For ten long years I have dreamed of building a porch on the front of my house. It was the first thing we wanted to do when we moved here, way before we decided to do weird floors or bead board walls. We worked on the inside of our house for years, hoping that one day we would get around to it – because we live on the inside, and that was most important to us. Finally we got to a point where the inside could just be still for a moment, and pay attention to the exterior of our home.
It was worth the wait.
Throughout time, we scrimped, saved & paid off other debt so we could eventually pay cash for the project. We never, ever, ever go into debt for any renovations. It’s our only real rule – cash or not at all. So when the day finally arrived and the lumber was delivered I cried. Twice. I also got a few odd looks from Patrick the delivery guy, because who in their right mind takes 10,000 photos of lumber being delivered. A blogger, that’s who.
So the dream day arrives and two things occur to me: 1) that’s a crap load of lumber & b) I’ve actually got to build a porch. Why the idea just now hit me that I was being faced with an enormous amount of work I will never know.
I could see the porch in my mind, white pickets, grey floor, all gussied up beautifully. I couldn’t see how many hours it would take of labor, a messed up manicure or the blisters that would have to happen to get to that point. It’s a blessing and a curse all rolled into one big enchilada.
The first time I cried was with pure joy at the sight of my decade long dream coming true. The second set of tears was a reaction to the overwhelming amount of work ahead of us. Four hands, hundreds of pieces of lumber, and one big dream.
Oh – and can I just mention that not only were we building a 24 ft long, 8 ft wide porch, but also a 16 ft long, 8 ft wide deck to accompany it. I’m a glutton for punishment.
So the first day gets here, and it’s a perfect kinda day for building. We’d already set all the posts in concrete, so we were ready to put up joists and start on the floors. It’s overcast and cool – the perfect day for an outdoor project. We’re in a groove and knock out the whole ordeal in about 14 hours. I know that’s a long day, but it’s kinda how we roll. Our greatest DIY asset is our tunnel vision when it comes to projects. We get in, get it done, then get to enjoying.
Week one: porch done. Well, all except for the roof, which is going to be a few more weeks because we’re waiting on metal. Hurry up and wait – that’s the story of my life.
Fast forward six days – it’s time to do it all over again. Yet, the deck is only 2/3rds of the porch, so this one will be easier, right? Ummmm… how ’bout no? We had a water leak under ground. Under the deck area. Under where we wanted to work. Lots of digging, a little cursing, and a fixed water pipe later we were ready to build.
Then it got hot. It’s been a mild summer, one of the prettiest I can remember, but somewhere along the way Mother Nature was all like, “HEY! Here’s your summer!” Bam.
But, that tunnel vision we have doesn’t care about heat. It cares about getting projects knocked out – so we built a deck anyways. Twelve miserable hours later, we had a deck. And it’s freakin’ awesome.
Later that night, too tired to cook, and too exhausted to care, we went to dinner. You know those people you give the shady eyes because they’re sitting at a table together in Olive Garden, yet not paying attention to each other because they’re all up in their iPhones? That was us. After 12 hours of talking out problems, shouting measurements at each other, and working side by side all day, we were more interested in the rest of the world than each other. Honestly, I don’t really care, because it was much easier to scroll through my email than it was to try and have a conversation – I was so tired I could barely hold up my fork.
(All of these photos were shared via Instagram [@shabbycreek]- you can follow me there to see sneak peeks of upcoming projects.)