Monday, July 25, 2016

Railings for the Wrap Around Porch

This past week/weekend Jon installed new rails for the wrap around front porch.  View looking west

He installed the stair posts and rails first.
It's been so suffering hot/humid, Jon works a little bit each night.  At some point in the future, Jon will trim a little off the tops of the posts to add four caps and finials that I purchased.  

 New rails for the porch - installed at original 1893 height.  

Back in 2009--My Mom Lorraine and I repaired the salvaged/decaying spindles from the original porch railing design.  Even after we labored to repair missing areas with wood putty--in the end the spindles were wafer brittle and dehydrated/light weight, feeling more like cardboard replicas after 120+ years of exposure.  Jon chose to replicate the original rail moldings, and present the vertical styles without the spindles.  

Standing L-R: Leon Pasternacki and his wife Bessie Pauline (Quien) Pasternacki, Donna Quien, Ruth Quien, and Ragnhild Quien.  Seated is Maren (Gurholt) Quien.  

Photo: our front porch modified into a screened in porch - about 1938.  Maren's husband Thomas is missing from the photo, and looking at the young Donna Quien center, I'll guess this photo was taken August 1938 at a gathering after the funeral of Thomas Quien.

This photo shows the front porch's original railing, spindles, and vertical pieces.

Maren Quien and her husband Thomas Quien bought the house December 1917, and lived
there with their children Ragnhild, Bessie, Gusta, and Peter.  Peter's wife is Ruth (Danielson) Quien and daugthers Mary Jo and Donna.  Leon and Bessie lived in Ohio, until 1967 when they moved to Scandinavia and lived next door to our house.

Front Porch Photo taken about 1925 - Thomas Quien and his granddaughters R-Donna and L-Mary Jo Quien.  Thomas and Maren Quien's son Peter, his wife Ruth, and their two daughters Donna and Mary Jo lived together.

Photo of our house about 1905 - 2nd from left is Mabel Wrolstad daughter of John Olson Wrolstad (the man who built our house in 1893).  Photo's age is based on clothing, and Mabel's age.  I've seen other photos of Mabel and she is easy to recognize.  Mr. Wrolstad died at home here in December 1907, and his widow Mathea moved to Gillette, WI to live with her oldest daughter Sina.  Mathea passed away in 1909.

West side of Wrap Around Front Porch.  New flooring, new rails, repaired original column bases.  Ready to prime and paint.  I hear someone calling my name . . . . . .

Monday, July 11, 2016

Repairing Front Porch - June/July 2016

July - 2016
Jon repairs columns on the front porch

When we first bought the house back in April 2007--we had to work on the house a full year before we could move in.  During that year--one of the first tasks was to repair the front porch.  

Below are photos of the front porch as it was when we bought it, and repaired it in 2008.

Peeling off the decay.  Photo of my father Gale and husband Jon (both professional contractors) as they discuss rebuilding the porch structure, saving the columns.
rebuilding/restoring the columns

New front porch structure 2008

Rebuilt/Restored Front Porch

Front Porch Summer of 2009

Jon replaced the front porch ceiling, and he and dad built new stairs as well.  And, we continued on and on with repair of the other two porches, and long list of projects inside the house.  For the first 5 years--there was never a stopping point--just moving forward one project at a time. 

2008: Jon rebuilt the East Porch with salvaged original spindles, and rails fabricated from new stock. 

West Porch - new floor structure and newly painted 2008

Note: we scraped, primed, and painted the exterior of the house Light Green with Orange and Brown Accents during the summers of 2007 and 2008 while I was still working full time.  

Then in summer/fall of 2014 we scraped primed, and REPAINTED the exterior of the house again changing to a darker Mossy Green (Sherwin Williams).  

Back to the topic of his post . . . Repairing Front Porch - June/July 2006

In a perfect world, you repair porch floors and they last forever, right?  But that didn't happen.  

The 2008 new porch boards began to cup,  and in June 2016 we could no longer rock in our rocking chairs on the Front Porch (north side).  This summer Jon tore off the old boards and replaced with a quality stable PVC decking.  

Sometimes, you have to go with modern technology to make repairs that will last--even for a historic house like this.  Our goal is to make this house a home for us, and the family who follows us.   We purchased enough decking for the East Porch too.  

Jon attended to additional repairs to the front porch columns.  This time, Jon inserted a rubber boot at the base of the columns.

 The new decking is great in dark gray color.  Now I can rock in my chair on the front porch again.  

Jon measures white PVC material to cover repairs.  He's gonna bevel the edge to create a proper drip edge.  This shroud material can be painted ivory like the rest of the house trim.  

Last weekend--Jon repainted the front steps.  The rails will go on the porch and steps soon.

Jon had his cousin Lloyd Durrant reproduce the hand rails to match the original rails.

Here's a photo of Dad--working on the front porch restoration

Who is this masked woman?  I think it's me.

Mom--scraping paint on the front porch.  She delicately hand painted the (4) bird medallions at the front porch doors.  

Photo of our house c. 1905
Everything takes time and Jon doesn't get much of an opportunity to rest.  He puts in 60+ hours a week at work--then spends his weekends working on our house and yard.