Friday, December 28, 2012

New Porch Floor

   I bought, My Old Historic House, in the spring of 2006. It was in a sad state of repair. In fact, the entire front porch was missing. I could not understand why any one who have torn it off. It makes the profile of the house so regal. Well, being a proud new home owner, I went about the hard and expensive task of rebuilding the front porch. There were indications of where they porch had once been. Holes in the brick, paint on the brick and little bits of old porch foundation. I basically used the side porch as a guide in building the front porch. We matched measurements and detail designs. Having studied a little drafting in high school and college, I knew just enough to draw up some simple plans. This alone saved me thousands of dollars. My carpenter is  wonderful, between my drawings, his mind and mine, we built a new porch.This was the spring of 2007. It was primed and pained right away. I used oil base paint. I thought it would be the best. One year latter, spring of 2008, the Mississippi River, which is only a little over 100 feet away from my house, flooded.  It was one of the biggest floods in recorded history.We built over 600,000 sandbags, but the river still reached under and around my new porch.Since the new paint had not really soaked into the wood,  basically setting on top, the moister got under the paint and stayed, until it rotted the floor. It has been a big battle. I have sanded the floor several times, repainted it, with first oil and then latex. Nothing seemed to stop the decay. I had no choice but to replace the floor.Only 4 years old and was rotten. Maybe this is why the former owners decided to tear the porch off.

     I have scrimped and saved to come up with the money.  Anyone trying to live on retirement knows, there is very little, if any, left over, for big projects like this. Having the money in my hands, I called the carpenter and said can you start right away. As luck had it, he needed work, and I wanted to do it before something else came up and took this money. So yesterday in weather that was barely above freezing, the crew started tearing off the old porch floor. It was a lot of work as I did not want the iron rails removed. I was afraid they would not go back up and they are very heavy and brittle in this weather. So far. so good, the old rotten floor is gone.

    I ran down that way a took some pictures. When I was redoing, My Old Historic House, I thought it would be fun to capture it's progress in pictures and a blog. I had not at that time, been brave enough to start one. So I am kinda going in reverse, but here it is.

    This picture shows the house with out the front porch. This is how it looked in 2006 when I purchased it. The second picture shows signs telling me there had been a porch at one time. I had no picture of this porch so I used the side porch as a sample in building this porch.

    As you can see the wood has really rotted away. Hard to believe this all happened in 4 short years. It am sure it was the paint. Paint is not what it used to be. When I was young, I grew up in and old Victorian home. It had several porches,like  the ones on my house now. We pained them with oil based paint and you could see the paint soak into the wood. We never knew about primers. Just 3 good coats. The first two soaking in so much they really didn't seem to cover much. The paint today just sets on the surface and chips off  in the cold winter. I am going to use a wood stain on the new floor. Water based. The first few coats, I will water way down ,so it can soak deep into the wood. I am hoping this will help take care of the rotting problem. Anybody out there have an ideals, I'd love to hear them!

    One of my favorite things in the world is, my two Southern Magnolia Trees. They were planed in my side yard the summer that I bought the house. 2006. They were a little over 6 foot tall and I could reach around them. That first winter we had a huge ice storm. A lot of trees broke and died. My Magnolias made it fine. They have grown so much. They bloom almost all summer. The blooms are big and beautiful and smell up the entire garden. The only bad thing is, the blooms only last one day.  The next pictures you will see hear are before and after pictures of My Magnolias.

   When the porch floor is done, I will came back with another blog and let you all see the finished project.I might not paint till in the spring, when the weather is warmer and the porch has had time to settle in.
Until next time, Please come by any time for a tour. I will leave the porch light on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss!!! Richard at, My Old Historic House.


PS. Maybe a hot dog roast would be a good way to get rid of those old boards??????


mississippi artist said...

My goodness, I am like you that porch should have lasted longer! I hate repairs-we are getting ready for major stuff around here.I dread all those people in and around my house and the mess.Got to be done tho.I would ask the paint store for the best stuff to use on the porch.

Pamela Gordon said...

Your porch is really beautiful Richard. That is a lot of work and care but it needs to be done. You are wise to wait for spring for the painting to be done. It would be too damp now I think and the paint would peal in spring. We use pressure treated wood here in Canada a lot now. It is implanted with something to prevent rot and last a long time. It can be stained or painted after a year. Of course our winters are much colder and harsher here with lots of snow. I hope this porch floor lasts much longer for you. Happy New Year to you! Pamela

Babs said...

That's so disheartening to have to replace the porch after only four years. Do you think there is any part of the wood which was removed that could be reused for other projects..crafts, etc.?
Maybe someone could buy some of it to help offset the cost?
Looking forward to seeing the porch when it's finished.

GinaBVictorian said...

Hi Richard! That's too bad that the porch didn't last longer for you. It sounds like you're going about it the right way though. It is amazing what a porch (or two) can do for the looks of a house. I love before and after photos! Your house just looks gorgeous with that porch. Gina

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Richard I am so happy for you to be able to get this done!
I say don't paint the floor porch,just stain it. But my husband is a professional painter..I will ask him for you.
Happy New Year!

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

It's wonderful that you are able to replace it, and that you replaced it in the first place!

My, what a difference the upper and lower porches make on the facade of this home.

The house museum where I curate had the same upper and lower porch/balcony (Greek Revival). Over the course of about 70 years, the wood rotted and so both the upper and lower porches were removed. By this time, the once wealthy family's daughter, living there alone, was so impoverished she had only one dress, a coat and a pair of ratty slippers for her feet.

Certainly no money available for something as luxurious as porches. She was barely able to retain much of a stoop to get to the front door. I anticipate she used the wood from porches for firewood. I know she used the wood from the fences for that purpose.

We replaced the 1960's era replacement porch just a few years ago, and it too is going bad.

By the way, the front porch of an antebellum home should never be stained. Nobody stained their porches then. They should always be painted light gray. Not the prettiest color to be sure, but that's how it was done back then. Gray on the bottom, blue on the underside of the balcony above.

Anonymous said...

I love your porches. We don't build porches like that in our neck of the wood, probably because the weather really takes its toll on outdoor areas like that! I adore the Sissy Dog - had beagles at one time, and there is not a jollier dog anywhere!

Lottie said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with your porch and the flood. It may help someone else in this situation. Your copy of the side porch to the front porch looks great!

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi new friend, this is my first visit and won't be my follower here.
What a beautiful job, and how I wish I had the old wood to create more of my mini opera theatres and stages where a production of drama plays out.
Come for a visit you will see my latest theatre posted.

See you in the new year.
Happy New Year !


Burlap Luxe said...

Thank you Richard for your encouraging words to my remodeling of French theatres :)

Inspiring year to come.
Happy New Year!

GinaBVictorian said...

Hey Richard, me again! I saw your comment on Sue from Mexico, MO's blog. I am from Mexico also! The Early family, did they live out on Hwy 15? Do you know a Carla and John Early? Gina

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Richard, The porches add so much charm to your beautiful home. Too bad the wood rotted in such a short time. I wish you a blessed and happy 2013. xx, Sherry

Curtains in My Tree said...

Richard so glad you can afford the new front porch since it has to be on your Historic House
I hope to see it summer 2013 and walk across it

designchic said...

We are so thrilled you visited our blog today so we could find and follow yours. I don't know if you saw, but we are in the throes of remodeling an 1800's Victorian home in Beaufort, NC (a coastal town in Eastern, NC). Your porch makes me hope that we are not going to have purchased the money pit. We can't wait to read about your remodel and if you have any great advice, we'd LOVE to hear!!

Jaybird said...

That is a sad story!! My sweet hubby and I do woodworking (and he sells woodworking equipment). When your porch is done...coat it well with Thompson's Water Seal.(in fact it is a good idea to be coating any cuts made in the wood with the Water Seal, as they are building the porch) Let it dry well and then prime and paint with Sherwin-Williams Duration. Trust me, this will cost you an arm and maybe both legs, but it WILL last! Be sure that the wood is nice and dry before starting all of this, and that the day is above 50 degrees.
HTH, and blessings to you!!

Jeannie and Linda said...

I love historic homes, and your's is beautiful. Sorry about your porch, are there restrictions on what products you can use to replace the porch? Think I would try something other than wood if possible. Agan, a lovely home, I know you must love it, but they do demand a lot of attention.

Barrett Elmore said...

Although it’s really bad that you need to replace your porch after just four years, it’s still awesome that you get to put up a new one and renovate the house along the process. Kudos to you and your team! What do you plan to use on your new porch? I suggest skip the wooden floor and pick bricks. Not only will they last longer, but bricks would look handsome with the entire house. Update us.

Barrett Elmore

Angelina Garcia said...

A new porch in just four years... that’s harsh. Hopefully the wood staining will help prolong your new porch.

You could always use the old wood for your fireplace. A hotdog roast sounds good too.

Angelina Garcia

Keaton Oakes said...

It really looks great now. Such a shame that you had to rebuild after a short time. I have to agree, paint really is just not as it used to be; it doesn’t offer the same preservation qualities as it used to. Nowadays you have to buy the preserving coat separately instead of just applying one or two coats of the same paint.

Keaton Oakes