October 27, 2014

Decision About the Front Porch Foundation

In "Porch Foundation - An Upcoming Challenge", I showed you the poor condition of that foundation. Like the rest of the house, it's brick. We discussed all the options we could think of but decided to reuse what we had - bricks!

It was the most economical solution because only a bag of concrete had to be purchased. We also agreed that it would look better than other options because it would be consistent with the rest of the house. I think it turned out pretty good. He reused the vents too.

It was impossible to match the color of the old mortar, which was white, aged over the years. Dan lamented over that, but I think that once the porch is finished, the actual brickwork will not be what catches the eye, it will be the front door, windows, and color, plus all the plantings in my herb and flower beds.

Dan is self taught (with the help of a couple of books and Youtube. What can you not find on Youtube?) and I think he did a very nice job. One question that we had was whether or not the originally builder put in a footer. Dan dug down and discovered it was brick too.

So the first step toward reconstruction has been taken. The next step will be the floor framing (click here for that post).


Dawn said...

Thats a neat bit of brick laying there, its great that you can reuse some of the materials, bricks are main material used for building in the UK.

small farm girl said...

He done a really nice job!!!! Oh, um, I have a small um, project that could use some brick work done on it. Cough, cough. :0)

Farmer Barb said...

Farmer B's tips for making things look old: 1. Make test mortar. 2. Mix up gray latex paint or acrylic or what ever you have). 3. Thin with water. 4. Apply and let dry. 5. Keep at it until you have achieved "old." Nothing matches. Ever. We have to give the impression of old. There is a little brown in there and a little yellow. After you are comfortable with your sample color, use a sponge tip applicator that is thing to keep the stain from running. Blot, blot blot. The mortar will suck up the liquid and the paint will be bound to it.

Great job Dan!

Harry Flashman said...

I admire people who make do with what they have. You two have done an excellent job with your project.

Bill said...

I envy his skills. I really struggle with projects like that, but as you know for homesteaders it is crucial to be able to do such things yourself. Well done!

Dani said...

Leigh - Perhaps a coating of lime powder would "bleach" the cement the same colour?

Well done, Dan - and Leigh too, 'cos I know you were also there helping where you could :)

Mama Pea said...

That man of yours is a wonder . . . and you're no slouch either. ;o) The two of you are an unstoppable team. Gotta have a good foundation to anything in life . . . and your porch now has it!

Renee Nefe said...

I think it looks great and I doubt that anyone on the street is going to say "hey that porch foundation looks new." ;)
sorry in stage mode, if you can't see it from a galloping horse it doesn't matter. ;)

Leigh said...

Dawn, brick and stone, right? I wish we had more stone and rock to work with. Gotta love the look of a stone wall or building.

Small Farm Girl, LOL. He's actually getting to where he likes doing it, now that he's getting past the beginners bumblings. :)

Barb, now that's a great idea. Actually, the rest of the brick foundation has a lot of paint splots from my messy painting jobs. Maybe that's all I need, LOL

Harry, I think being persistently short on funds helps. If we had the money, we'd go out and buy everything. Or, we'd hire someone else to do it. What's the fun in that?

Bill, Dan would tell you there isn't anything anyone can't learn from Youtube!

Dani, that would probably work. Actually the original mortar has a high lime content, which made it whiter, I'm sure, but also softer!

Mama Pea, I agree Dan is amazing. :)

Renee, that's one of my favorite sayings!

Sandy Livesay said...


For being self taught......Dan has done an amazing job. I have to say he's a keeper :-)

Ed said...

Other's sleep at a Holiday Inn Express the night before. I just watch YouTube!

I have never done a brick and mortar project but I would love too someday. In the back of my head, I have great plans to build a firepit/patio into our hill with some brick or stone seats that I mortar together. Not sure when I will get too it but before I do, I'm positive I'll be looking on YouTube for hints.

DFW said...

You guys are so resourceful & talented (even w/learning off the internet). I just know it will look great once finished.

Kris said...

Yep, going with what ya got is usually my first choice too. Saves $$ and you most always learn something new for your handy skills. Nice job on the mortar/bricks. I taught myself how to tuck point my front stoop years ago. It's still holding together. Glad things are looking up for the porch. You guys make a great team.