Skip to main content

Back to Work

After a few months away from blogging I'm back and ready for a fresh challenge.  We've been in the house since Labor Day but we haven't tackled any real projects until now.  We plan to make up for that time off in the next few months. Our big project will be building a garage, but there are countless small projects that go along with the garage.  First up is our front entry situation.  Here is what we've been looking at for the last eight months.
So far the only improvement I have made was planting these maple trees a few weeks ago.
In an effort to dress up the front of this bland little ranch and tie in with our future garage we decided to replace the concrete steps with a covered porch.  Our first step was to get rid of the precast steps using craigslist. I was surprised at how many people were interested in our free steps and how few of them had any plan for how to move 800 lbs of concrete.  But eventually we found the right person to haul them away.  My brother built us a temporary set of steps to use until we build the porch.
We still did not have a clean slate to work with.  Since our new porch will have steps on the side instead of the front we decided that we really did not need the front walk.  At some point we will fill the hole and plant grass to combine two small yards into one larger yard.  For now we have this:
The walk from the driveway was great for shedding water but miserable to shovel.  Whoever poured the concrete did nothing to prepare the soil underneath which is why it buckled.
When we pour the driveway and garage slab we will also pour a sidewalk leading to the new porch.
I don't usually appear in the blog but Luke snapped a few pictures while I was working on the front walk.
Our last little preparatory task was to dig the holes for the porch footings.  We were concerned this would be miserable work because our soil is so rocky but at 18" we hit good, alluvial dirt and it was easy digging for the rest of the holes.
Since the digging went faster than planned we had time to mix up some concrete and pour the footings for the porch posts.  Now that the prep work is done we're ready to start building a porch.  Stay tuned.


Elissa said…
So glad you are back!!

Popular posts from this blog

Laundry Room Before & After

Three years ago the laundry room was just a messy corner of the basement. We turned one wall into a large utility closet which made for a smaller laundry room, but left it looking cleaner. Eventually the little room got a new window, lights and insulation. A few weeks later the room was finished.  The floor tile was a clearance find for $.57 per sq ft.  We bought it three years ago and have moved the boxes at least a dozen times over the last three years.
 Last year I debated buying a premade laundry room sink and cabinet from Costco but balked at the $299 price tag.  Instead we bought cherry cabinets from craigslist, a sink and faucet from Restore and I built the countertop out of sheetformica.  Total cost $245.
The pattern on the formica can hide just about anything. That $245 price tag also includes the cabinet on the other side of the room over the freezer.  I had LED undercabinet lighting leftover from the kitchen.  I had to buy an $8 power supply from Amazon but it was worth it …

Family Room Before and After

When we bought the house the basement was classified as unfinished. The previous owners had made a haphazard effort to convert some of it into living space, but the carpentry was so bad that you would have to be drunk to consider it livable. From what we have heard about the previous owners drunk was probably how the work was done. Anyway, this space at the bottom of the stairs was used as two bedrooms; one directly in front of you and the other through the door to the left. We moved the bedrooms to the far corner of the basement so they could share an egress window well and used the two bedrooms as one large media room. The tray ceiling hides the pipes for the radiant floor heat and also distracts the eye from the beam running down the middle of the room. While we needed the tray in in one spot for practical reasons running it all the way around the room created a nice visual effect. The basement stays comfortably warm from the radiant heat for the 1st floor but we also added a ga…

Our New House - It Might Just Be Home

I recently announced that we had sold our home in Helena and will be moving to my hometown in July.  We did some house-hunting over Easter weekend and I'm please to report success.  We are in the process of buying our latest home: I know you can't see it well behind the trees.  I'm so excited to have actual trees on the property.  The house itself is nestled against the base of a hill which will block our views of the sunset but the east-facing front porch should offer some wonderful sunrises.  And here's a sneak peek of our view.
I won't be posting any more photos until we've actually closed on the house.  Closing is still two months away and a lot could change before then.  Still, I look forward to sharing our latest project.