Return to the Old House Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Posted by CRNAgabe (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 20:47

I posted this earlier today in the remodeling forum, but it was suggested that I post over here for your input.

My wife and I are remodeling a 1903 farmhouse on 15 acres in the PNW. problem is, I got deployed again on short notice, so we're trying to make decisions via email, picture exchange, etc.
There's one thing I'm stumped on that I'm hoping the GW community can help me out...

We removed the green concrete stairs from the front of the house, were left with a 'hole' (full height basement), and put up new stairs (it will have a railing).

Question is, how to close off that hole?

Option 1) continue the siding horizontally
Option 2) put siding perpendicular to the house, covering the Sides of the stairs

Either way, we'd most likely put some plants/shrubbery in the corners.

The contractor likes Option 2 (covering the sides of the stairs), but perhaps because this is just easier for him?

What do you think would look best? I did some rudimentary photoshopping on both options.

Thanks a million

Front of house
Front of house photo Front.png

Removed this concrete
Concrete removed photo Concrete.png

Big hole
Hole left photo Hole.png

As it currently sits
Current photo Current.png

Option 1
Option 1 photo Option1.png

Option 2
Option 2 photo Option2.png

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Option 2 would look better, but I think you need to provide ventilation under the wood steps to keep them from rotting. You could use lattice and paint it the same color as the siding.

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

That's some pretty good photoshopping; thanks. Your options are very clear! I like option 2, myself, but I wonder if it might be a good idea to see what others in your area have done with homes of similar vintage. It's a small detail, but if there's a standard, accepted "look" in your region, it's not a bad idea to stick to it, assuming you find the look acceptable.

All that aside, option 2 gets my vote. And that's a sweet house, by the way. I like it!

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Option 2 for me as well. I think vjrnts has a good idea in that looking at similar homes may give you an idea of what has been done by others.

We are looking at the same issue and have put it off because we don't know what we will find when we pull out the cement stoop.
Be safe.

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Thanks for the feedback, and good idea about looking at similar homes; we'll certainly try to do that.

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

I would put either a framed triangle of lattice on either side, or a framed triangle of "spindles" kind of like your porch rail.

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Option 1 will keep water out from under your porch better. Option 2 looks better, but all the rain that seeps through the wood steps could drain under the house unless you carefully slope the dirt under there. You could build in a pretty cool built in doghouse under there, if you have outside pets. Wait, did you say that drops down into a FULL BASEMENT? Yeah, definitely go with option 1, and you should not just put up siding, you should insulate it as well.

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Where does the hole go? under the porch? You didn't mention where the basement wall stops. Does it stop before the porch? Crawl space under the porch?

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Wife sent me a couple pics of the basement area.

It's "crawl-space-height", for the width of the porch, around the perimeter of the house. This area is covered by a vapor barrier and is sloped down to the center, where under the gravel is a water barrier and channels leading to a sump-pump. The perimeter shelf has never been damp. Occasionally during heavy rains, the water table will rise, and the sump pump will kick on.

Wether we go with Option 1, 2, or some variation, we'd certainly treat that hole so all our other water mitigation efforts won't be for naught.

The front porch steps are about center of this picture (before removal)
 photo imagejpg1.jpg

 photo imagejpg2.jpg

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

I'd go for both. Option 1 to keep the dirt and water out of your crawl space, especially since you plan to plant stuff in the corners either side of the steps, and option 2 as well for neatness.

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

Definitely option #2. It has a more finished look to it. Even when you landscape around the building some part of the underneath stair gap will show with option #1. Close it off completely so it doesn't show. NancyLouise

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

is that ductwork on the ground in pic one?

RE: Please help with 1903 farmhouse decision

If you're referring to the basement pics energy_rater, it's not ductwork. It's (now) unused grey water piping suspended from the ceiling. It's most likely removed by now.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Old House Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here