Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Porch Renovation - No Place Like Home

Hi ya! Thanks so much for all your kind words regarding my kitchen remodel. I'm glad you enjoy the before and after photos and the journey.

Today I want to share our porch renovation. In April of 2017, when we moved in, the screened porch was in shabby shape. The wood framing was rotting and the screens were sagging and had holes. The concrete floor was a mess and ugly with those racing stripes. Not to mention, the door was warped and didn't shut. Thus, I shared my porch furniture with a variety of tree frogs, wasps, lizards and spiders. I even have a spider bite on my neck from 3 years ago that I received while taking a quick Sunday afternoon nap!

This is where we started.

So, in the summer of 2018 we decided to get an estimate to glass the whole thing in, which would add 100 square feet to our cottage taking it to a total of  1983 square feet and adding value to our home. The folks at Porch Conversions came out and gave us an estimate. Of course it was higher than I expected, (what isn't these days?) but we decided we would start saving. I always do better and am motivated if I have a goal to work towards.

Well, then hurricane Florence came and put an end to that as we had to spend a bunch of money on clearing downed trees, roof shingles, fence repair etc. We were grateful though as many friends and neighbors lost their homes entirely, so we weren't complaining one bit about what we had to deal with.

I am a tree hugger though and it broke my heart to lose so many of these giants.

Then, in the winter of 2019, we had another surprise. The crawl space foundation was falling on the right end of our cottage and the floor bounced so much that Sabrina kitty could actually make the dishes in the cabinet shake when she ran across the floor for her snack! I worked in custom home building for 12 years. For the life of me, I don't know how this floor system passed code. In fact, there are many things in this house that we have fixed that would never have passed code. Somebody must have been paying somebody to look the other way, just say'in. ;)

We ended up having to put 14 steal beams under the cottage to pick it all back up and stabilize it. Needless to say, the floor isn't going anywhere now and we are all sleeping a little more soundly knowing it isn't going to fall down.

So after saving again for another 8 months, we finally had enough pennies to start. The first thing they did was remove all the old screen and rotted wood framing.

Two days after they removed all of that, we got hit with Hurricane Dorian. Luckily, we only had a few tops of trees break off and various limbs and yard debris to deal with. Thank goodness!

We got the yard cleaned up again and I was grateful that the forest survived this storm as it took such a beating from Hurricane Florence the year prior. I count my blessings every day that I wake up and go to sleep to this view. The birds, squirrels, owls, deer, raccoons, opossum, turtles and various other creatures live there and it makes me so happy seeing them and having them in my very own wonderland right out my window.

The crew came back and added the new aluminum framing and slider windows. These windows can withstand 150 mph winds so unless it's a whopper hurricane, they should be fine. Of course, the roof could always rip off. Yikes! Don't think that, knock on wood that never happens. ;)

We have a really large deck area that David repaired after we moved in. Another thing that was falling apart. Call us crazy, but we work hard for every penny and we believe in taking care of the things we work hard for. It's amazing to us how many people don't care and let things rot and fall apart. Plus, we truly enjoy breathing new life into forgotten things and making them shine again.

After all the glass was installed, it was time to tackle that ugly floor. David put down a concrete leveling material to smooth out the crumbling floor and serve as a solid base for the new floor to lay on.

After a bunch of research and a recommendation from my dear friend, Captain, I decided to go with a Luxury Vinyl Plank. It's waterproof, Eco friendly and fit our frugal budget perfectly. David did all the work laying it down and installing new shoe moulding over the edges. Sabrina inspected his work and approved.

Next we cleaned off our teak furniture and oiled it, which brought the warm color back to it. I got that furniture 5 years ago during a Christmas clearance sale. Let's just say I practically stole it! LOL! It's solid teak and will last forever.

Next, David took on a huge project and installed a HVAC unit out there so we would have heat and air conditioning, which now makes the room qualify for square footage. We had an electrician run all the proper wires and outlets in the room and yes, it's all to code! LOL!! It's a very energy efficient unit and we saved almost $4000 doing it ourselves. Well, David doing it himself. I'm just the superintendent. hee,hee,hee.

Finally, I wanted to add some magical little twinkle lights around the top. I originally had these with brown wires as I thought they looked like branches, but I have since switched them out for twinkle lights on a white wires so they blend in. I may change out the ceiling fan one day, but for now it's fine and functional.

We also kept the ceiling the "Haint Blue" which is a Southern thing. Many porch ceilings are painted this color to keep bugs and other insects away, in addition to keeping birds from nesting in the eves. However, in the old Gullah tradition, it was also a way to keep evil spirits away, which is what it serves as now since the bugs and insects can no longer get in.

The tree of life iron piece is an original piece of art I purchased from Haiti. It's made from an old oil barrel and is hand cut. I purchased it from a company that helps artisans there earn a living wage to support their families.

The lights look so magical in the evening. It's a wonderful place to sit and chat with friends. Of course, it's also the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon nap now that I don't have to worry about spiders taking bites out of me or lizards and frogs pooping on the cushions. Ewwwwww...

I must say that this room turned out to be well worth the wait. It's the perfect addition to our little cottage and I'm so glad we did it. There really is no place like home.

See ya back here next week!



Jeanette said...

So glad you finally got your fabulous porch. Love the tree of life & how it all looks at night with the fairy lights. Hugs, xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Shell, this is a HUGE renovation and what a big improvement, for sure! I hear ya about those spider bites; that is one thing I do not like about the warm weather because no matter how clean you keep your living space, spiders are all around. I have a scar on my thigh still from a bite from about 10 years ago.

This is such a gorgeous patio. We too have a screened-in porch off of our great room with access from a set of lovely French doors. If I had my druthers, I'd paint the interior of it white but it is a great space to sit. May you always be protected from the high winds and hurricane damage my friend. You home is so special.

Annmarie said...

Oh you rent it out for stitching. I'm a homebody and I could sit out there forever and stitch and relax. So happy for you

Janna and Mike said...

So, so beautiful and tasteful!!! In 2017 my husband and I purchased two abandoned houses on three acres in southeast Arizona. The houses were horrible and should probably have been demolished but we are probably one season (we only live in Arizona in winter) from being finished. We have done ALL the work ourselves except for the outside stucco. We've moved walls, jack-hammered concrete to move bathrooms, laid tile, my husband watched YouTube videos and learned to apply rough coat drywall mud, we've installed new windows, the list goes on and on. But for a fraction of the cost we are going to have a beautiful new home. Love your blog!

Loris said...

How lovely! Your sunroom looks so and night :-) I bet Sabrina will enjoy soaking up that sunshine and enjoying the critters in the yard.

Createology said...

Shell Dear this is a lovely relaxing redo to your Beautiful Cottage. Each element is jus right. You and David make a wonderful team. My hubby and I certainly know from experience of buying a home that should have never passed code inspections! Simply Lovely!!!

Shirley said...

Shell, I love your porch and would love to have one like it. I have to be content with my one bedroom apartment. Your porch looks so inviting to read, embroidery, or have friends over for a chat. Aren't you glad that you both can do so much of the work yourself. I watch a housing development being built and I wouldn't have bought any of them. How they got away with splitting 2x4's and using them as studs is be on me or spacing floor joist so that when a child jumped off the bed they went all the way to the basement. You always have some that you don't know how they got their license. I love all of the things that you have done to your little cottage. Hugs and prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley.

TerriSue said...

This is beautiful. Got me to thinking what it would be like to glass in my porch. I know that my kitty would love it. She was a feral kitty someone found in a nearby city living on the street. I found her at a cat rescue. The people who had found her couldn't handle living with a kitten. I got her when she was 7 months old. She's a mess but over the last 10 months has become the sweetest most loving kitty. The city where I live doesn't allow outside cats. I would like to keep it that way but she does manage to slip out the door whenever she can. I think having a porch like this would be wonderful for her. It will have to go on the burner for a while as I fix up the house from all of the fracking. It is definitely staying in my sites.

kc said...

Oh, it's simply beeeeyoootyfull!! Very clean and inviting, I'm so glad you were able to do it, after all those challenges and diversions! And your backyard certainly qualifies as an oasis for all critters, spiders and other crawly things included! I can just see Sabrina and the bunnies sunning themselves out there while you are napping or embellishing one of your pretty felty blocks. Lovely, sweet lady, just lovely. Thanks for sharing!

Barb said...

I do love you bot (he) did an amazing job in refurbishing the sun room...looks fantastic.

Judy1522 said...

Your porch is wonderful. I love it with lights on at night.

Rabbits' Guy said...

We're selling everything and on our way for moving in but I don't do windows. Neither does BL. She does do cats.

It is really, really nice!!!

Elvira said...

Gracias por mostrar los quilt , preciosos los azules
Te ha quedado genial, con las cristaleras y los sillones, verdadera paz

pswatkins said...

Love it. I hope that you enjoy it every day and especially find comfort, peace and joy during this crazy time we are living in. Keep stitching and take care of all of your furry friends.

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