Thursday, June 3, 2010

Emo Porch Demo

It's started! After almost two years of planning, our home renovation project is finally under way.

This week we're tackling the porch. The existing porch, up to the roof, is getting demolished and rebuilt. As I mentioned before, the stairs were clearly unsafe. What we didn't know was that the entire porch was somewhat unsteady.

When they tore off the base, we found this:
The post you see directly under the nearest column is not something we added today during demo - that is what was supporting the porch. It appears to be a 4x4 post, with 3 2x4s tacked on the top.

My construction experience consists of watching my Dad build our front steps when I was eight, and even I know that this is not adequate support - and it certainly cannot meet code requirements!

Anyway, they delivered some very impressive looking pre-cast cement pillars to go in the ground which will give our new porch a nice solid foundation.

The demo process is fairly surgical. First they had to jack up the existing roof, then tear off each part of the porch carefully, so as not to disturb the Christmas lights.

Here's what it looked like at the end of the first day:

With only one day behind us I can report that the builders are quiet and neat. So far so good.

I mentioned before that this is not a finance blog. This is a renovation journal, but all I really want to write about now is the emotions tied to this project.

Mulling this over I've concluded that home renovation IS an emotional subject.

So how are we feeling? Chris is excited. He's happy to see work finally getting started. Me? I'm a mess. I spent several hours last night worrying about the columns.

See the wavy columns in the pictures? We HATED those columns when we bought this house. I've never seen anything like them. They look like they are perhaps installed upside down? No other home from this era has columns like this. When we drafted renovation plans we picked out the traditional Tuscan column with appropriate entasis.

There is a home in our neighborhood that is almost identical to ours, and that one has the standard Tuscan column. So perhaps our wavy columns were added later? Or maybe the builder wanted to put a unique mark on this home? Who knows.

But now that half our porch is in a dumpster in the front yard, I'm wondering - are we going to regret losing those columns? Maybe the whole character of the house will be lost without them. Will the proportions ever be right again? Seeing the porch dismantled makes me feel sad for the old house; I wonder - who are we to mess with something that's been around for 110 years?

So I stepped out in the rain this morning and asked the foreman to please place the old columns in the garage. You know, just in case we come up with a use for them someday.

1 comment:

  1. I just read the last five posts (from the most recent to this one) in backwards order. Anyway, I REALLY LIKE THIS! While Drew may give the shout out for the actual doing the project, I prefer the emotional side of things. Great idea and wonderful writing, Hope:)