Screened-In Porch and a New Patio

Exciting news...the construction we've had going on at our house this summer has officially wrapped up!  And we can already tell that we will be living out on our new porch this fall.

Longtime readers may remember this post I wrote just over 2 years ago about the temporary paver patio we installed so the grill would have a place to live.  In that post I said that this small paver square would eventually be replaced with a real patio and our existing covered porch would get screened-in.  

Two years later of saving our pennies, we finally knocked those projects out!  Or, rather, we hired a contractor and his crew to knock them out for us.  We pitched the projects to a couple of different contractors in early May, and I was naive enough to think this could maybe be completed in time for Thomas's birthday party the first weekend in June.  Ha!

We chose a contractor and went on vacation.  When we got home, HE went on vacation.  And then it rained a lot.  So basically, it was a long time before things got started.  We did our part, though.  We cleared off our patio and picked up the pavers so that the crew would have a blank slate to work with.

The patio ended up sitting empty like that for the back half of June and the first week or so of July.  You can imagine how excited we were the day we came home from work to see that they had FINALLY gotten started!!  Framing was first.

I seem to have lost some of my pictures because the one above is actually of Framing Take Two.  Yep, at first I was excited to see the framing up and then my excitement quickly faded when I realized I hated the spacing of the columns.  And while I normally try hard not to complain, I knew this was something I didn't want to just live with forever so I called the contractor and asked him to move the columns.  We were already way behind schedule, so no big deal to take a step backwards at this point! 

Little did we know, there would be an even bigger step backwards in the next couple of days!

Framing continued that week.  The columns were boxed out and the supports for the screens were added.

On days that the workers came, they arrived EARLY!  As in, before I'm normally dressed.  I learned real fast that I had to get dressed quickly in the mornings cause I never knew when men would be right outside the windows!  The kids LOVED watching them work.  I had to pull them away from the windows to go to daycare.

One morning when we left, the painters were there to paint all the framing.  I couldn't wait to get home to see how it looked painted!  But when we got home, we found that it had all been taken apart and the columns weren't boxed out anymore...

I won't go into much detail here but apparently our contractor came to check on things while the painters were painting, saw that the columns had been boxed in such a way that the seams were visible, and made them take it apart to box it out the other way.  The seams are now on the insides where the screen goes instead of on the front and back that you can see.  I wasn't going to complain about this (I had noticed it though and mentioned to Matt that I thought they were going to need a lot of wood filler to fill the seams) but I'm really glad he made them change it himself.  

Here it is re-done and half painted since they re-used some of the boards that had already been painted.  This added another two days to the process.

Side note: I'm realizing while writing this I'm missing a lot of my progress pictures.  Oops.

Sometime during the columns' deconstruction fiasco, the new beadboard ceiling got its final coat of paint (Sherwin Williams Atmospheric) and the trim was installed (and painted - custom color match) on the inside of the porch.

View from the yard of the half-painted framing.

They finished the framing up on a Friday, which meant more waiting before the painting continued.  But, the sun went down that night on a mini excavator parked in our yard - a nice promise that more progress would be made the following week!

Painting continued on schedule the next Monday and we were pleased with how it looked!

With the painting done, the next steps were adding the screens and installing the door, can lights, fans, and outdoor light.  I don't have progress pics but you can see the screens and outdoor light in this picture with Katie Wynn.  We chose pet screens that are supposedly unable to tear, so we hope they last a long time.  There was only one mishap with this step - the door was hung the wrong way - but it was fixed within the same day so no hold-up.  (Our screen door was custom made by

One morning when I left for work, the men there were demo-ing off the bottom brick step to make room for concrete.

When I returned home that afternoon, the brick step was gone and that mini excavator had filled in dirt and shaped out the soon-to-be-poured concrete patio.  And had also really torn up our yard!

Matt got home in time to capture the excavator in action.  

I don't remember why but it sat like this for a couple of days which was kinda annoying since it was really dirty.  

For the patio, we really went back and forth on how we wanted it done.  Originally, I wanted it to be brick to match the porch.  But the bricks wouldn't create a smooth surface and I thought a smooth surface would be better for toys or sliding chairs out from a table and things like that.  We knew we didn't want just bright white concrete but stained concrete had it's cons too - it would be really slick when wet (not good if we ever add in a pool and kids are running around) and if it ever got scratched or nicked, the concrete under the stain would not match in color.  We ended up going with dyed brushed concrete.  A liquid dye was added to the big drum of concrete so it was dyed all the way through and then the concrete was brushed so that the surface would be smooth but not slick.

It started out much browner than the color I thought we had picked!

The color has lightened up significantly over time and we really kinda like the "splotchiness" (for lack of a better word) of the color.

Once the concrete was nice and cured, they filled in around it with dirt and tried to straighten our yard back up some.  And with that, this project was D-O-N-E, done!

We snagged a new outdoor table and chairs on clearance during the process, but the rest of the patio is still pretty empty.  I have lots of plans for it though!  The ground is still pretty muddy around the patio thanks to the week of rain we just had, but it has definitely helped in getting the grass to start filling back in.  Hopefully next summer our lawn will look much better!  

We have some landscaping to address too.  We plan to add new beds to each side of the patio, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Here are a few more snapshots of the finished project that I snapped last night.

We LOVE our new fans, especially the oscillating feature!

Matt's favorite part is the TV he mounted on the wall.  Pretty sure he will be spending all of football season out here!

It's probably no surprise to anyone that I'm now shopping for new furniture.  I'm just not digging the turquoise out there anymore.  Fingers crossed that I can find some good end-of-season sales!!

But wait!  That's not all!!  While we were having our porch screened in and the new patio poured, we also installed a new front walk!!  Post coming about it next.  :)