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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

A Porch Renovation Timeline

A front porch is important to the house.  While it's not necessarily the first thing people see when they pull up to your property, it's where their eyes will travel once out of their vehicle and walking towards the front door.  It's the first real personal impression of your home.  It's what they will look around at after knocking and before you get to the door to welcome them in.

Our porch has gone through some major changes in two big steps at two separate times.  The first photo shows the porch basically how we found it.  What that photo doesn't show is the baseball-sized hole near the stairs that made people doubt whether or not they wanted to take that leap of faith just to see us.  I don't know if anyone ever turned back at this point and perhaps I'll never know.  Either way, you can see from the second photo that we repaired the hole by cutting out all of the boards near the stairs and replacing them with better (still used) boards that I got from our friend, Jake Sing, after a job he did removing a porch.  Jodi scraped, primed and painted the floor giving it a much needed makeover and I ripped out the old, mismatched, rotted rails and replaced them with nice new treated rails that I built.

It looked tons better.  However, that was many years ago.  Time and wear have shown their work on the paint since then, which you can see in the third photo.  You can also see that we chose to paint the rails white.  This photo was taken last Sunday afternoon.  You might notice that the siding on the house is missing.  The siding guys (Covering Exteriors)(plug, plug) had this all prepped for the new siding that is still being put on the house as I write this.

It took me about an hour, but I got all the old porch boards removed and all the nails pulled out of the joists (4th photo).  I had to add a couple small connecting joists that should have been there given the design, but were not.  No biggie.

The new floor (5th photo) went in nicely.  I started it Sunday, worked on it until I ran out of screws on Monday night, and finished it Tuesday night after stopping at Lowe's on my way home from work.  I'm super happy with how it turned out.

The siding on the porch got completed yesterday which completed the package.  Jodi and I LOVE it!  I have to re-hang the porch swing and put the welcome mat back in front of the door.  But, I think that we are done with it!  And, that's a great feeling.  :)


In my last blog, I listed out all the things that we needed to get done before the siding went up.  All those things are now done, which is good since the siding started going up today.  Yay!!!

The first photo was taken in September of '09.  Despite how large and in charge our house is, you couldn't see it for all the growth.  We admit that we liked it this way.  It was nice to have a natural privacy fence, and boy do I mean private!  Behind this wall of shrubs, small trees, vines, and honeysuckle, we enjoyed our island in the midst of the city.

The second photo was taken at the end of the same day as the first photo.  Though, obviously, I had been busy that day.  In case you're thinking that these photos look familiar, it's because I've blogged about this particular improvement before.  It was four and half years ago so I'm entitled to make mention of it again.  However, the real reason I showed these photos was to show what the house looked like before the white metal siding was pulled off.  Also, I want to familiarize you with all the green in the photo since we have also been involved in some herbal genocide on our property.  I won't show any of the finished photos yet since we are very much in the process, but expect some very soon.

In the third photo (all photos can be clicked on for enlargement), you'll see that the metal siding has been pulled off exposing the original wooden dutch lap siding.  These windows were wrapped by our siding guys and J-channel was installed around them.  Jodi cleaned them up and has been working her tail off getting them all painted and looking awesome!  Also, you can see our new blinds.  We got some super nice blinds for the entire house.  It was awesome to get some uniformity to the inside of our home.  Also, though you can't see much of it, in the top-right corner of the photo you can see our new soffit and fascia.  This house is looking awesome!

Lastly, here is a picture of our new siding being installed!  It's looking great!  I'm really happy with the new look and can't hardly wait to see the finished product.  These external improvements were a long time coming and wouldn't have been financially possible without some major help from Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our Provider.  This is the year of completion for this house and with the completion of all these tasks getting checked off the master to-do list, it's seeming more and more possible that we may have some major rest coming to us in the very near future!

Home Improvement Deadlines to Meet

This winter has been a confusing one, for sure.  We've had a lot of winter precipitation and some pretty long stretches of cold that has kept us from getting much done outside like we would have liked.  However, we've also had some nice days tossed in there quite randomly, too, where we were able to get out and really use our time effectively.

In the last couple of weeks, we've really made our fire pit work hard for us.  We cleared out a ton of brush and even cut down several trees.  Our unkempt "fence line forest" is starting to look like a normal fence.  And, I look forward to both the decrease in mosquito habitat as well as the increase in sunshine reaching our yard.  More sunshine means better, healthier lawn.

In preparation for the new siding installation...  Wait.  Have I mentioned that before?  So, yeah, we're getting new siding!  How awesome is that?!  Aaaaand, we're getting new soffit and fascia, as well.  Our house is going to get a full-on makeover.  That should probably start in the next couple of weeks and potentially be completed in about a month from now, weather permitting.  We hired this one out.  Being 30 feet off the ground is not my thing.

So, back to what I was saying, in preparation for the new siding installation, we have had a list of items that need to get done before the new siding gets put on.  That list is as shown below:
  • Install new locking garage door handle
  • Install new garage side entry door and trim out
  • Trim out garage door
  • Run electric wiring for the two back door lights
  • Run speaker wiring for outdoor deck speakers
  • Run electric wiring to garage
  • Run electric wiring to new light on front of garage
  • Run electric wiring to outdoor receptacle on deck
  • Run electric wiring to outdoor receptacle on front porch
  • Install replacement crown trim on front porch
  • Build garage door lock linkage
  • Replace missing glass in garage door
  • Clear off front porch
I got the marked out items accomplished last Saturday and would have liked to get more done on Sunday.  But, despite Saturday's beautiful 51 degree high temperature with partial sun, Sunday morning started out with several inches of sleet and had a couple inches of snow fall throughout the day with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills in the negative teens.  That's pretty classic for Springfield, Missouri.  The good news is that nice weather is coming back.  Slowly but surely, we are set to be back up to almost sixty degrees this Friday.

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