Friday, December 21, 2012

Back Porch Love

July 2012

Wrapping up the front porch project just got me more excited to start moving on our back porch.  For a bit of a background when we bought the house there was a covered back porch off the mudroom.  It looked like this.

The entire thing was structurally unsound and I cringed every time the wind blew.  That being said, we used it all the time.  It was a great place to eat in the summer and to have friends over and sit out back. Our house can start to feel pretty small when you have 6 or more people in it. So the back porch became a great additional hang out space.

When we remodeled the outside of the house there was no option, it had to go.  It came down in one short afternoon and it was a huge difference.  The backyard looked so big and open.  Unfortunately, we missed it immediately.  The back of our house faces West and during the summer it was super hot out there.  You could literally cook yourself on that patio waiting for the BBQ. We knew we wanted to put something back but decided to wait it out and take on the project in 2012.  

As part of the Depave project we decided to remove some additional concrete from around our patio.  The patio was pretty large and connected to our driveway which made it feel like we were eating out on our driveway.  We had no green space.  Josh and I envisioned a similar but smaller back porch, that we wanted to screen in.  We decided to surround the porch with raised beds to act as enclosure and to give us some prime planting areas in the back of the house.  There were napkin sketches at beer gardens and several conversations before we came up with this configuration.

Since this would call for some big lumber and the summer already seemed to be rushing past us, Josh and I decided to outsource the actual canopy portion.  We were willing to build the raised beds and screen the porch in, but we would leave the heavy lifting to a crew of guys.  We called back our contractor who did the exterior work on the outside the year before.  Three days later we had a new back porch!  Can you believe it?  I came home and it felt SO right to have that space back there. 

We chose to use cedar for the columns and beams, we saved some money and used standard structural grade pine for the rafters. We used economical corrugated galvanized sheets for the roofing.  To this point we have been pretty true to the character of our house.  We have been using a combination of restoration and thoughtful replacement to try to keep the old gal moving.  We did not do this with the porch, we felt this was a 'new' space that was part of the yard.  We were willing to go a little more modern and industrial. Also I love the sound of the rain on the metal roof.

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