While a full bathroom remodel this year was incredibly exciting, the smaller improvements around the house are just as satisfying and deserve fanfare! Our latest update happened this Tuesday when we finally removed the inoperable door on our front porch.
As you may recall, this is what we were working with. For some background, our house was built in 1929 and would have originally had a porch to the right of the entry. Our neighbor has lived next door since he was a child and remembers that the space had double-hung windows all along the front of the house until the 1990s when George, a previous owner, decided to close it all up and reduce the window count to just two ugly block windows: one of them is plexiglass and the exterior framing on them doesn’t even match. The window situation is clearly an expensive problem for another day. (Thanks, George.) Our pressing annoyance was that door and since I don’t want a window in that spot, we decided to have it filled in now as we tend to have drafts leak through the gaps and insects making their way in for the winter.
A challenge that we ran into with hiring a siding company is that many don’t take on smaller jobs unless they did the work to begin with — even though we had piles of extra siding in our garage. Fortunately, our neighbor recalled that the siding was done by the person we bought the house from and he was gracious enough to dig through his records to find the company’s information for me. (This is precisely why I’ve started a home binder with things like contact information for tradespeople and paint colors that I can hand off to the next owner.)
The company we hired framed in the gap, insulated it, added the siding, and put up drywall on the interior side. They don’t do interior work, so I’ll be trying my hand at taping, mudding, and sanding this down the road. I don’t feel pressured to do a great job, since this will all be redone at some point when we invest in revamping this space. It’s a huge improvement over that janky door, though, and that posh screwdriver-through-hinge locking system.
The team took down all of the siding on the right side and rehung it with some of the long pieces we had in the garage, so there isn’t an obvious patch. You’d never know the door was there!
More posts about the front porch:
- Replacing the storm door
- Staining the flooring with Sherwin Williams’ SuperDeck
- How the stain held up two years later
- Swapping out the sconces + 12 options under $100
Additionally, we had to address the exterior of our bathroom’s shower window. During our remodel, we reduced the size of the existing window (which you can see here). Our contractor ran into the aforementioned issue of siding companies turning down the work because we weren’t sure who had done it originally. Apparently the metal framing around the windows is impossible to do without the proper tools that our contractor would have to rent — and, I’ll be honest, since siding wasn’t their area of expertise, we decided it’d likely be cheaper to have an actual siding company do it eventually. Our contractor insulated the area below and put up the waterproof board at the bottom of our new window. We had him paint it black, which made it look like a regular window from far away and that’s what we lived with for the last five months.
And, here it is now! They really did such a wonderful job to make sure that the patching work was disguised. All in, the project cost $2,800, which I thought was reasonable.
If you’re wondering about that door up there, it’s from when the house was a two-flat and stairs led up to it. We had to install a permanent barrier in front for insurance reasons and found a gate that could be screwed in, but easily removed when we embark on that ordeal. The joys of an old house and correcting someone else’s choices, huh?
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