Scary haunted house

Beth_in_MAMay 6, 2013

My sister and her husband had been looking for a house for about 18 months or so, and I often went with them to look. We drove by this one dozens of times and never wanted to stop - the price was too high, and...well...just look at the before picture! The price dropped drastically, and one day after looking at 5 or 6 other houses that were definitely "NO" houses and getting discouraged, our RE agents said "let's just go look at this one". The house needed a lot of work (we're still working on it), but nothing major - pretty much all cosmetic. Otherwise it had good bones, and is much bigger on the inside than it looks. We'll be working on it for years to come, but since that's something I love to do, I always have a project!

I spent almost six months working on the porch. I ripped it down to it's frame, added supports, re-decked, scraped 100 years worth of paint, added a few period appropriate details (I kept as many as I could), and removed a few inappropriate ones. I think it's worth it.

The first picture is the day we first looked at the house (5 Jul, 2009) - you can see why we called it the scary haunted house!). The second was taken when I finally finished the trim and painting (17 Oct, 2010). The landscape is more filled in these days, but it's still a work in progress.

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What a pretty house. I envy you having such a roomy period house. I love the gingerbread you added to the porch, and the railings are such an improvement over the solid half walls that were there. Watering potted plants on the porch steps will contribute to ruining the paint job there, but the flowers do make it look pretty. Can't wait to see some of your inside projects.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 2:38PM
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I like it!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:06PM
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Lovely transformation!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:34PM
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What a transformation!

When one carries a major pot ... often one needs a retainer, to hold it in.

But when it's a potted plant, how about a container ... saucer, tray, whatchamacallit underneath to catch the water?

ole joyful ... who, with a larger garden ...
... carries a bit larger pot that a friend who has next to none: pot, that is, rather than garden, which is rather concentrated, as it shares his backyard with a pool

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Darn, I was looking foward to some scary stories! Lol

Very nice transformation.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 5:13PM
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The decking is stained, not painted, and so far (2 years) isn't showing any damage, but I figure I'm going to have to replace the stairs every few years It's not that expensive to do, so a small price to pay for the look of having the pots.

The pots that are on them now are actually screwed to the stairs through the pot and drip-tray. Two years ago on Mother's Day morning (we think it was morning, anyway, although it could have been any time from about 10 pm the night before to about 8 am that morning) someone stole all 4 of the first pots off the stairs. We know it wasn't kids. The pots are heavy, and not one bit of dirt was spilled. If it were kids, they would have tipped them over, made a mess, probably left them in the yard...something, but all four were just gone.

About a week later a landscaping company in near Boston was caught stealing pots and small trees and bushes from yards. We aren't near Boston (about 40 miles away), but we do live on a busy road. If a landscaping truck were pulled up in front of the house in the morning, no one would have thought anything other than we were having some work done. I sometimes wonder if it was some real estate agent on the way to an open house and the they needed something to pretty up the property, although I figure it was really someone on their way to visit their mother; "He look Mom, see what we brought you!"

I've been waiting ever since we bolted them down to hear an early morning yelp as someone grabs the pot and tries to lift, and falls on their butts because it won't move!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 5:17PM
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What a beautiful job!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 5:32PM
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I love how you transformed the porch.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Wow; very nice work! It's cozy & inviting now; not scary at all! :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:44PM
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It's just so charming!
You did a great job.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Looks wonderful!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Nice house. I like your rebuild of the porch.

I grew up in a small farm house that had a front porch constructed exactly like your 'before' picture. The turned support posts were identical. I believe my boyhood house was built about 1900.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I love the house. You're doing wonderfully.

I relate to the pot story. I have lived in places where the first third of the barrel is filled with huge rocks. Never did get stolen, hm. I know I could never lift that thing!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:44AM
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You did a beautiful job on the porch. Simply beautiful!!

Having done a good bit of renovation/carpentry work myself, I can really appreciate the amount of work and dedication involved.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:47AM
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Just beautiful, all the hard work sure paid off.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:49AM
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Just wanted to drop in and tell you how beautiful your house looks. It clearly looks loved. I never heard of bolting plants down to a step before! I was going to suggest old saucers underneath the pots - I get lots of cute antique mis-matched ones at the thrift store. Cost less than their brand new clay saucers if anyone reading is interested feel free to do the same!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:08PM
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I love your house, especially the porch. You've done a wonderful job! Wish I had a porch....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I love the house. We are working on a 100 year old house too, and it is so much work. You wonder if you will ever finish. I love how you framed the lattice work under the house. I am saving that picture to show my husband as an idea on how to do ours.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:50AM
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Thanks everyone. I'm really happy with how it turned out. We did the back deck in a similar style and colors, but we didn't put as much work into it since eventually we are taking it down and adding a sun-room there.

Marilyn - those lattice panels are removable if we need to get under the deck. I built the frames with corner brackets to hold them together, and attached the lattice to the frames and not directly to the deck. I pounded in 2x4 with pointed ends about 18" into the ground where the ends and dividers would be so they are hidden from view, then screwed the tops in, and the bottoms only at the end and the divider. If I need to get under there, I only have to take out about 6-8 screws and the whole panel comes out. I do my work under the deck, and screw the panel back into place.

In about 2 weeks we start pulling down the ugly faux wood paneling that is covering the crumbling plaster walls in the livingroom, removing the plaster, and putting up sheet rock. The house isn't historically significant and so not worth trying to save the badly deteriorated plaster. I'm not looking forward to the dust, but I am looking forward to the finish results.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:29AM
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That's a very good idea. We intend to make ours so you can remove them too, in case you have to get under the house for some reason. I see a lot of houses with the lattice under them, but can't remember seeing any quite so nicely framed. It makes a big difference.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:56AM
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