28 August 2014

Back Porch Renovation Start

I live in an old house. One hundred and ten years to be exact. My grandparents lived here and my mum was eight years old when they moved here. I purchased it in 1998 but have not lived in it the entire time, hence it's still a work in progress. There were a lot of renovations done. A LOT. Mostly the 'gut stuff' as I like to call it. The important things like rewiring the entire house (hello tube and knob electrical and exterior wiring throughout the entire house), some plumbing, kitchen cabinetry (there were none!), central air/heat, refinishing all of the molding - doors, windows, casings, picture rail - to the natural wood finish. That was painstaking and grueling, to say the least. All new walls were installed as the plaster was literally crumbling, and well you get the idea right? I could go on and on and I have plenty more to say and share but I'll save it all for another post(s).   

All of that to put some perspective on things and introduce the back porch. The old, dilapidated, wreck-of-a-back-porch that is. It has basically been written off, neglected and unloved . . . with good reason. Look at it! It is not original to the house and it is poorly constructed. The floor slopes, it is not insulated, it has exposed conduit (but it's up-to-date & more importantly safe), lovely gold linoleum from the late 70's and it's just dingy and gross. The plan was and still is to remove it completely so it has never been a priority but the problem is that it is still here. It's not going to be removed just yet and since that is a reality ignoring even further is just making it more sad and ugly.

Go back a few years to my first house. We had an old, very dark and ugly 60's kitchen. The entire house was a fixer upper, and fix her up we did! The kitchen was a write-off in our minds. We were going to tackle that last and do it up proper - all new everything - after we took a break, regrouped and had the finances to make it happen. We gut renovated the rest of that house and then the opportunity came along to buy this house. That obviously changed the plans for the kitchen and any further renovations as we were going to make that a rental property. The kitchen did get a make-over and a good one at that. Without breaking the bank and going overboard we made that kitchen really nice on a budget and as we started to pack up and move our things out we were both happy and sad. Happy it looked so great but sad we were not going to be the ones enjoying that nice, bright new kitchen. What in the heck were we thinking? Well, we were inexperienced and timing and circumstances pushed us to do something that turned out to be a huge learning curve. That brings me to the back porch. What the heck was I thinking?

It's progress folks, progress. I'm hoping to share the after when well, it's finished. i'm not making any promises to a time line but for now this is a wonderful start and i can't tell you how bright and transformed it is with just one small section of it being painted. And not even completely painted but it has been started and that feels good.

The goal here is to make it a nice, bright and more cheerful place without too much fuss over scraping, sanding, finishing, etc. This is not the place to waste that sort of energy, time and especially money. I want to do this on the cheap using some good old sweat equity. Thinking positive that one day it will be removed and the dreams I have for this house will come to fruition. Work in progress, work in progress folks!

To Do/Want List: Back Porch
• Clean, scrape, fill (minimally) and paint with a nice bright white
• Paint door, metal trim of window, replace/paint doggie door
• Get new door hardware eventually (because that shiny gold has to go)
• New affordable vinyl flooring (there's some cool stuff available now and it sure beats that gold 70's stuff currently there)
• New entry rug/mat
• New window coverings ( I believe we have some blinds & they will suffice as that's money saved and they're white and will do)

*Notice the canine helper in both shots. Always by my side. That's Lucy. Love her

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