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.


  1. Obviously you all love what you do to restore these precious treasures of houses. Your work is amazingly beautiful.

  2. i love porches, they are just so serene. I have a wrap around porch and we so enjoy it on our old house. How wonderful your Mom and Dad help you with the projects, those bird medallions are beautiful, all the ornate woodwork is. Lucky you have the picture of your home back in the day, wish I had one of ours to see what it really looked like. Keep up the great work, love the green!

  3. Hello Elaine, What a dear friend you are to me and Jon. Thank you for stopping by to visit our home. We are so busy these days--but delighted we can still keep up the pace (so far).

    I worked last weekend 8 hr shifts at my brother Will's 1892 Victorian restoration, while my husband Jon worked on our front porch and mowed our lawn--6 acres!

    Here in Wisconsin, the air is as hot as a campfire and the humidity remains high. We live on ice cold water, and our favorite Pure Leaf Tea, cold and quenching. The heat almost makes cooking and eating a chore. Hope you are keeping cool and comfortable at your place.

    Elaine--I so appreciate your note. Are you following my brother Will's 1892 Wild Rose Victorian House blog also? It is a big house, just under 3,000 sq. ft.

    We're tackling the Wild Rose Victorian--one wall crack at a time, and my gosh there a dozen rooms to do. One month into the project--making wonderful progress--almost done with ceiling/wall crack repairs in three rooms. Soon, very soon, the photos will show dramatic results with butter smooth walls, then color! Can't wait to make the drapes--fabric already purchased. Lots of photos to show you in the future. Best wishes to you Elaine.

  4. Hello Ann, so nice to hear from you. You said the perfect words, "I love porches, they are just so serene". How wonderful you have a wrap around porch. Do you keep rockers and other furniture on your porch? Occasionally we eat an evening meal or weekend breakfast on our front porch.

    There is a spillway/fishing stream/stone bridge across the street from our neighbor's house--the background is quiet except for the fast moving water. I have a turn of the century postcard of the stone bridge with people--it is really something. Not much has changed with that postcard scene, except the neighbor's house isn't there.

    We stood in the driveway talking to the neighbor the other night and overhead we saw an American Bald Eagle, and later we saw a big Blue Heron who's path seems to always be a straight line above our long driveway. The first thing that crosses my mind is its profile--only seconds to see if it is a blue heron or a sand hill crane. They are huge birds and look pre-historic rather than normal to my eyes. Moments like those stop our conversations and we realize how lucky we are "living large" in our very small town of Scandinavia, population 366.

    I hope you continue to stop by our 1893 Victorian, and include my brother Will's 1892 Wild Rose Victorian House blog. Take care Ann.

  5. Such a good post, glad you can be back to rocking on the porch again. What hard workers both you and your husband are, and it shows with wonderful results. Thank you for sharing, I love to visit your two blogs!