The covered front porch of most homes is the first thing that welcomes guests into your home. The goal is the keep the porch as welcoming and inviting as possible. Sometimes that is difficult when the porch boards and railings have seen better days and could use a little curb appeal update. Our deck had seen better days with certain boards starting to rot and peeling paint everywhere. At the beginning of the summer we came up with a budget friendly deck replacement idea. We wanted to replace all the boards but lumber prices were keeping it out of our budget. So follow along as we walk through how we decided to update our existing porch.
Because we knew that budget was going to be an issue to replace all the wood that was on the porch we decided to focus on the worst areas to buy new boards to replace, this included several of the deck boards, a post and some of the railings. As for the rest of the boards we decided to use a wood planer that we borrowed from my Aunt to plane down the rest of the existing boards. This meant that when we were removing the boards we were as careful as possible not to crack or destroy any of the existing boards that were in good shape.
Starting at one end of the deck and with the help of my parents, brother, sister and friends we slowly removed boards, took them into the garage where one of us was running the planer and then took them back to be replaced. When the old board were screwed back down we made sure to flip them so that what was once under the deck was now the walking surface and the end that faced the elements was now tucked up against the house.
All the original deck boards had been nailed down, as nails are not used primarily for this anymore we were using an impact drill to screw down the new deck boards. The previous deck boards also had wider gaps between the boards and we decided to make this gap much smaller when attaching the “new” boards.
We had to add 6 new deck boards, a couple were rotting but also because we were placing the boards closer together we needed a couple more to complete the deck. We decided to place the brand new boards close to the primary stairs and near the front door (the slider) as these will be the ones most walked on.
The railing boards including the spindles were also planed as they were removed. The spindles were in rougher shape due to being exposed to the elements more but we still re-used as many as we could and also screwed these back onto the deck.
I will let you know that we did not finish all of this deck makeover in a weekend. We did finish the deck boards that weekend but the railings, spindles and stairs were finished over the rest of the summer. As you know life can get in the way of projects, the heat also didn’t help as this porch faces the West and we would get the boiling afternoon sun so none of us wanted to be outside working on it.
Before painting the deck my sister and I went over the entire deck with orbital sanders and a very course grit sandpaper to remove some of the extra debris.
The deck boards were painted with a wood stain called: XXX. The railings and posts were done in XXX by Behr. As a touch to my love for copper I chose these post caps that have copper on top for all the stair railing posts and I can’t wait to have them all patina in that great way that copper does.
These after pictures are after I finished painting the deck boards and all the railings. And the porch is now decorated for Fall/Halloween.
As you can tell by the above picture we don’t have a front lawn at the moment. We decided to til up the grass and re-plant so that it will look better in the Spring.