Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Great Porch Fix (part 1)

I know this title makes it sound like a crappy update but I promise you, it's a big one so stay with me. When we bought this house (six?) years ago we bought it (mainly) because it was huge and we thought we'd have loads of room (HAHAHAHAHAHA) but also because I really liked the porch. 
It's a corner lot (those trees on the corner are long gone), it's a smaller yard than we had but there's a park across the street plus Olivia and Jackson were getting older, we didn't need much room (again, HAHAHAHAHA), and we were certain that porch could be usable year round Currently, it's only tolerable in the summer because it becomes whatever the temperature it is outside. 

This spring we kind of decided the floor was done, and we discovered it used to be a totally outdoor porch, the windows are maybe 20 years old. The porch has the ugliest, weird paneling (like those flowers, don't you?) and when Matt took the huge baseboards off, we realized our only real option for wall covering is to do paneling, but hopefully less ugly. So that hasn't been done (that's part of part 2) but maybe next spring. 
I found some white, almost ship lap looking stuff that I really liked that I thought would look cool with the flooring but I want to check a few more places before I commit to anything.  
Matt decided the best course of action was to put our new flooring on top of the existing flooring, which is what was exposed to the elements before they made this an enclosed porch. The floor is slanted that would allow rain water (or snow) to fall off the porch once upon a time. We decided to leave it like that because you don't notice it when walking on the floor, only when you're really looking for it.  
The flooring? I LOVE IT. It was the only thing in stock that weekend at any store so that's what we went with. HA!
Matt's parents graciously purchased brand new windows for our entire porch, which was a lot of money. They have been sitting in our garage for two years and Matt was always, "I'll get to it.". When I saw them leaning in the garage this spring I had basically had it. I Facebook shamed him with this photo and wouldn't  you know...  
...within a week the windows miraculously started going up! 

It was a tiresome project so I understand why Matt wasn't all eager beaver to do it, and he basically did one section a day after work, it 80+ degree heat. It was so awful. 
But once the first one was in, all of us were eager to have the rest in. Yes, I know you're thinking it's not level but it IS! Again, because this was an external porch, the storm windows were put in at an angle, so Matt has made them completely level and normal. All of the trim will be done after we get the wall paneling and then they will look straight and normal. That's all part 2.  
These were our old windows and I thought that each individual window was going to be replaced.  
(Why yes, we had a baby gate holding in the storm glass so it wouldn't snow and/or rain directly into our house.... for 3 years.) 
 But once I saw him working I realized that these were huge sections of windows and so some of those wood dividers were going to go. 
 Creating big huge space for new windows. 
 Which for a hot second, I contemplated making this an exterior porch again once I realized how great it looked. Matt reminded me this was our last (and biggest) section of window so no, it could never ever be an exposed porch. 

So I went back in. 
Also to be replaced was our huge dining room window. 

My biggest pet peeve about my house was lack of sunlight but lack of airflow was a close second. This was a single pane of glass and so cold in the winter so we thought if this was replaced it would be better for air flow and (hopefully) warmer in the winter.  
 Matt and my dad got it out and Matt hung his head and said a few choice swear words when he saw what was under the window. 
 What should have been a couple of hours took the entire day as a one man job. 
 I had these balls of insulation blowing everywhere....for weeks. Why anyone thinks this is good insulation, especially in northern Wisconsin is beyond me. 
 I got to hang out the window and hand tools. 

And snacks. 

We were right, the new window is absolutely AMAZING. Not only do we get great light, but the airflow? I have been cheated the last six years. CHEATED. It's amazing. It is a menopause-ridden, hot flashing woman's dream. A dream, I tell you. 
 Because the windows were going well, I decided that hey- we're going to get rid of this ugly octagon shaped window that was on your way up our stairs. Matt said we'd only replace it if we were getting siding (and we are, that's part of phase 2) so we went and found a window to fit this area and Matt started taking this sucker out. 
 Only to discover that the window was in the middle of a load bearing wall. They cut a load bearing beam to put this window in. And the next load bearing beam next to it, for no rhyme or reason. No support, basically, the window wasn't installed correctly at all, so it structurally wasn't good. So it took Matt EIGHT HOURS and three trips to the store to get everything he needed to get it up to perfection and only then could he start putting the window it. 
 Ta-da! I don't have a current photo but he has done the trim on that window and the dining room window. Doesn't it look SO much brighter in my living room? Before the entire room was as dark as that far right corner. All the time. I have lamps everywhere. Not only do I have light, I have a breeze

It's so nice. 
 So this is what my porch looks like cleaned up and everything put where it belongs. The best part?

My floor isn't shiny, I just mopped it. But it is so nice. I can't wait to (hopefully) be able to use this all year round. We still need the wall panels, trim/finish out the windows, do a decorative window or something above to the door to fill the gap where a tiny window once was, fix the lighting (one light mysteriously no longer works) add a couple of outlets, and put baseboard heaters in. 

It's so great. I love it so much. 


Shann Eva said...

Looks great! I love that floor, and the windows look fantastic. I can't wait to see update number 2!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Sheesh, poor Matt, that's a lot of work. But it looks amazing, and that's great that it's well on its way to being finished. I love hanging out on my porch and reading - I wish I had one that was enclosed. It looks so cozy! And yay for light and breeze in the house.


Julie H said...

It looks great! We replaced all but 4 windows in our house. Those 4 are of course in the main areas we hang out in so I can't open them because they are STUPID. So annoying.