My Porch Project episode 1

Porches take center place in every homestead fantasy I've ever had. To even have a porch after two-plus decades of Manhattan living is a personal triumph. I've already imagined a lifetime's worth of porch action for this porch. My vision is only hampered by my inability to settle on a final color scheme. As you will see, however, I've got a ways to go before having to make that decision.

The porch, warped and weathered, is in dire straits. There are over 90 spindles either encased in dull, cracked paint or missing altogether. Along the stairs leading up to the porch, there is a utilitarian stopgap of a handrail that was installed by the previous owner after a section of the original rotted and fell away. Rusty nails and crumbling wood have a tenuous hold at every juncture.

It would be easy, though expensive, to scrap it all and start fresh, but there is so much to save here, and we didn't buy an old house in order to have a new one! The plan is to restore as many elements of this old porch as is feasible, and bask in the shared history of the people that came before us.

Here is the starting point:

IMG_4264.JPG

Screaming for repair. Here's the side view: 

There a ramshackle lattice component under the porch that has to be replaced. A woodchuck lives down there. 

There a ramshackle lattice component under the porch that has to be replaced. A woodchuck lives down there. 

IMG_5423.JPG
IMG_5412.JPG

Rough! 

IMG_5792.JPG

Splitting columns: I always wondered how columns were made. Seeing ours coming apart at the seams explained a lot.

IMG_5419.JPG

Every juncture looks like this: 

IMG_5927.JPG
IMG_5752.JPG