Monday, December 21, 2015

The Re-Making of a Side Entry

This is the side entry as it was when we purchased our house, an enclosure built most likely in the 1950s or 1960s. This space was actually built out from the exterior wall of the original el. To the left is the exterior wall of a cape that was brought to the site and added to the original el. The different widths of the original el and the relocated cape created an alcove that was enclosed as shown above. We decided to open the space back up to create a more inviting, focal side entry.

Here is the entry after peeling away the exterior wall and windows.

We replaced the peeling boards on the entry ceiling with a more classic wainscot pattern than was there previously.

We also replaced the flooring as there was water damage along the front wall of the former enclosure. Here are Nate and Darryn installing tongue and groove fir floor boards (color is Benjamin Moore, Platinum Gray).

Here Nate works on the beam that supports the porch roof. Also notice that the double-hung window has an 8 light sash over a 12 light sash.

Installing the 12-inch wide tongue and groove wall boards. We opted to 'weather board' the porch instead of clapboard, which is a customary treatment for exterior spaces such as this on historic homes.

Here are Nate and Darryn sizing up finishing the support beam. Of course, none of the walls nor roof framing were plumb, level or square, so as with many of our retrofits there were judgements to be made on how to best align the restored elements.

As an aside, we decided to flip the 8 over 12 windows in the house so that the larger sash is on top to realign with the more elegant configuration that prevails in our region. This happened to be the first window we reconfigured, and here the 12 light sash is reinstalled on top. In doing so, we actually found a paint line on the jamb that confirmed this was a 12 over 8 window previously.

We will have to do some touch up painting on the flipped window sash. I will post on the process of flipping the windows next.

The short early December days mean finishing up after dusk.

Here Nate is finishing the fascia at the front of the floor framing.

And here is the porch as of this weekend.

Left to do:

Replace single-paned french interior door with solid six-panel Federal door
Install porch light
Finish touch-up painting
Come spring, create new path that leads from driveway to porch

And as the photos may convey, we are not going to be moving into the house before Christmas.
This realization came about a month ago.

But as of last week, the main house has heat! The new boiler was installed and propane line (dug by Mike) run. That was a big step to set up the last finishing steps on the interior (turning water on, painting, floors, etc.)
I have been having spacing issues with Blogger for some time now - apologizes for any issues on your end! 


  1. Thank you for continuing to share the restoration of your historic home. I look forward to every post!

  2. It is perfect! I can see a lovely urn with a miniature tree and white lights next to the door for next Christmas. Don't fret, better to wait than rush it. It would take away the peace of Christmas. Just think, imagine the house with a big red bow on it under your tree. It is beautiful. Love you guys. Me

  3. You do beautiful work, and it's so gratifying to see an old house regain its dignity. Thanks for sharing the progress.

  4. your entry looks so warm and inviting now. what a difference. I was hoping that you would be in your new home this Christmas, but wonderful things always seem to take their time in happening (and are so worth the wait). Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family! linda r (phila burbs)

  5. It's all going to be beautiful!

  6. Catherine, it's so simple and lovely. We have so much work to do on the exterior of our home, and reading these detailed posts has been so helpful. I am greatly looking forward to the decorating posts when the time comes, but I am loving the journey getting there. And this is something so important... it's a journey. Christmas will be wonderful in your rental home, and moving day will come soon enough. Wishing you a loveliest of Christmases, and a blessed New Year.
    - Maria

  7. OH YES! A little side porch. Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.

  8. I agree it will be absolutely beautiful in the end, all the frustrations, work, and waiting will only be a memory some day. You are really bringing this house back to life. I look forward in the New year to the phase of the house reawakening. And be glad you are not trying to deal with a holiday while living in a construction zone. We've done so much in the last few months on our little old house, and just finishing up on a few last minute things, it's been very stressful, decorating and hosting dinners.

  9. You are so close and I am so excited for you. Looking forward to a house tour. Merry Christmas to you, Mike and the dumplings.

  10. Opening up the porch makes such a difference! I keep thinking how lucky this house is to have you and Mike and Nate and Darren working on it. A good house deserves a beautiful restoration and a happy family living in it. It sounds like it will be happening soon. Very exciting!


  11. What a great side porch area you have now! I'm a bit curious as to why there would have been water damage previously that the former owners added the outside wall. Do gale force winds blow rain or snow that hard?

    1. The enclosure wasn't all that tight and rotten boards from years of normal weathering just create moisture. The main part of the house does create protection from the elements, so it should stay pretty dry on the porch. Best, Catherine

  12. You must get so much satisfaction when your hard work turns out so nice! It looks wonderful.

  13. Great work, it is so impressive to see your constant progress. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  14. A wonderful entry, and how beautifully dressed it will be this time next year.
    A very Merry Christmas to you and the love you are putting into your country home.


  15. Sending tons of love and Christmas happiness from our house to yours, Catherine.

    Amelia Island FL


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...