What’s on tap

The planning for this years “want to” list begins to kick into gear as the days start to stretch. The list crowns its infancy about the same time as the arrival of seed catalogs. My energy shifts from a “let’s get through the winter” mode in to a “what can we get done this year” gear.

There are a handful of incomplete projects that are on my agenda. The front porch is at the top of the list.

This is how the front elevation of our home appeared before it became necessary to replace the slab. It had sunk nearly eight inches in the center against the front foundation of the house due to lack of pinning and using river gravel for fill. Mistakes that we won’t make again! We had to have the old slab jacked out and I hauled out the rubble. The steel was tied into the foundation and crushed limestone was added and tamped in the void created from the settling of the river gravel. Should there be anymore settling the steel being pinned should limit any substantial movement. The opportunity to change the design of the porch was a welcomed silver lining in an otherwise crappy situation. The old railings were nice but merely an afterthought during construction. It was a “that will work” decision that I still regret. I thought that the post and rails lacked a ”strong chin” detail.

So our face-lift began. At the same time that the new slab was laid we replaced the french doors that were hardly ever used to our dining room with a large casement window. The difference in the amount of light coming into the house is huge. Being in an alcove the casement type window catches full advantage of the space. Removing the cedar steps and the brick patio left me with a well drained area for another garden bed, primarily for shade loving plantings. The brick now is being used as the walkway in the greenhouse. The sliding screen door that our kids, grandkids, dogs and inebriated house guests have walk or run through was replaced with a new storm door.

Now on to the porch. First I extended the top step to form a landing so you could comfortably open a planned screen door.

I framed up a knee wall that I will veneer with cultured stone. I haven’t quite settled on what style of stone yet. The old double posts will return to the new porch but will be a bit beefier and enjoy some embellishment.

The top will be formed up to receive a concrete wall cap that will end up being the width of the framing in the picture below.
The framing for the top slab is ready for the pour, but not shown in these pictures from last summer. Now I’m just waiting for a couple of days of decent weather to pour.

Katy’s old tree house will be the next thing to come down. It was sad that the old oak that I took great care not to attach any part of the deck to, was hit by lightening. It completely boiled the tree to death. I’ll try to bring the structure down in a way that HOPEFULLY will keep it intact. Then the deck and clubhouse will get dragged to a new home in the woods that will become a kids campsite.

Then the NEW project for this year. We are in the paper stages of a new barn. Sketches and scribbles of what we want are about all we have accomplished except for a start at removing some trees within the proposed footprint.

A lot more of the barn to come.



  1. Ron said,

    February 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    I can't wait until it's as green as in your pictures. :)Looking forward to reading more.Ron

  2. Woody said,

    February 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    You and me too!

  3. Ed said,

    February 12, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Sounds like a busy summer. I haven't made my list yet but the longer days are certainly stirring me from my winter slumber.

  4. Phoebe said,

    February 20, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Man Woody, you are getting quite a start on your summer projects- I am just getting started on my list!My first project is to get back in shape so I don't hurt myself when I do get started :-)A Barn/shed is on our list at the Homestead too.

  5. Robin said,

    February 22, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    It's so nice when projects get finished. A new barn sounds really exciting!!

  6. Woody said,

    February 22, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Ed…I hope it is a busy summer. I don't handle cabin fever very well.Phoebe..I'm just finishing my list from LAST year.Robin…I have to admit that the barn planning has been chewing up a lot of brain lately.

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