Porch Renovation DIY Project

Before the Renovation

Before Shot of the porch
Before Shot of the porch | Source

After the Renovation

Porch Renovation completed
Porch Renovation completed | Source

The Million Dollar Porch

Renovating around our house for any large do it yourself projects are sometimes a difficult task. My husband has been in the building business for thirty years now and is the son of a builder, so he started fairly young. The problem with getting him to do anything around the home is like pulling teeth. It is like when you are a mechanic you hate coming home to work on your own vehicles.

The biggest project that we did to our home was started about nine years ago. It took three years to complete, as my husband is a workaholic, and most days he was at work and had little time to spend on our porch renovation. .

Renovating our wrap around porch was a big job, but five of us all pitched in and even had help from my mother in law when it came to landscaping around the porch, and the staining of the wood. We also had lots of help from my sons’ friends when it came to demolishing the old porch. Kids just love to swing those sledge hammers.

Drawing and Submitting Plans When Renovating

The first thing that Al my husband did was to draw a plan of how the porch would look once it was finished. This had to be submitted to the building department when applying for a work permit. Once that was all done we sat down and figured out our materials such as wood, pickets, nails, deck screws, posts, lighting fixtures, paint and stain, tools that we may need to purchase and the costs that were involved. There were also bricks, stone, and sod to be considered for finishing once the porch was completed.

Budgeting Tip

Whenever doing a project I suggest that you always build in a slush fund and over estimate what the job is going to actually cost you. You just never know when a tool may break or you happen to cut a piece of wood incorrectly, and have to go out and make additional purchases.

Following Building Code

Because we were changing the porch itself we had to put in pickets as the building code had changed since the first porch was originally built. That was okay, as we wanted pickets. The second story portion of the porch was also renovated with a new floor, posts, and pickets.

Concrete Removal

Remembering back one of the most frustrating parts to this job was removal of the front steps and the walkway from the sidewalk to the steps. We rented a jackhammer and much to our surprise the steps were solid concrete. I think this took about two solid days to remove with everyone taking turns. Should have rented a larger jackhammer. Live and learn.

Garbage Removal

One of my jobs was to load the van with the debris and do the dump runs. I cannot recall how many trips I took to the dump but I am sure it was way over thirty. A large garbage bin may have come in handy but we thought that we could save money by doing removing all the construction garbage ourselves.

Other Tidbits to the Renovation

Holes for the posts had to be dug and tubes had to be put into the ground and filled with concrete for the posts to sit in.

Underneath the porch floor we had to put stone in for proper drainage.

All the pickets were rough sanded, primed and painted by me. We set up a spot that was tented off in our back yard. In this area we stood the pickets up leaning against benches. I used a paint gun to prime and paint all the pickets. This worked out really well and I recommend a paint sprayer for time savings and for saving your back.


Handrails, Posts, Porch Ceiling, Pot lights and more

It is a good thing that we removed the old round posts as we found a few of them were rotted and eaten by ants. My husband hand made all the handrails, and designed the posts. This did take quite a bit of time to do but he knew what he wanted, and I think they came out quite nice.

Through various stages we had to have a building inspector come and make sure that everything was being done to code. Usually it was the same guy that would come by each time and he was always pleased with how the job was coming along.

You cannot see from the pictures, but the ceiling of the porch is cedar and has pot lights all the way around. We also installed a dimmer switch on the lights.

Even though this renovation did take three years to complete we are very happy with the results. I remember while working outside we would have people slow down in their vehicles and yell out comments to us. It was pretty entertaining and would break up the monotony.

Stone Work

Putting in the stone pathway, the stone steps leading up to the porch and the retaining wall, was a cold job as this part was done in late October. We had a wet saw set up in the drive to cut all the stones for the retaining wall. I remember at one point my sons coming inside to run their hands under warm water as they were freezing. We all survived the cold and finished the stone work.

Million Dollars ... really?

The reason that I call this the million-dollar porch is it did cost quite a large sum of money to complete. I have no idea exactly because I have never added up all the receipts. I think it would probably make me sick if I did.

Once again this summer we will need to stain the deck, paint the posts and pickets and the roof needs shingles. Oh joy Oh fun!

Hope that you enjoyed my Million Dollar Porch hub.

© Copyright 2011 Susan Zutautas

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Comments 39 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Cyndi, Thanks so much. I love the house and hope to be here for many many years to come.

Bill, Thanks, the upkeep is a major headache :)

Peg, This spring I hope to get out there staining, painting and staining and painting some more :) It never ends.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

That is a beautiful porch, Susan. I love the spindles and the stonework. We have a wrap around porch that is similar and now it's time to replace all the spindles. (Again) Painting them is so time consuming. You did a terrific job.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

A major headache I'm sure but the end result was spectacular. Well done, Susan!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC

Your house is frickin gorgeous! I love, love, love it! Husby and I have been talking about doing a porch renovation. One of these days we will! Beautiful!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

GoodLady, We are now getting ready for another big job .... painting and staining the porch. I'm glad it won't take as long as building it did. Thanks for stopping by and for voting.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Judi, Thanks for stopping by to see my million dollar porch :), and I hope you get a porch one day.

GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

What a lot of work! But it looks so lovely now - so it was worth it. So helpful when one has a partner who knows how to build. Mine does too and takes care of a million jobs. Your slush fund advice is right on! When did a building project ever cost it's budget price? Helpful and voting.

Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

I've always wanted a porch - unfortunately our house doesn't lend itself to one, but one day we may just need this hub!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

thewahm, Thank you so much!

thewahm profile image

thewahm 5 years ago

Wow, your project turned out awesome.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Pinkchic, Thank you.

Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 5 years ago from Minnesota

Wow, what a difference! Looks like you guys did a great job on your renovation. Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

thelyricwriter, Thanks but it really didn't cost a million :)

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

It looks very good. For that much money it better! lol Well written Susan.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

RTalloni, Thank you. When I first saw this house the first thing I liked about it was the porch and it is probably what sold us on the house. But after a few years the porch was separating from the house so a renovation was needed and we knew how we wanted it to look.

I look forward to reading about your renovation when you do it. Thanks again.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Super job--both the hub and the porch. :) It's inspiring to me because we are looking at options for improving our front entrance with a porch. Hope I have it in me to write a hub about it when we are done. You have probably inspired your entire neighborhood! It's simply beautiful.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sharyn Thank you so much for the awesome comment!

Chatkath and AllSuretyBonds thanks so much.

AllSuretyBonds profile image

AllSuretyBonds 5 years ago

Great Hub. I love your before and after pictures. Looks like the renovation turned out great! Job well done! Voting you up!

Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Wow Susan- What a job! Well done porch, easy to understand hub-Rate it up!

Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


I look to you for great writing, interesting topics, photos, etc. You always deliver and never disappoint. (and I am learning a lot - thanks!) Your porch is beautiful!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Tina thanks so much.

always exploring Upkeep and renovating can get up there in price.

Sally thanks.

fastfreta Wow that is a lot of work going from 2bd 1 bath to 3 and 3. I want a second bathroom. It is halfway done now but who knows when that will finished :) Thanks so much for your comments and votes.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California

Oh, how this reminds me of my renovation projects around my own home for over 40 years, wish I'd documented it the way you did. We bought a 2 bd, 1 bath home over 40 years ago, and added 3 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms with many renos between then, and now, so I feel as if I were right along with you on your project. Great hub Susan. Voted up/awesome

Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

So impressed! Beautiful work! Bring on the decks, roof . . .

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Lucky! I called the county building inspector to ask if I needed a permit for that little baby pool I was going to put on the lawn. He didn't laugh. I did and hey, sometimes that is all that counts! Lol

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your home is beautiful! I moved to a new home last year and in the process of changing a few things. I hate the mess and the expense is staggering. Voted up and awesome.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

A very good hub and a beautiful porch! The result is amazing and it did such a difference for the appearance of the house. The landscaping also did wonders to the big picture! Voted up! Tina

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Gigi thanks so much for reading and for the vote!

RH I am sure there are nasty inspectors but we lucked out :) and thanks.

cardelean thank you and I am just about to post one of my silly poems on lotteries.

cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Beautiful porch! I absolutely LOVE wraparound porches. Unfortunately my house doesn't lend itself to one. Maybe in another lifetime, or my second home when I win the lotto! Great job.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I love the house and the porch! I also loved the hub a lot. I like seeing about the personal side too, it's very interesting to me.

I might just have to move there Susan, you say the building inspectors are nice? Here, they hold you hostage in some counties so you can never leave!

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Gigi Thibodeau 5 years ago

What a gorgeous porch, Susan! Congratulations on a job well done. I love home DIY projects, especially when everyone pitches in. Great hub, voted up!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Bill Bail Up and Suzie thank you.

logic no since we used cedar for the floor we wanted to use cedar for the ceiling as well. It made for a great family project.

Denise and Genna thanks so much.

Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wow, Susan; your new porch looks amazing! Beautiful work. It almost looks like a different house. I love porches and think they do wonders in increasing the value of a home. Up and awesome.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub-beautiful porch! What a difference.

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logic,commonsense 5 years ago

Just curious, did you consider beadboard for the ceiling? On some porches, it enhances the character.

Wasn't it more rewarding since you had several people contribute? I have found most projects around the home are.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

Looks great - good job!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 5 years ago

One of my brother in laws is a contractor, his projects are also the last ones to get completed. Once they are though, they do turn out beautiful - just like your porch. Good Job.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Beautiful work!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you very much Barry!

barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

Nice job, the new porch looks entirely appropriate for the house. Well done !

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