All posts filed under: Front Porch Reno

Construction Finished on the Front Porch

I have been working on the last few details as I wrap up the renovation of the front porch. It is always a thrill to see what you dream about come to life. We originally had a brick front porch and when building a home, the construction method around here is to brick the foundation first, then add the front porch towards the end of construction. With our home, the resulting problem with this method was two-fold: the original porch was never really attached to the house; it merely sat on a pad with nothing to tie the porch to the foundation wall. Secondly, the concrete pad was not sufficient to resist future movement of the ground it sat on. Over a time span of 15 years, large gaps emerged where the steps met the porch, and where the porch met the house. The front porch was slowly moving in two directions. When visitors began to comment on this obviously backwoods way of making a front porch, my wife and I knew it would have …

Front Porch Renovation: Adding the Lattice

It is hard to believe that it is October. The fact that fall has arrived means that this project, which started in May, is yet another large and drawn out one. I knew it would be. My wife had hopes of this being simply replacing a few boards, but the board that was causing the problem was connected to another board, which was nailed to yet another board, etc. etc. All of the structure which supported the stairs had significant rot after only five years of use. One thing led to another and at least half of my front porch has been renovated. But, long and drawn out projects can be fun. This one has encompassed everything from manly demolition to working out compound angles in my head. It has tested the muscles in my brain as well as muscles in my back. Working outdoors has been enjoyable and I have used everything from my hand saw to my thickness planer with my cordless drill and my miter saw seeing heavy action. I even foresee …

Adding the Hand Rail to my Front Porch

I wonder what kind of tolerances deck builders find acceptable. The reason for this question is that lumber often isn’t straight and pressure treated lumber seems to be even more unruly. I just don’t see deck builders spending a lot of time fussing with tight joints like I am. Take the newel posts in the photo above. As the renovation of my front porch progresses, I have found it necessary to replace two such posts. Both of them bow and twist slightly along their length. If I want the hand rail and lower rail to fit well against the posts, the rails will have to be cut with a compound miter. To do this, I take a scrap piece of wood and keep trimming it until the matching angle is found. If I am going to achieve the tight tolerances I expect, this fitting is necessary, but time consuming. Once the correct angle set-up is determined, I then make the cut on finish piece of wood. With the lower rail in place, the next step is …