October 7, 2014

Idea For The Front Porch

Sketch of an idea for the front porch

While Dan has been working on the house foundation, we have been discussing what to do with the front porch. During the brainstorming stage we can get quite elaborate! The bottom line is time and money. That means keeping it simple in design while meeting energy efficiency criteria and budget constraints.

The splurge would be Dan's bay window, which he would likely make himself from windows purchased at the builder's surplus store. We also need to purchase an energy efficient front bedroom window (on the left). We already have the front door. Another expense will be a new porch floor. Also the old ceiling will have to come down (before it falls down). Replacement options are open.

This photo was taken in 2009 but the house hasn't changed. 

We probably won't replace the screening at this time; maybe in the future. Simple porch posts will replace the brick and wood columns to support the roof. The windows on the right are my studio (currently being used for storage). We may want to finish off that part of the house too, which would mean another window! The gable ends will eventually have to be done as well. We think a shake look would probably suit the house best, but I've priced that and it isn't cheap.

The new porch will need a new foundation, probably in the same brick as the house foundation. We'll continue with the same barnboard siding painted the same color blue.

This is the house color scheme we like.
My house color scheme.

The front door will be brick red like the back door. Trim will be white. At least that's the plan for now. Changes not impossible!

Continued here.


JudyMae said...

Looks good. I like bay windows too. Just make sure that seating is big enough for two. ;)

Farmer Barb said...

Don't forget the power outlet to plug in a nice fan to keep you cool in your bug-free area. It would also allow a string of Christmas lights if you were so inclined. Mostly, it's for the fan!

Have you considered a porch swing? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I know it's more in line with decoration after you finish the build but a couple of potplants in there will help you keep it cooler in summer too. From reading your book it sounds like we might actually have similar climates (although I'm not entirely sure). Have you considered taro? If you get the right ones, the roots are edible and taste much like roasted chestnuts but with potato texture. They are delicious cooked and with some salt and butter. They are frost tender and lovers of the water but in a water wicking bed the water use will be better managed and they say that once you have 1 you have them for life. Mine don't look too healthy right now but I do have them still. :) They're related to the plant known as Elephant Ears and the foliage is large and green and quite beautiful. :)

Simply Handmade Farmhouse said...

What a lovely porch it is going to be..your quite the artist.

Unknown said...

I love the way you plan in colour. I think the bays would look lovely and perhaps you can get some rich dark reclaimed boards for the floor. Its going to be lovely.

Mama Pea said...

A big project . . . but that's never stopped you two before! And you've got to have a basic plan to start with even if you make changes as you go. I've always loved bay windows and if Dan can make yours, all the better 'cause they sure can be pricey!

Sandy Livesay said...


I love the sketch you've put together. As times gets closer to doing the porch I know the sketch - plans will change accordingly.

Have you and Dan looked into the Habitat for Humanity Stores for supplies? We have one of these stores in town, and we can buy windows, doors, screens at major discounted prices. Usually the items are donated from construction sites, or homes being remodeled.
We've used this store for even furniture.

Leigh said...

JudyMae, hello! For us, that seating will have to be big enough for three - cats, that is, lol

Barb, I have had a lot of fun thinking about what we could do with that porch. My grandparents had a lovely enclosed front porch when I was a kid, and included a porch swing.

rabidlittlehippy, I do love porch plants. I've been thinking about putting a sheet of lattice board on the left, sort of a pseudo-wall to use to grow a vine that can help shade it.

I will definitely have to look into the taro! Folks grow Elephant Ears around here, so maybe the taro would grow too. Sounds like a great addition to our food sources!

Teresa, well, thanks. :) I've learned sketches are important when Dan and I discuss ideas. We can be describing something with the same words, but be picturing totally different things in our head!

Lynda, I'm thinking dark for the porch floor too! I have started looking for boards and found some from an old textile mill. Much cheaper but 3.5 inches thick and 21 feet long! I'll keep looking till we get to that point.

Mama Pea, if we have to buy the bay window new, it's out. But Dan's confident he can make it, assuming we can find the right size windows! Since we buy our windows from a builders surplus, we never know what the selection will be!

Sandy, we check out the Habitat for Humanity Restores regularly. Ours is pretty tiny, however, with very little in the way of windows and other construction goodies. Lots of nice furniture and household items though. There's a nice big Restore the next town over. It's a bit of a drive, but we'll probably make the rounds when it comes time for that window.

Theresa said...

Front porch work of any kind is a bugger and a complete tear down, lets just say you have my utmost sympathy. Our front entrance is much smaller and probably the most problematic part of our whole house!

Now the bow window, I see this style as more of a 70's thing, not any where near a victorian or 20's walk out style of bay or bow.. Is it a consideration for more light? I mean it is on a porch...you have a roof covering it all anyway which is low slung and pretty horizontal. Three tall narrow windows might give you a little more aesthetic appeal and still offer in as much light as possible, and more of a breeze....
As always devils advocate....:)

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Hi Leigh! De and I love our bay window and I hope you get yours. As you go forward with your construction you might consider the possibility of, in the future, adding a window from your studio that opens out onto the porch. I can see that being nice for both air flow and for seeing who's knocking while you're working. Planning for airflow is not something we did well when we built our house and one of the things I would pay more attention to if we were doing it again.

Hope you work goes well once you start and that you really enjoy your new porch.

(Serious 'fat fingering' on the keyboard on the first attempt: I had to fix it...)

Harry Flashman said...

I like your house. It has character. As you and your husband modify it to suit your own needs, it will become more of a reflection of you. Having a house that suits you, and is not just a cookie cutter slap together, is really important. I often wonder how people live in "Pleasant Valley" as the old Monkeys song named the suburban lifestyle. "Rows of houses that are all the same, and no one seems to care."

Leigh said...

Theresa, in every room we've redone Dan has wanted to put a bay window. I always talked him out of it so that at this time I couldn't say no. He just likes bay windows. We originally thought we wanted to renovate for historical accuracy, until we tried to source materials. So, we're just doing what we want. :) He has talked about enclosing the porch, but I put my foot down at that! Dan still may not get that bay window, depending on what we can find.

Actually, I think a bay window would be perfect in the dining room, overlooking our future bird garden.

Mark, funny, but Dan just mentioned the same thing. There's actually a door there now, but I needed the wall space more than a door so the door is never used. A small window might be nice, and would be easy since the opening for the door is already there. We'll have to see about that.

Harry, thanks! It's definitely a unique house. Small, but good for us. It's fun to make it snugger and more in keeping with our tastes and personalities. We're definitely not Pleasant Valley folk :)

Anonymous said...

I love seeing your vision coming together. You have done so much already to make the house "yours".


Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I love the colors you have chosen. It sure is hard to be patient in getting things done, isn't it! Nancy