29 September 2013

Porch Progression

What I find enchanting about older homes are their imperfections, and this home came with many. Over the past year, my spouse and I have learned that sometimes it is better to leave some imperfections alone and address others.  For example, I left a partial wall in the kitchen, because it had pipes. The decision to leave the pipes where they were saved thousands, but then we had to figure out how to modify and make workable a smaller kitchen.

Other imperfections like electricity and plumbing are less delightful to update, but important to the house's infrastructure. This house is seventy years old, and we had a share of that too.

A nostalgic feature that required repair was a sleeping porch, also called an Arizona room. During the summer, in the days before central air conditioning, people slept on this porch with wet sheets hanging from the windows.

When we moved in this porch had four broken windows, a door, and rotted wall boards; it wasn't charming to anyone's eyes, but I could envision the solution.  The porch also had two rotted posts that were not attached to the concrete supporting the roof by gravity.

My spouse immediately removed the vertical, rotted, wall boards.  He did it so quickly that I never took a photo.  This is the only photo I can find of its almost original state with the planking and insulation removed: four windows and an exterior door.

Mean while, the electrician fixed all the electrical.  And when that was completed my spouse replaced the missing concrete brick.  The electrician didn't remove it.  For whatever reason it was like that for a long time.  My spouse had a lot of fun trying to locate a matching one. (Amazingly, we did not have a brick that fit this space in the piles and piles of bricks and pavers in the back yard, which is a story for another day.)

You might be wondering what caused one wall to rot on the porch?  The wall that rotted had a patio against it.  Someone added a patio higher than the house.  So every time it rained, it flooded the porch; it rains hard, but not often.

Here is the patio we removed.  This mess is still here.  We are going to add it to the brick and paver pile.
So six months ago, we started working on this porch off the dining room to make it livable once again.  The first thing my spouse did was put up new beams that he attached to the concrete.  It stayed like this for what seemed like a long time. The dust from the dust storms were overwhelming, and the stray cats sneaking in were intolerable.  The main issue was the laundry; the laundry area is on the porch.  Sometimes when we washed laundry, it would get dirty as soon as it was taken out of the washer or the drier.

We put the wall back up with insulation and changed the windows to two French doors.

Some features we left, because they were already there.  For example, the conduit wiring was there, but installed over the brick and on the beamed ceiling.   The electrician inspected it, it was fine, so we left it exposed.  It was less expensive to leave alone than it was to hide; it had to be exposed because two of the four walls in this room are brick.  On the new wall the conduit electricity was already there coming from the ceiling.

The brick, the conduit, and the new, horizontally planked wall, and a repaired plank wall give the room a charming cottage look with a touch of industrial, especially since we left the concrete exposed and then epoxied the surface.

It's wet here!

The reveal is coming soon!  We worked all weekend. My spouse even finished painting the last French door on the inside of the room, and he installed the baseboard and even hung the curtain hardware that I kept from my previous house.


  1. It's looking great! Can't wait for the reveal. Your husband is so handy!

  2. Oh my, it's such a hassle when previous owners have built something the wrong way. I know all about it, I live in a cottage from 1870. When I moved in we had to rip up floors and pull down walls, add insulation. Then last year we redid the whole roof...
    Can't wait for the reveal!

  3. I cannot wait for the reveal! What a lot of work you have put into this space but I know it will be so worth it.

  4. What a big job but it's already gorgeous!

  5. I can't wait, you've done such an amazing job so far.

  6. *squee* I cannot WAIT for the reveal!


Thank you for taking time to visit and leave a kind message today. I love to visit your blogs too, and I do when I can link back. xoxo Su