole thing – and it looks as good as it did the day we finished it – we think. I talked a little bit about it in our Successes List… that we did it, why we did it, and it was our first big DIY project ever on the homestead.

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We are still pretty proud of our accomplishment to this day.

It is a nice space – sort of that typical old fashioned porch – covered, partially enclosed, on the front of the house – it just has a nice feeling – I think. It is a great place to just take a break. My favorite is to hang out there during a nice calm rainstorm (not the kind where there is thunder and lightning and tornados – I prefer to be safe and sound inside for those storms) – just a nice steady rain in the afternoon or evening.

The ceiling and roof structure had to be rebuilt all those years ago because it was sagging and not properly attached to the house.  I did the demo. Tad did some quick but extensive planning and sketching of the new porch. We did some measurements. We ordered up the supplies from the building supply store. We rebuilt it to better than ever. It was surprisingly quick from start to finish. It was exciting to get our first major DIY project successfully completed.

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Here are some of the details:

The ceiling was finished with tongue and groove/beadboard  and crown moulding for added detail – and that was what was up on the ceiling prior to demo.  I like it – it feels period to the house – because it is.

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We added a second light source and put in two arts and crafts style fixtures.  We still really love the style and detail it adds to the overall porch appeal.

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The previous flooring was tongue and groove that had been painted multiple times.  I initially thought I could strip the paint, refinish it, and call it good.  Nope. The paint was too thick, the wood was rotted in multiple spots, and Tad thought we needed to redo the flooring structure while we were redoing the ceiling structure as well. He was right. We put in Doulgas Fir tongue and groove flooring.  It is beautiful. It has held up really well. It has required minimal maintenance – just a light sanding, and some deck finish every few years.

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We replaced our arts and crafts style screen door (you can see a glimpse of that door in the photo above) with a custom designed door from a local security door company.

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It is nature inspired with the textured branches and the decorative leaves.

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We get a lot of complements on it. We like that we can get a fresh breeze while still maintaining a high level of security.

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We ordered our mailbox from a catalog way back in 1997. It has and is still serving us well. We still think it is the best.

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Tad made the door bell from slate, did all the wiring himself, and installed it as part of the initial porch renovation. It is a detail that probably only we notice, but that is ok with us. We like it.

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There were two unexpected quirks during the porch rebuild – completely unrelated to DIY or construction or anything like that – just quirks to comment on…

The first came when Tad was ripping out the porch floor while I was at work one day. There was a small animal carcass in the hole.  It had been there a long while – it was mummified. Tad asked the advice of a neighbor across the street what he thought he should do.  The neighbor’s suggestion was to throw some dirt on it and perform the sign of the cross – or some such thing. I wasn’t there so I can’t completely confirm that was what was said.  Tad had the good sense to call me at work and run that plan by me.  It was a no go.  The carcass was removed and appropriately disposed of.  We theorized that the animal must have squeezed in through the small air openings on the side of the porch.  To avoid this from happening again in the future, we tightly secured some metal mesh screen over the openings on the inside.

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The second came when a building supply company employee used my credit card number to make a few calls to a “dating” service.  My statement showed up one day. I noticed some charges that I didn’t make. I called the number on the statement. I told them my story. They told me that they record every call ever made to them. They pulled up the calls and played them for me to see if I recognized the voice. I didn’t recognize the voice. The guy said “This is Todd – call me for a good time” – or some such line.  They also told me the phone numbers that the calls were made from. I didn’t recognize the numbers, but I wrote them down. The company nicely reversed the charges. I did some sleuthing – as in, I called the numbers they provided and discovered two of the calls were from the building supply company where we purchased our porch supplies.  The third call was from a personal residence. A woman answered that number. I asked for Todd and she said I had the wrong number. So, I assumed the guy’s name wasn’t really Todd.  I called the building supply company and spoke with the manager about this unfortunate event.  Based on the telephone numbers where the calls were made from, he was able to deduce a possible suspect employee.  I called the credit card company and told them the story.  The police contacted me a week or so later to get my statement. They caught the guy. He went to jail for $70 worth of credit card fraud!

So – to recap:

  • Comfortable seating is a must for the front porch.
  • We are still excited about our porch ceiling, lighting, flooring, security door, mailbox, and door bell after 17 years.
  • Sometimes a neighbor’s suggestion is not the best suggestion – especially when it involves just throwing some dirt over the problem.
  • Don’t steal and use someone else’s credit card information unless you want to end up in jail – I suspect this one is sort of common sense.
  • Finally, I wonder if I should have been a private detective?  I did love Nancy Drew  mysteries as a child.

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