Project Porch

The Back Porch has seen better days. Up until this past week (think June when this started) it has been the safe house for many miscellaneous items from the Florida sun, rain, and heat. As the redesign of the backyard ramps up the design has extended into this poorly used space.

Project Porch was officially started earlier this week with a clean out. Bulky furniture, old toys, and gardening tools were pulled out of the space to make way for patch work. The Porch itself had suffered from a set of broken tiles (damaged by unknown source). These surrounding tiles in turn began to lift and became more susceptible to breaking as items were moved out of the porch. In all 12 tiles were cut out and replaced.

Thankfully we had an extra set of the correct tiles to patch together the hole in the floor. After a quick trip to Home Depot/Lowe’s to purchase grout and mortar, finally had everything necessary to fix the floor. My Mom and I spent the next two days, probably 3 hours a day, to sand, sweep, mix materials, and lay out the tiles. Thankfully the mortar and grout each had drying periods of 24 hours so once everything was set in we could work on other tasks.

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Second task to occupy us while the tiles set were an old-to-new set of benches. There were two older backless benches in the porch which we decided to re-cover and keep. Several photographs of the porch and pool tiles and a quick trip to Joann’s and we had new blue fabric to complete the set. With fabric in hand and a note to check how much seating foam we had at home, we returned to the hard work of stripping down the seats. Surprisingly, despite all the other work, the task of removing staples from the benches to remove the original seating cover ripped up the skin on my finger. Honestly didn’t expect that task of all tasks to get me. Once the staples were all removed the benches needed to be sanded and prepped for staining.

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Once the tiles were fully set and the benches ready we proceeded with our clean out. The porch was emptied of all furniture, potted plants, fishing cats, and other odds-n-ends. The walls were washed with a sprayer filled with a Jomax-bleach-water mix and then rewashed with a water rinse. The newly finished floor was swept, mopped, and shined. At least 6 wasp nests were removed and the very insistent occupants shooed away. Artwork was hung up on the walls.

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The furniture and odds-n-ends that had be removed were now carefully sorted through. Furniture from the house was selected to update the indoor-outdoor look of the porch. Some of the original odds-n-ends were selected for resale and others were sent to the trash/recycling. A few pieces were salvaged to sand, paint, stain, refurbish and reintroduce to the porch.

The pieces selected for resale will help fund the redesign of the porch and backyard. There’s already a list of things to buy, including additional porch seating, planter boxes, gravel, good soil, cypress mulch, etc. Thankfully, thus far, each new part to the project has supported the rest of the project in surprising ways, from finding much needed resources to funding purchases.

A lot of time and some of the funding went into the search for chairs. Hunting for the style of chairs wanted, for the right price, and in the right time frame (August!!!) was different. From online sites like Wayfair and Amazon to local garage sales, thrift stores, Goodwills, and department stores it was a really interesting search with a lot of unique  finds. Ultimately we purchased a set of wicker chairs and a center storage table. These beautiful pieces were purchased at a Goodwill for under $35 total! With a little, or a lot, of scrubbing, washing, sanding, refinishing, and completely new, homemade,pillows/cushions the porch has gained super comfy seating.

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With seating down and storage solved, only a few small projects remain for this immediate area. A sandbag chain needs to be made and filled for flood prevention during storms. The floor drain between the pool deck and covered porch needs to be cleaned out and restored. The gutters just above need to be cleaned out, as they are annually, and a solution made to prevent them from clogging up. I am certain if this is solved then half the water concerns directly below will be taken care of. Once these are done there are sooo many more projects to take up in the back yard, pool deck, and inside!

I can’t wait to finish up these little projects and pull together at least one space for everyone to enjoy!

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