Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Porch

Now that the front of our house is painted, it's time to get the backyard into shape. Also, with the Boy growing ever more venturesome, it's only a matter of time before he experiences the doggy door to the back porch. The back porch: with it's rotten planks, dubious railings, and rickety stairs. Perched over the steep, cracked, bulging, mossy stairs to the basement.

We found a great contractor. I've seen his work before, from our playgroup friends Stephanie and Silas. He shows up, he's punctual, he's friendly, and he calls back. I know that all contractor relationships usually start this way -- and nevertheless end in tears -- but I am optimistic. (If you want his name, leave a comment by clicking on the timestamp below.)

I wrote him a 5-digit check yesterday morning (and I don't mean my zip code). Tools and cinder blocks showed up that afternoon. All the recent rain has made the ground soft for digging, so it might start sooner rather than later.

He's going to demolish and remove the existing porch and cement patio slab; excavate 3 1/2 feet down; create two new drains; pour new cement stairs to the basement, a new retaining wall to keep the backyard at bay, a new slab for storage under the deck, and new footings; and build a screened in porch with a door leading down two steps to the grade.

At my request, the three feet over the basement steps will be bumped up to countertop height: this will improve the headroom under the deck, so we don't have to bring the basement steps too far from the house.

It's really a lot of work. 700 cubic feet of dirt are going to disappear, and probably a ton of concrete is going to either leave my house or come in. And it all has to be done through a 100' pedestrian alley that serves the back yard.

Mosquito-free outdoor living, with new storage and better drainage. The summer of 2006 will be one to remember.


At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your plans for the porch deck sound great. No more deathtrap!

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Elspeth said...

Good luck with the project. The Monkey Mama told me a little bit about it on the phone. It sounds so daunting, but it also sounds like it will be well worth it in the end.


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