My Back Porch

I’m too pissed off about the California state budget to write anything with any coherence.  Instead, please enjoy some before and after pictures of my back porch.

Here’s what it looked like before we moved in:

Here’s what it looked like after Turf  Wars got done remodeling our backyard.  The porch was by far the least successful part of the whole redo.

The next weekend (while I was 36 weeks pregnant) we ripped off the sides and the steps and redid that part ourselves.  We couldn’t alter the basic footprint without getting into some serious work and the platform part itself seemed to be ok,  so we left that part alone.

I had some kind of mental block against traditional deck rails, so we went with horizontal slats.  We had a lot of fights about that.  Not to mention the fights over step measurements.  In the end it turned out that Home Depot sells pre cut stair risers that fit perfectly.  Had the contractors who worked on our porch realized this, it would have made things much easier.  Oh well.

It’s still not up to code, but the heavy ceramic pots are in place to keep anyone from falling off the porch area.

We had a disturbingly difficult time finding a plain wooden screen door.  I had romantic thoughts about how much I love the slam of an old fashioned wooden screen door.  I’m still not sure how I feel about this particular style, though, and it’s right outside the baby room. Every time it WHAMS shut and she wakes up, it reduces the romanticism.  Anyway.  In the end we just bought the least tacky wooden screen door we could find from Lowe’s and stained it dark brown.

Also, please note.  We tried Home Depot first, for a screen door, since it’s five minutes from our house.  After a disturbingly long time spent waiting for someone to help us and searching through the awkward jumble of doors available, the guy behind the desk in the door department informed us that our measurements would require a custom door and that no one in town would be able to help us or have a door of the correct size in stock.  He even made a phone call to some mysterious source to confirm this.  Then we went to Lowe’s, where they must have had 15 doors, in stock, in the size we needed, displayed nicely and easy to look at.  So lesson learned – never take the statement of any big box store employee as fact.

Hanging a door is shockingly difficult.  Mr. E worked on it for  hours every night for a week.  The lattice bit is not really my style, but it matches the lattice that they put up to cover our sketchy back yard fence really well.  And it keeps the dog from breaking the screen in with her face, so that’s a bonus too.  Someday I would like to replace the white steel door with a french door, and I am still thinking of painting the screen door red, but I worry about how it would look up against the white of the other door.  Regardless, it looks so much better than the god awful metal screen door that was there before that I don’t really care.

We also used leftover slate that my neighbor gave us underneath the porch to help prevent that area from becoming a giant mud pit.

I still would like to tile the entire area under the porch, and I would like to figure out some sort of edging because black barkdust gets tracked all over the light colored cement patio constantly and it’s a lot of upkeep to kept it swept off, and it drives me nuts to see it messy all the time.  And next summer I hope to have a lot more fun flowering plants on the back porch, but I’ve had a hard time keeping things alive in pots, especially because I am not good at remembering to water so much.

Also, that doormat is for sucks.  I need to remember to look for a new one at Crate and Barrel. I really like their doormats.

(I’m not sure how I feel about this posting every day thing.  I like that I am posting pictures and talking about them, and I think that writing MORE eventually means writing BETTER, but here I am writing about doormats.  Hmmmm. )

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8 Responses

  1. Oh girl, the budget. Let’s not discuss. I haven’t been pain in three months and I’m dying.

    Anyway! Your porch looks much better, kudos to you and Mr. E! (Also? Can we blame the crappy porch on your contractor who I hated FOR YOU?)

    Speaking of hate, I hate Home Depot and will only go to Lowe’s. They really are SO much more helpful there.

  2. *paid

    Although that might as well have been a Freudian slip (of the fingers), as I’m also in pain as a result of not getting paid.

  3. I love that you’re writing every day! Yay!

    And WOW did you guys do a FAR better job with the porch than the TW peeps did. It looks charming and pretty and much nicer.

  4. Behold! You guys totally kick the ass of a professional contractor who is a total buttface!! Looks awesome. I MISS YOUR BACKYARD. SIGH SIGH SIIIIIIGH.

  5. Doors are SO hard. We replaced two when we moved in and there’s a third that needs replacing and there’s inexplicably NO door to one side of the jack and jill bath in Claire’s room so you could say we have door issues here.

    I am impressed you guys hung it yourselves but yes, what a gigantic pain.

  6. Love the horizontal slats. I think you could balance the stairs by adding another large potted plant/flower on the other side, on the slate. I love the idea of the red porch door, but don’t know how well red would hold up in the sun. Ikea also has some good, inexpensive door mats. I think it’s a travesty to pay more than $10 for something you wipe your feet on every day.

  7. Glad you’re posting every day. And your porch looks wonderful! I kind of like the brown and the lattice–it looks homey and warm.

  8. Deck looks AWESOME. Love the side panels!

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