Back Porch/Veranda Overhaul

Project Type: Replace Back Porch Floor Boards and Rails; Replace Stair Stringers, Stair Treads, Kick Plates and Railings; Replace Siding on Storage Room Below; Replace Storage Door Siding; Replace Storage Room Door Hardware

Project Cost: @ $15,000 (At least 5 weeks on the job—along with a mountain of lumber, PVC, a decent amount of HardiPlank siding, and a dumpster rental for a month.)

This was a pretty large project—for good friends and repeat clients in Country Club Hills—taking us more than a month. As you can see from the project description above—there was a LOT to replace.

The old, uncovered veranda floor boards and railings were mostly rotted. The original builders did a decent job but, with settling, there was a pretty significant ”dip” in the floor, where the overhang roof ended and rain collected below. It created a safety hazard, especially near where the grill stood. And my buddy likes to grill, so we had to make this area safe again. Additionally, the stairs, the stringers below, and all of the steps and railings were shot, and way beyond just sprucing up with paint. Everything would have to go and be replaced. Ditto the siding for the storage room below, and the storage room door. It was a pretty major job.

Here’s some ”Before” pics.

But there was kind of an issue: The floor boards under the overhang were in good shape and didn’t need replacement, BUT all of the element-exposed floor boards were terrible, and on top of that, a weird dimension that’s no longer available…we would have to actually ”make” the correct sized floorboards (and railings) out of larger dimension boards…and taking a LOT of lumber back to our shop, to run through the table saw. thinning them out a bit to match the boards that didn’t need replacement. (In other words, this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill tongue & groove stuff; this was matching our own, self-milled stuff to the old. Quite a job.)

We started by ordering a dumpster from a vendor, to sit in the driveway for a few weeks, and throw the mountain of demo into. We took out the upper level first, then the stairs, all railings and stair stringers. Then we constructed new stringers and went the extra mile by covering it all—as well as the joists for the porch above—with plastic sheeting, to protect the lumber from moisture and rot.

We worked our way upward, covering the stringers with plastic sheeting, replacing the kick plates with PVC, putting in the step treads and replacing the railing posts.

Once we got up top, we did the same with the joists and started replacing the skirting boards, railing posts, the rotted column with treated replacement wood and PVC trim, and the corner boards of the porch/veranda, also with treated wood and PVC.

Next up, replacing the upper decking with the stuff that we hand-milled, and all of the railings, also hand-milled via our shop table saw. (The painters came by during the process, to put on the first coat of what would be eventually be, after we finished, a total of three coats of gray for the stair steps, floor boards and new siding, and white for the kick plates, railings, columns, corner pieces, etc.)

Finally, we replaced the skirting of the stairs with PVC, all of the stair railings, and the siding of the storage room, door and stair side. (The replacement HardiPlank is shown in it’s original yellow color.)

We also shored up some support structure under the new stair stringers, and replaced the storage door hardware and the carriage bolt keeping one storage door closed.

That’s about it. It was a total rebuild, for the most part. Lots of work but really happy client friends. As mentioned, the painters came after we left and put several coats of matching paint on the whole thing, but I don’t have pics of that; just pics of the final product.

Big project. Lots of work, lots of sweat. Happy clients.

Win win.

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