Our next big project...Summer!

Hope you had a great weekend. Honestly, we have had a rough couple of weeks with deaths, funerals, and illness. Having a 2 year old with norovirus (nasty stomach bug) definitely can put a cramp on your weekend plans. We did get some icy snow here on Friday night and Saturday morning so that just made us want to stay in more.  Enough of that... I'm ready for summer, so...

We're going to renovate our screen porch!  I've been thinking and talking about this for ages and we've weighed the pros and cons of doing this project which I am sure everyone does before embarking on something like this. Our porch is sufficient in its current state but needs new screens, a new door, and paint.  As you can see in these pictures, it looks fine on the surface.

But, if you look closely, you'll see the peeling paint on the posts and floor and the stretchy screens. It's pretty much a bandaid right now. During our big renovation we didn't touch the porch and it became a big storage area for our stuff and some construction supplies.  When we bought the house in 2002, we replaced the flat roof which was leaky and saggy. It was our first major project that we hired out. Then, about 6 years ago, we replaced the screens and beefed up the structural supports (some are pretty rotten). The floor hasn't been painted in 10 years and it shows.  We also never fully finished covering the screen staples on the outside, so it looked fine inside but definitely looked unfinished on the outside.  Now, 6 years later the whole porch desperately needs paint, the screens  are sagging again (maybe because they aren't fully stretched anymore), and the floor is a disaster. Add on some major mold and mildew due to a crazy wet late summer and fall, and you have a real mess.

See? Pretty on the inside.  We've done so much work on the rest of our house that this seems like a real blight on the property. Fortunately it looks pretty fine from the street but the view from our neighbors' We thought about just replacing the structure and that didn't really seem worth it - or that much fun!  I had always dreamed about making the porch bigger. At times I considered enclosing the existing porch into a room (many of our neighbors have done this), but we don't really need another room now that we've done the addition.  I also didn't really want to lose my porch. We eat out there most nights in good weather (in D.C. that's any day that is between 70 and 92 degrees!).  The main issue is that when we have anyone else over, the table is not big enough.  It's a 5 person table and that's definitely it. Even 5 is a little cozy.

You may be saying - what about your patio? Yes, we have a great patio but the mosquitos are so large and plentiful they will carry you away.  Remember, Washington was built on a swamp! I'm hoping to work on this over the spring and summer - more on that then.

So, now we're back to the original problem - rotten porch which is a little too small. We thought about extending the foundation to the front and back but there are a lot of mechanicals on both sides which would be a hassle and expensive to move.  We're going for big bang with as few bucks as possible. 

So... the only other thing is to go out. We're hoping to extend the porch 3 feet.  That doesn't seem like a lot and it really isn't a lot but it will make our very rectangular porch much more square. This will hopefully allow for a table for 6 and one extra chair in the sitting area.  This would allow us to have 2 couples or my parents over  or having everyone actually sit at the table when my parents visit.

Since this is a structural project which requires permits and inspections, we hired our architect Kaye Orr to draw up the plans.  In less than a week, she had a survey of our property line done and She already sent the first draft which we commented on. She's going to visit the County offices this week to see what's what with the property line and how far out we can go without getting a variance.  Knock on wood, it all goes smoothly.

More, lots more, to come on this!