I still have a bit of trim work to finish up on the porch (and hang one door) but for the most part the expenses are done.
What did it cost to tear down and rebuild my porch?
That's just materials. Imagine if I hadn't done all of the work myself! Average cost my research showed for having a contractor do the work was around $8000 plus the stone work.
In addition, I spent another $571 on tools this year (cordless drill, nailgun.) And another $97 fixing the electrical damage I did to the power line for my washer while reattaching a downspout. lol.
Today the kids and I hung three of the ceiling panels for the porch. It was a much bigger deal to do than I had hoped, but I think it's going to turn out just fine.
This also means I got to use my nail gun for real for the first time! It was certainly fun. I can't even imagine trying to install a wood panel ceiling without a nail gun. We'd probably still be on the first panel.
The stone work is underway, and it's turning out better than I had hoped. It's certainly more art than technical skill. Once I figured out the proper mix for the mortar things started going pretty smoothly.
I'm using 'manufactured stone' which is basically concrete poured into forms and tinted. It's about half the weight and half the cost of real stone, and much easier to work with. No, I didn't get it from Lowe's - there's a local concrete supplier who got me everything I needed.
I found that mixing less than a gallon of mortar at a time was best, because my skill level is low so I'm slow at it and that keeps the mortar from getting dry.
Wow, this has been a long road. It started at the end of May when I tore down the old porch due to structural issues, while saving 85% of the original roof. I also had the concrete slab removed that was in the yard leading to the porch and installed a nice little paver walk.
I framed in a new porch. This allows me to have any dirt/mud splash on the bottom two feet and have screen above that. It also keeps little fingers from tearing the screen once it's installed. Then I got a wild hair and installed low voltage lighting, placing three walk lights and two lights mounted inside the framing of the porch itself for mood lighting. It looks great, by the way! Next I tore out the electrical for the old over door porch light and ran a new 20 amp circuit from the breaker box that handles the new overhead porch light (now mounted in the ceiling), a new GFCI outlet on the outside back wall and a new set of floods with a switch inside the porch for late night grilling.
And now, I've finished painting so all that's left is ceiling, screen, stone wall on the outside and tile floor:
I was planning to just move the porch light to the center of the ceiling, but when I pulled off the siding to take a look at the wiring I was amazed the house hadn't burned down yet with the multiple splices. I ended up rewiring it all the way back to the panel. I disconnected the original wires inside the wall and drilled a hole through the side of the house to run a new electrical line to the porch light switch inside. A little bit of spray foam sealed the hole back up.
I installed a new breaker in the box and ran the porch light, a weatherproof GFCI outlet on the end of the porch, a floodlight set on the back side of the porch and a switch to turn the floods on and off. I cut a channel in the wood siding behind the vinyl siding for the new wiring to run, and replaced the vinyl siding to cover the wire.
I'm not an electrician but I have enough experience with this and have done enough studying that I am comfortable opening the main breaker box without frying myself (or others) and am reasonably confident that everything is done perfectly to code, even though there's no inspector way out here.
Before I could put the cement backer board on the outside of the bottom of the porch, I decided to install low voltage deck lighting. Since it's all the same cable, I went ahead and placed a few landscape lights as well for the walkway:
You can see I've painted just around the lights themselves before installing them. I promised Kaelin that she could help paint, so I didn't paint the entire section.
It was a lot more expensive than I thought, running $90 for the transformer, $20 for the cable and another $100 for the lights themselves. By the time I'm finished with the screened porch, stone base and tile floor, I think all together it should increase the value of the house considerably.
As you can see I've got about 2/3 of the framing complete for the porch. The outer bottom will be finished in stone, and above that will be screen. I've taken the opportunity to run some electrical as well so I'll have flood lights in the back yard just to the side of the back exit from the porch, and a porch light mounted to the left of the main entrance. I plan to also add some low-voltage lighting both as landscape lights around the walkway and side, and a couple as 'deck' lights mounted inside the framed bottom that will light up the floor of the porch.
I've picked up bead-board panels (not cheap at $18 a sheet) to do the ceiling.
I've been looking around to see what I could put around the bottom of the porch for a nice stone look and found a local manufacturer of imitation stone veneer products.
This stuff is 1/4 the weight of real stone and looks identical. The only catch with this stuff is that the coloring of the stone is on the surface, so if it gets nicked you'll likely see grey. Originally I wanted a tight fit 'ledgestone' but the reseller talked me out of it since I've never done stone work before. He pointed out that it would take 4 times longer to cover the same amount of space because of how many pieces it would require.
Cost for the fake stone? Around $4 a sqft with tax. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than real, and should suit my purposes just fine. Besides, if I screw it up, I risk less money. :-)
I've done my first concrete work, that is if you don't count digging a hole and pouring in a bag of concrete to support a mailbox. When the contractor removed the slab from between the house and the fence, we found more concrete under that in two sections like for car tires. Those pieces were blended a bit more into the main slab and didn't come out very nicely. About 50 pounds of QuickRete later and I've patched the front edge. You can see the change in color at the end of the walkway. That's my patch job.
I also layed in the pavers that lead up to the porch. Next is to paint some of the boards of the roof for moisture protection, then start framing in the porch to be screened. I've decided to go with 36' wide doors on the porch to make moving out easier than moving in was :-)
I also dug a trench around the front of the patio leading from just left of the walkway all the way to the right edge, turning then down about 3/4 of the length of the patio. I placed a PVC pipe with holes drilled in it to help with drainage, then covered it with drainage rock. Hopefully this will prevent any possible problems with water runoff making it's way onto the porch. The front edge of the porch is lower than the end of the yard, and the back edge of the porch is about 9' above ground, so the water should naturally roll around the porch now.