While discussing the materials for a new bulkhead (hatch doors leading to the basement, seen to the right) and the next steps in the siding project, Nate and Darryn brought to our attention that the side mudroom was actually an addition that was likely enclosed in the 1960s or 1970s, and asked if we'd prefer an open space to break up the ell.
They explained that the side entrance would have been an open porch, not an enclosed mudroom. We had known that this was likely an open area originally, but never really put much thought into changing it.
We knew that the six over six double hung windows did not go with the 12 over 12 and the 12 over 8 windows throughout the house. And since they were in bad shape, we knew that we'd have to deal with them sooner or later, but that's as far as we got in our thoughts. In addition to that rickety storm door, I think we had mostly been trying to ignore them.
As happens sometimes in our project, one thing led to another. Twenty-four hours later, after Mike removed the windows, the storm door, the exterior wall, the peeling clapboards, and the floorboards that were rotten beneath the wall, the side porch looks like this. Believe it or not, this will actually save us precious funds by not having to replace the windows and storm door, among other factors.
It all fell into place and we wondered how we didn't plan for it before.
That is why we continue to be infinitely grateful for the experience of our craftsmen, Nate and Darryn. Between them, they have well over forty years of experience working on historic homes, which we are very fortunate to benefit from.
It amazes us that such a relatively small alteration to such a small space can make such a dramatic difference.
I really like the idea that this entrance can now be dressed up more than it could as a mudroom. We created a very large mudroom in the back ell (which will be the entrance coming from the barn). So while this secondary mudroom had its own charm in a way, it was not essential, and the invitation that will be provided by the open porch will be a welcome enhancement.