I had spent plenty of time rebuilding new front porches for friends in the neighborhood while our own was needing attention and getting neglected. The slab at the bottom had settled over time, the 100+ year old railings had rotted out in places and I wanted to redesign the newel posts. The porch has original beautiful and unique balustrades with interesting moldings between the individual balusters, some of those were in need of repair and replacement. I milled new rails to match out of Red Grandis a wood very similar to mahogany, weather resistant and with beautiful smooth grain. All on the front steps was torn off, the old concrete stoop removed and re-poured, new stringers, risers and treads were built. Newly designed posts and caps were built and the old rails were carefully removed from the balustrades and replaced with the new ones. All wood was back-primed (painted on all sides to protect agains weather and rot). The posts were back-primed as well as blocked solid inside and shimmed with small plastic strips on the bottom to keep them from sitting in water and wicking moisture leading to rot. Most of the newel posts I repair rot from the inside out, blocking the insides solid I think prevents warm moist air from condensing inside and causing that. The treads are each build out of three boards with gaps for drainage in between. These processes add time but contribute to the longevity of the porch. The open front porch is one of the favorite spots in our home, a really nice place to hang out and chat with neighbors, read a book or take a nap on the porch swing. Really cool spot to be when thunder storm roll in too.(CLICK ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PHOTOS TO SCROLL THROUGH MULTIPLE VIEWS).
Front Porch Up-Date and Restoration
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