Exterior Porch Restoration Project Exterior Porch Restoration Project
If you have an older home, part of an exterior restoration should include the porch as well. An old porch has many areas that can become worn out, rotted or eaten by termites if left unattended for long periods of time. Even well maintained porches will need some care after a while. However, properly restoring an old porch requires more than a hammer, some nails and a few coats of paint. There are many areas to inspect and potentially repair. So, this article will address some of the areas you should think about when restoring an old porch.
Flooring and Checking the Joists
One of the most important parts of your exterior porch restoration project will be replacing worn-out and damaged flooring on the porch. When inspecting the flooring, look for signs of termite or pest damage as well as indicators of water damage or rot. You should also pull up a few of the floorboards inspect the joists underneath the flooring. In some cases, you may need to install additional brace supports or replaced joists that have been damaged by water or termites. Remember, some of the most extensive damage will be to areas in your porch that you can't see.
When restoring your porch, you'll also want to pay particularly close attention to columns or posts that are used to support the roof or porch covering. Over time, these columns and post can be damaged by water or mildew and rot. Also, columns and posts are a favorite target of termites and other wood eating pests, so make sure that the columns and posts are in good shape and replace them as needed.
Lattice and Crawl Space Coverings
If you have a raised exterior porch, you may have lattice panels or other coverings that hide the crawl space beneath your home. If you do have lattice panels that block access to the crawl space, make sure that you inspect them and check them for termite damage. Also, instead of replacing a single lattice panel, you may want to consider replacing them all at the same time. Although this will cost a little more, it will help make your exterior porch look much better by having uniformed lattice panels in place.
Porch Steps - Repair or Replace
A common dilemma when restoring an exterior porch is trying to decide if you need to repair porch steps or simply replace them. Depending on the condition of your old porch steps, a simple repair may be justified. However, if the steps have any signs of water damage or rot, you might want to consider simply replacing them.
These days, there are many outlets that provide prefabricated concrete and wood/plastic composite steps that are attractive and are as easy to install is simply setting them in place.
Retaining Character with Detail and Molding
One area of your old exterior porch you should avoid changing, if possible, is old detail work and molding. If your house is particularly old, the craftsmanship and detail used in porch molding is something that is seldom duplicated by today's modern manufacturing methods. Therefore, if possible, try to save as much of the molding as possible. Consider gently sanding away old and worn paint and simply refinishing the hard to replace pieces.