07 January 2010

Before and after, porches

Porches and me go way back. See the chubby little kid in pink, the one in her big Sister's arms? That is me. Margaret was holding me, Paula is beside her in red and Pete is wearing his cowboy hat. Mom lined us all up in front of the porch steps to take our photo. We were getting ready for the "Pioneer Days Parade". I think that was the year I got to ride in a "Covered Wagon" made from Pete's Radio Flyer. I actually remember that. I remember lots of fun things about that porch. I remember hiding behind the wall playing "Cowboys and Indians" I remember dressing Paula's cat Sherry up in doll clothes and sitting on that porch with him (yes, him, that is another story). I remember jumping off those pillars and I remember cracking my head open on the steps (four stitches). I remember sitting on those steps, or should I say jumping up from them constantly, waiting for my big brother Jimmy to arrive. I also remember sitting on those steps waiting for news after my Father's first heart attack. I remember when we moved, walking down those steps for the last time and I remember thinking how glad I was that our new home had a front porch too.
Fast forward 28 years to our first look at the new house, IT HAD PORCHES! Not just the front porch, but a side porch and nice steps up to the back porch. Heaven. The first porch related project took place before I could join the family up here. See the nice brick path up above? it is leading to the side porch from our parking area. This is the door that gets used the most. As you can see in this photo, we have been having a bit of work done (this is why we did not decorate the outside of the house this year). See the festive plastic and blue tape? We had to use the back door for a couple of weeks over the holidays, the weather just did not cooperate (we have to wait for it to get cool so the bees won't get so excited, a lot of the work was carried out right next to their entrance). My Sweet Hubby made the balcony livable last summer and we have really enjoyed it. Now it's time for the next step.
This is the back entrance, it got a bit of attention too. The railings that were up, were resting right on the steps and they were quite rotten. The contractors replaced the top and bottom rails but reused the posts. These steps and railings are a very late addition to the house. You can't really see it here, but they are elevated just a little so they should last a lot longer.
When we bought the house, there were no railings on the front porch and a good bit of the porch floor was rotten. About half the floor on the side porch was also in sorry shape. We had all of the front floor and the bad part of the side replaced a couple of years ago. The railings and posts sat covered in cobwebs in the barn and the smokehouse until this year. We found someone who was willing to restore them. This photo and the next show some of what they had to work with.
Here are the bits and pieces again, we think they are the originals but have no way of knowing. Our carpenter and my Sweet Hubby figured out how to repair the bad bits and combine other bits to go all the way round the porch.
This is one of the old column post holes, looks occupied.
First set is in place, looking good.
All the railings are up, now all we need is a little bit of paint.
They painted the columns too, (see the plastic is still covering my bushes).
Close up.
I am so pleased! Technically, the job is not finished yet as the porch floors still need to be painted, but you can't see that in the photos anyway and I wanted to show you what has been going on. I'm thinking we are going to have to find a couple of rocking chairs and a swing.
My lovely old house just got better.


  1. ah, i love porches. i lament the death of many porches and the time shared there by friends and neighbors. they just dont get used like they use to.

  2. Sitting on a swing on a warm summer evening on that lovely porch ~ glorious! Simply beautiful!

  3. What a magnificent house.

    Porches aren't common here in Scotland, probably due to the wind and cool climate, but there are usually places tucked away in the garden that allow you to sit communally with friends and family or for parents to keep an eye on children etc.

    Old houses usually come with old problems that are expensive to put right but the sacrifice usually results in a great house with real atmosphere and heritage.

    Its nice to see houses protected like this for future generations.


  4. It looks really lovely, and it was certainly worth restoring what you already had rather than discarding them. A porch in the UK is usually a small enclosed building added onto the house outside the front door, usually used for housing the coats and shoes. I much prefer your porch.

  5. Beautiful pictures documenting the progress.
    Porches are so very American. The design and the function, they are so significant of the southeast I feel.;) So many house in NC (if not all) had porches and there was nothing like enjoying them on those warm spring evenings and pleasant summer nights.
    Here we only have terraces and balconies.;))
    Great post and I love the top picture,

  6. Wow, what a difference...looks wonderful! Have a great weekend!

  7. Oh I do so love porches! My grandmother's house had a porch like your first photo. I, too, used to jump off those pillars. They seemed so tall. I went back by her house a few years ago; never should have done it. Those pillars aren't so very tall after all. I don't have a porch with steps here, just a walkway up to the door. I so miss a porch! I'd like a wrap-around porch. It's on my wish-list.

  8. Oh but I do love a nice porch and that's most definitely what you have there now! One of few things I miss about the old house we lived in before last year was that it had a lovely porch on the front where I had a gliding swing and some beautiful flowers.

    Someday if I ever buy a house a porch is a MUST!

  9. My house has porches more than 3/4 of the way around. I love them. My back porch is 12 feet deep. Here in the South it is like having another room in the house. We often eat and entertain out there. Because I am in the country--can't even see my nearest neighbors--we don't really use the front porch. I think putting up a porch swing might be our spring project! C

  10. I love porches too and wish that English houses had them, yours looks wonderful.

    I also had a big sister called Margaret!

    As for the scarecrow on my blog, he is in the center of the puzzle, look for the silhouette shape of the top part of a scarecrow.

  11. It change into a splendid house.
    Your skill is terrible.

    Thank you for visiting my blog.


  12. I love your house!! The porches are fantastic - would love to sit there on a comfy seat and read a book.


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