Fancifying Up the Porch

The White House

The big exterior changes have been made, so it’s finally time for a little decoration. Do you remember the ‘owl’ gingerbread in the porch’s roof peak? You can see that some of the outer layer had started to wear away, leaving the owl with a shiner on its left eye.

Owl with a Black Eye

Well, there’s a little more to the roof-peak story than freshening up the owl. Let me back up a bit.

It all started on June 21st. I didn’t like the dark spot, so I asked Kurt if he could take it down and repaint it. While he was up there with the ladder, he saw that a small bit of the vinyl siding behind the owl was out of place. So Kurt, being Kurt, decided the vinyl should be fixed the right way. He began to lift the siding away from the wall. From my vantage point on the ground, I could see something underneath. It looked like a bit of scroll work. I immediately insisted that we had to find out what was under there!

Hidden Scroll Work

He humored me by taking down the owl and carefully peeling the vinyl siding off. Wouldn’t you know it? The White House held yet another hidden treasure.

Here’s what the original design looked like, missing only two small scrolls and the central vase feature that had been lost before the vinyl had been installed.

Original Woodwork Peak

After several weeks of debate, we decided to remove the design (for use on a future project) and replace the vinyl siding and the owl. So that brings us to this week when Kurt repainted and reinstalled the owl. (After some research, I discovered that the owl was made by a company called Fypon. The particular ‘gable pediment decorative millwork’ is called Holland style.) It looks much nicer with a fresh coat of paint.

The Owl is Back

After that was taken care of, it was time to add a little extra fanciness. Kurt painted and installed fourteen corner brackets along the porch columns.

They don’t show up very well in pictures (white-on-white when looking at the house) but overall, I think they make the front of the house look a little fancier. And I like how it compliments the gingerbread owl.

Exterior Completed

Stay tuned.



Painting Stairs (and New Gutters)

The White House

June 29th ~ Kurt has been busy outside this week. He repointed and repainted the brick support columns under the front porch. He also painted the porch stairs using the same gray as the porch floor. And, the gutter guys came by to install the new gutter system along the front edge of the porch.


Now, we’re ready to add dirt around the foundation to slope rain away from the house. Then he will put some privacy lattice back in before I get to start planting flowers!

Stay tuned.

Prepping and Painting the Porch

The White House

June 15th ~ Now that we can see the porch, in all its original beauty, it’s time to spruce it up a bit. The first chore was to remove the old carpet glue.

Once he figured out the most effective tool, Kurt did a wonderful job of taking off the glue and smoothing out decades of rough paint on the porch floor.

Two days later, Kurt put the first coat of white on the pillars and the beam that runs across the top of the porch.

He said he loved the look of the six layers of old paint, but when I vetoed the idea and insisted on a solid color. I chose a nice, rich dark gray called Glazed Granite.

Eventually, the concrete steps and the brick support columns will also be dark gray.

Still to do: replace the siding along the front; paint the front door, the upper railing, and the steps; add a gutter; replace the porch light; and finally, add a bit of flair.

Stay tuned.

Opening the Front Porch

The White House

May 25th ~ Knowing that the summer heat was going to make working outside unnecessarily uncomfortable, Kurt decided to tackle outdoor projects in June. I convinced him that re-opening the enclosed front porch would improve the curb appeal (and get the neighbors talking), so today, we started to tear it apart.

Here’s what it looked like when we started (after we removed the carpet).


There was vinyl siding on the inside of the porch!

Kurt started ripping into the exterior (tentatively) because he wasn’t sure of the condition of the porch under all that siding.


Thankfully, the original siding and supports looked strong, so he continued the demolition (while I stood in the yard and took more pictures.)


We discovered the original pillars hidden under the vinyl, and Kurt continued to comment about ‘tearing apart a perfectly good porch’.


But once the doorway’s original width was restored and the windows came out, it really started to look spiffy (and besides, we had passed the point of no return.)

Removing the windows on right side of the entry was even more impressive because you could finally see the large living room window from the street.


Removing the windows on the short ends of the porch a few days later once again gave it the wonderfully airy feel of the original (and exposed the super-cool front door).

And that brings us to the dramatic AFTER picture. Ta-Da!


There is still quite a bit of work to do (like reattaching the siding on the front, repairing the railing edge, a new paint job inside and out, and adding a little flair) but the major demolition portion is done.

Stay tuned.