Sunday, November 18, 2012

Remodel - Front Porch

October 9th

The front porch demolition started a bit after the back of the house. A few minor items had been removed up to this date, but the west window (which serves as a weather-break) was removed for storage. Behind the framing was another post that matches the one on the east. This was a great find and will most likely be restored and returned to its original place on the porch. It will also probably serve as the basis of the pattern we will use for the other posts on the porch.

November 2nd

The roof of the porch was removed to reveal all of the original woodwork still intact! Also revealed was the "paint shadow" of the previous porch design. From my time spent researching our house and pouring through old photos, the brick design was probably porch #3 and the "paint shadow" suggests the design of porch #2. We're rolling the design further back to recreate something more like the original porch. This photo also captures the hexagonal asphalt shingles that were put on top of the bottom-most wooden shingles.

November 6th

The demolition team removed the brick pillars, cement wall and floor. Beneath the few inches of concrete of the floor was several cubic yards of decomposed granite. Not what we expected! The cement floor used to sit right against the wall (which isn't good) and we had presumed the cement was a thick slab that reached down to ground level. On one hand, thin concrete made disposal easy. On the other hand, dirt sitting in direct contact with wood is worse than cement is. Minor signs of rot and termite damage hinted at what might sit behind the siding.

November 13th

The DG was removed and stored for later use (perhaps a path to the backyard to the east). The remaining plants around the front of the house were scraped away to make working easier. With the big dumpster removed, we got our first view of the old "four square" Victorian without anything else attached to it. Wonderful! Lots of photos have been taken to document this state of the house.

November 14th

The beginnings of the new porch footings were excavated and dirt beside the existing wall was also lowered. The siding that was in contact with the cement and dirt was removed to reveal more damage than was expected. Good thing we opened this up! Several of the joists had rotted or been eaten away to nubs that would eventually fail. The original piers were also mostly gone, but had been filled in with cement block to reinforce the front wall. This area will be repaired and/or reinforced before we build the new porch.

November 17th

The footings were excavated to their final depth and... the tractor broke our sidewalk in several places. We were initially upset with this, but upon closer inspection, the sidewalk was probably put in around the same time as the porch. The pattern and trowel marks didn't match the surrounding sidewalk, so we will replace it with something closer to the old designs in front of our house.

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