My front porch has a dirty little secret! Today, I’m going to reveal that secret when I tell you about the front porch composite decking…
This is what our 100 year old house looked like when we first bought it a few years ago:
Since then we painted it, changed the landscape and finally changed, (sort of) the porch floor.
Hard to see it the full house picture, but the porch floor and steps were carpeted! Seems crazy, right?! But there is true indoor/outdoor carpet, and 20 or 30 years ago when it was time to recover the porch floor, that apparently seemed the best product to use. It has worn like iron, and lasted a really long time, that’s for sure.
When I painted the porch, I refused to use a drop cloth, even for the ceiling, because I was determined to resurface this no-longer-so-desirable grey carpeted front porch floor ASAP.
Here you can see how the bright colorful rug helps pull your eye away from the old carpet… at least in this one area of the porch. (click here to read more about tips to quickly DIY sew these wicker furniture cushions)
The carpet was still there, (this pic was from a post I wrote about adding Spring to the front porch)
See the white paint splotches? That’s from me painting… and I had to live with that “don’t use a dropcloth” decision for a year! Because, actually, the renovation budget was getting squeezed with so much going on inside the house we just needed to catch our breath, and pocketbooks a bit.
As we were catching up, I saw a flyer in the local paper advertising this product! And yay, it was less expensive, than standard composite decking plus the perfect product for our dilemma of a front porch floor. (Home Depot has their own version)
I knew I wanted composite decking… No maintenance! Up here in the Midwest, keeping paint on horizontal surfaces that are exposed to the snow is extremely difficult and requires annual maintenance. No thanks! The no maintenance of this composite material is perfect. (here’s a great article I found from This Old House on composite decking)
You see, for the same reason the previous owners laid carpet, we needed a specialty product, because part of the front porch is concrete and part of it is wood. To rip it all out and build it all over with wood would be outrageously expensive, and unnecessary. The old existing porch floor was totally solid and stable and in great condition, it was just an eyesore.
So this front porch composite decking material is specifically made to cover over existing porch floors.
That’s the dirty little secret our front porch holds… We left the very glued down carpeting on it, and laid this composite decking right over the top.
Wait, let me clarify… I’m all about DIY… but I’m also totally in favor of hiring help I can too. This project could have been a DIY project, with a little know-how using some power tools and saws, but we did not DIY it. So… it was my carpenter that did this front porch composite decking project.
You can see in the above pic. how there are these little screws with a flange on the top of them that fit in the grooves of the decking to hold it down.
Now it’s all finished…
This was a picture from last Christmas, the porch floor looks great now.
If you’ve ever installed a laminate floor, then you know that most of it is just cutting the boards to the right length and installing, but there a few details that give it a nice finished look. Same with this floor.
Here are some details that finished it:
The front edging of the porch, where it drops down to the first step, is finished with a long horizontal piece. Instead of the decking boards just coming up the the front nosing, this gives it a nice finished edge.
Another finishing detail is the risers on the stairs are covered with the same composite type material, only in white to coordinate with the house but to contrast with the stair treads. This defines the steps and lends a traditional porch look. If it was all brown, matching the decking boards, it’d look more like a contemporary deck instead of a front porch.
Well, here we are back at winter again to show you the finished front porch steps. Ha ha… I just realized this post could be called the 4 seasons of a porch, because I gathered different pictures from the year to show you details of the floor.
I appreciate you stopping by.