Small Front Porch and Stairs House Remodel on the Cheap: Before and After Pictures

We have the cutest little front porch, but it was TINY.  I wrote about my love for it for NPR and you can hear it here on WVPE or read it by clicking here.  I had too much furniture on our tiny porch, we spent lot s of meals on it, we read played and rested on it.  When the front steps started getting rickety we knew we had to have them repaired but it never occurred to us to have them widened too.  We thought about adding a wrap around front porch but the cost was prohibitive.  

I really just needed a few extra feet so the front door wouldn't swing open into "Betty" my awesome refinished metal glider swing.  I only needed a few feet.  So we we started talking to contractors and found a guy my friends had used named Jeff Brown.  He was the most affordable for us and did really nice work.  

Here are the before and after pictures of the job.    

Just widening the steps gave us room to fit two adult chairs on either side of them on the porch.  I didn't realize how much space the railing took up.  Frankly just the steps would have been enough of an improvement on the space...the porch deck extension was just cherries on top.  I do not see renovations or decorating in my head very well, so I was thrilled & stunned at the visual and logistical impact of the wider stairs.

I would have preferred the new addition's railing to come directly off of the house and main pillar instead of be framed next to it. For the price and the overall workmanship, it was just great as it happened. Several more expensive bids included removing the entire original porch floor to rebuild it all but we wanted to be more thoughtful and environmental than that.  Plus it was cheaper to use the original wood.  Once painted it all blends fine.

Framing the porch floor.  Jeff basically made a solid deck with four corner posts next to our original porch.  

Jeff Brown FINALLY removing the original porch railing...probably my favorite step in the process.

First meal actually at a table on our front porch.  Divine.  I was obviously quite excited.
The little girls and their animals liked the porch extension quite a bit.
After the addition, my porch swing glider "Betty" didn't knock into the wall or door!  We added a bistro table for our front porch meals.  FINALLY enough room for all the chairs I've been squeezing onto the porch for four years!

We had to leave the wood alone for awhile to let it cure and season and dry out before painting.  It took us several months before we were ready to paint. We hemmed and hawed about paying Jeff Brown to paint or just doing it ourselves.  After a few more house expenses cropping up we decided to paint it ourselves.

Painting the porch (ALL THOSE SPINDLES!) and fence, gate, trellis took a long time.  Probably five days total.  For normal people, maybe three days...we have little kids who like to help. 

If we didn't let them help they were pesky so either way that detracted from dedicated work time. We gave them a shallow dish of paint and foam brushes to hide any mistakes creativity on their part. 

They actually did a GREAT job.  I considered their job a decent first coat.  Even as only three and five year olds, they felt so important and helpful painting I was glad we let them 'try' to help.

I JUST finished painting a second coat of porch and deck paint on the floor yesterday morning.  I also painted the porch ceiling and trim since the new white fence and railing made the old paint look pretty shabby. I really decorate the porch when it is warm, so I am excited already for SPRING!

Tonight we will move Betty back to where she belongs, and probably put the table back...what, maybe with a pumpkin ion it?  Unless it snows.  That is right, here in NW Indiana we are expecting snow today.  This porch project was finished in the NICK OF TIME.

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