October 10, 2014

Front Porch Progress

As of yesterday evening I have goat news to share, but no photos. What I do have photos of, is progress on the front porch. While I've been discussing porch design ideas with you all, Dan has been busy!

Tearing out the existing floor. There was only one damp spot under there,
indicating a drainage issue which will have to be addressed. The rest was dry. 

We always try to salvage what we can, to reuse. The wood is old, however.
There was some splitting of the floor beams/joists, but most are still usable.

 The first problem to be addressed was the ductwork going to my studio. Dan
   wanted to seal off the crawlspace, but had to do something about those ducts 

He wasn't happy with the existing piers, which are a hodge-podge of bricks,
rocks, and chunks of wood; whatever the builder could grab at the time!

That's better. 

Ductwork redone so it's all under the house now. Dan replaced some with
flexduct, & for now, eliminated the duct to the front of the studio because
there's no room to work under there. We rarely use the HVAC, so this isn't
a big problem. We'll decide what to do when we finally upgrade that room.

He used Great Stuff spray foam to seal those mouse gaps I told you about.

Other side. You can see where someone had knocked a hole in the
foundation. This was done at several places around the house,
wherever someone wanted access. Dan added the 4x4s for support.

Last issue was the rim joist under the front door. It is a doubled 2x8, but
the boards weren't long enough to span the length of the room. Instead of
staggering them, the builder butted them both up to the next joist. Dan
bolted & screwed them together, and then added the two jacks for support.

We figured the easiest and cheapest way to seal off the
crawlspace was with backerboard (cement board). 

This will block the crawlspace from critters, drafts, and wind.

It's such a relief to have all this done. It's been impossible to heat or cool
the 3 rooms at the front of the house. This is the beginning of fixing that.

Next time, that goat news I told you about.

Progress on the front porch continued here.


Harry Flashman said...

I hope you can get the whole project done before the really cold weather comes.

Dani said...

As always, simple to explain (with pics) but the actual physical / mental work is stupendous. Good work Dan :)

jewlz said...

That looks terrific, & will feel even better, I imagine. Any storage uses you can put that space under the porch to?

Mike Yukon said...

Good job! Fixing others errors can be very frustrating to say the least but now all is corrected and dried in for the winter.

Leigh said...

Harry, me too, but at least we've got this done. The rest will depend on time and money (what doesn't!).

Dani, I'm not sure I did a very good job explaining, but the photos show it best. :) You're right about the mental work too. Figuring out whoat to do and how to do it takes longer than the doing!

JW, it's a relief to have this much done! One idea Dan had for under the porch, is to install a low profile rain catchment tank. Don't really have the funds for that at present though.

Mike, thanks! These are the joys of buying an old house. It's rewarding, but most of the time we'd rather be out with our hands in the dirt. :)

Farmer Barb said...

To quote an old Southern saying, "That work 'bout gave me the VAPORS!" Whew! He DOES like to work. The storage concept that JW talks about is interesting. All the Mormons that I know have whole preparedness areas under their porches. Maybe a pull up hatch to store empty canning jars?

I am anxious to hear the travel story of El SeƱor Cabra.

Anonymous said...

Wow, he got a lot done! And I know your toes will be grateful that the floor will be warmer in the cooler months. You have one talented guy there Leigh!


Ed said...

You have to love fixing up old houses. After you strip it down to where you can start, you have to first fix all the crap that previous occupants have done wrong before you can begin. But at the end of the day, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you got it fixed up, did it right and did it yourself!

Leigh said...

Barb, we've talked about making a hatch to the crawlspace, but toward the back of the house, like in the pantry, where there is actually some room under there (plus closer to the kitchen). Our crawlspace is about 6" at the front of the house (my studio) and about 36" at the back. There is a little more room under the front porch, but not a lot. Something to think about though.

Stephanie, I so agree, on both counts!

Ed, that's exactly it, although sometimes Dan thinks it would have been easier and cheaper to build our own house!

Cassandra said...

It looks like you and Dan are making great progress with the front porch. The cement board was a bit of genius. Much less time intensive and inexpensive too! I can hardly wait for the goat news.

Unknown said...

This looks great! But a word of warning from my own experience. The mice will eat a hole right through that spray foam. I had similar issues with mice getting in holes around water pipes. I thought spray foam was the answer and it worked at first, but then one day I found a hole in the foam and a dead mouse in a trap. I ended up using metal drywall patch to seal it up and it has worked very well.

Jessika said...

This looks great! Those piers looked very suspect. I'm glad you replaced them.

I wonder if you could put a plastic flap or something to somewhat seal in the porch in the wintertime. It woudl keep the weather off of the porch and allow you to use the front porch as wintertime storage, but also would help insulate the front rooms and keep them warmer. Just a thought. :)

Mama Pea said...

Wow, what HUGE improvements! In remodeling (and adding on to) this old place, we found some really bad construction "oopses" that we were glad we found and could fix, but at the same time kinda cringed that they had been made in the first place!

Mark said...

Dan is doing a great job! That is a lot of work, but he looks to be doing it right. I'm sure you'll both be happy with the result.

Su Ba said...

Wow, quite a project! I like the cement board idea, I'll have to keep that in mind. Boy, Dan isn't just fixing the porch, he's rebuilding the whole thing. Yikes! But at least now it will be exactly the way you want it. I bet next spring you'll be happy to be sitting out on such a fine porch.

Leigh said...

Cassandra, not sure where we came up with the cement board idea, but it definitely turned out well.

Shane, hello and thanks for the tip. Experience is always of the greatest value! Dan used to deliver that stuff by the tanker to companies who used it to make freezers and walk-in refrigerators. They told him it will break down and deteriorate over time. Made me glad we didn't use it to insulate the house!

Jessika, our back porch is enclosed and the greatest help to keep cold air and winds from coming into the kitchen during winter. Dan wanted to enclose the porch, but I didn't want to because the living room is already so dark. I like your idea, but am afraid that temporary storage would become permanent, LOL

Mama Pea, if it weren't for all those previous "oopses", the project would be a piece of cake!

Mark, thanks. We'll definitely be happier to have it more secure and air tight!

Su Ba, just wait till I show you all pictures of the foundation! Yes, rebuilding was the only way.

Rob said...

I have spent time getting caught up and you adventures, you two have been busy. Looks as its going well. I did add you to my follower list, as I forgot to move it over before I cut my old blog, My apologies.

Chris said...

Since starting my chicken coop renovation, I have sympathy for the extent of work you guys are undertaking.

I wouldn't build a chicken coop, the way your old porch was cobbled together in the past. Its scary to think what some people pass as sound construction!

It doesn't have to look pretty if its hidden under a porch, but the bare minimum should be sound footings at least. I can't believe contractors just punched holes through the footings of a house. Unbelievable!!

Glad to see you're looking after the old building. Well done you two. :)