Monday, June 27, 2016

Finally Finished the Front Porch

It's been two years since we did our first real project on our current home
Adding a 6'x10' porch added some visual interest to the ugly little box of a house but we never completely finished the porch.
Since then we've built a garage, replaced the roof, siding, doors and windows but the porch remained unfinished.
This spring I have been focusing on the landscaping and wrapping up the exterior work.  It seemed like it was finally time to finish the porch.  After building a frame I installed a couple rows of 12" fascia to close up the front and sides.
I also decided that it was time to do something about the posts.  Although our house is just a 70's ranch we've tried to add a craftsman theme.  The 4x6 porch posts were rather plain until I used scrap lumber to mimic the lines of the craftsman fireplace in the living roo.

The bases are painted in the same dark accent color we used on the gables with the house color in the inset areas.
I can't resist one more before and after.
2013

2016


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Foundation Coat Makes All The Difference

A few weeks ago I posted photos of our egress window well.  In the first picture you can see the mismatched concrete from where we filled in the old basement window opening.
 We used a textured foundation coating to hide the different concrete as well as to dress up the exposed foundation.
But that wasn't our only use for the texture.  The kitchen addition we built last year has treated plywood skirting, affordable and rot resistant, but not attractive.
After patching all the nailheads I spread the texture with a trowel then used a stipple brush to put a stucco finish on the plywood.
I intentionally made some areas thicker and more uneven than others to mimic some of the unevenness of the concrete foundation.
Once everything is textured you can't tell the concrete foundation from the wood skirting.
I thought of the texture as a nice little detail that no one was likely to notice but to my surprise we've already had neighbors from down the street asking where they can buy the texture.  If you're feeling inspired to try it yourself just look for Tuff II on the Home Depot website.




Wednesday, June 08, 2016

A Deck and Then Some

I think the image below pretty much sums up our plans for some outdoor living space
It all started with our back deck.  It was small, the steps were too tall for crippled old dogs and five of the six support posts had rotted off.  We decided to tear it down and start fresh.
We wanted a large outdoor living space and composite decking is expensive.  So we came up with the idea of a small deck that led down to a larger patio behind the garage.  We would have space to bbq on the deck and still have room for a patio set and fireplace on the patio.  A 12x18 patio would give us plenty of space, but the concrete delivery was free if we upped the order to four yards.  So we decided to extend the pad in front of the deck to make room for a hot tub. 

This bumped our outdoor living space from 96 sq ft to 412 sq ft, which seems huge at the moment.

The deck is 12'8" long, but the decking comes in 12' lengths so we put a picture frame around the perimeter to avoid having any seams.
It's not done yet, I still need to build a surround and we've decided to add railings, even though the deck is only 28" tall.  Still, it looks much nicer than the old one ever did.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Egress Window Follow Up

It's been a few weeks since we installed the egress windows and built the window well, but there was more to be done on the windows.
I trimmed out the windows with PVC instead of miratec and put a thin strip of lap siding between them.  Once I textured the foundation and that strip of siding it looks like the windows were actually planned as part of the basement.
 
From the yard you can see how much better it looks.  Before

After - I just need to paint the trim and we're done.