Luckily, the three brick columns added in during the 1920's conversion to multi-family were stable and well-built, and the brick used was even a good match to the original brick of the house. The first thing we did was tear off the bizarre attempt at a stud wall and remains of the fence picket railing on the second floor (first that is after taking care of the bee problem)... After that we patched the rotted original floorboards on the second floor, and rebuilt the first floor porch from scratch, reusing as much of the original wood as was possible and moving the stairs from the side to the front, giving us a nice sitting area.
|second floor "railing" there was only this one section...|
Although the ends of the fir tongue and groove boards were rotten, we figured out that they were all reusable if we cut off the rot, and made up for the shorter lengths by laying a border around the perimeter - doing this just required extra framing underneath to attach it to. This wood is far better than anything you could buy today, it was a shame we ended up painting it.
After building a railing to satisfy the bank's requirements, we let it sit. And sit and sit and sit. At the time we did the work there was no money to buy nice materials, so we had to make due with 2x4's and salvaged spindles. Coming up with a design that looked decent and met building code was more than a little bit aggravating.
|2x4 Victorian railing with salvage spindles and newel posts|
Truthfully, I'm not all that pleased with it, which may be the reason I put off doing any more work on it. Now that it's not falling off, we won't be investing any money into it anytime soon, so it was time to try and prettify it somewhat. We straightened some of the pieces that had warped, and renailed others with the better nail guns we now own. After that we scrubbed the railings with bleach (actually my mom did last time she was here), and after everything was dry we primed and caulked all the joints. Finally, 2 years after we built them, we painted.... Although we still haven't finished the second floor since some bees have moved back in *sigh*
Next time, the door...
But as ugly as the porch has been, it's had to argue with view like this out your kitchen window while you're doing the dishes....