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??????