Front Porch Addition

front porch addition mostly done

It was last fall that the front porch addition was started…

it is done…

well mostly done…

Let’s pop back to the ‘before’:

front porch addition

Yikes! Our new house (a mid-century I was hoping to turn into a Colonial Revival) sure did have ‘asymmetrical issues’!

From the east of the front yard looking down the house:

front porch addition

It was a very long, narrow front walkway… basically no porch at all.

After we had an accepted offer on the house, before the actual closing, I spied this inspirational house in Maine:

front porch addition

Gorgeous, right?! I wasn’t going to be adding another story to our new house, but there was a lot to glean from this inspirational house. The biggest ‘takeaway’ for me was how they divided up sections of the long house and created symmetrical sections.

That was a ‘light bulb’ moment for me!

Applying that simple ‘rule’ so to speak, on the design for our new house, I started to work with the other issue of the long, narrow walkway. What the house needed was to have a porch jutting out from the house…

It needed to be a strong statement, visually speaking.

Rough sawn beams with gently curved arch supports would do the trick.

Here was my vision, I quickly sketched out onto paper:

front porch addition

The final plan got tweaked as it was being built.

That’s the good part of hiring a single carpenter as opposed to a whole construction company. The latter tends to want the finalized plan ahead of starting. Understandable… they could have half a dozen guys working at a time and it’d be super inefficient stalling them as design decisions were made. A single carpenter, or in this case 2 guys working on the porch aren’t getting it done as quickly as a whole crew, so there is more time to make design decisions during the process.

I’ve had a few requests for a porch update, so here is the front of the house today:

front porch addition

(still haven’t decided on/if the stump carving)

It was just about 11 or 12 months ago that the front porch was started. Then it got put on the back burner over the winter and spring as the cold winter sent my carpenter (s) inside renovating the interior.

This post, from December of last year, shows the porch construction process.

Now, the porch is done, (mostly), the windows and doors are replaced, the lights are installed and I just finished painting the exterior of the house last week! Yippee!

Looking from the east of the property, because the front porch juts out, it doesn’t feel like a long narrow runway along the front of the house.

front porch addition

The rough sawn beams are from a sawmill north of here. Our local iron fabrication guy made all the iron support brackets for the porch beams.

The ceiling on the finished porch is beadboard painted sky blue, trimmed out with narrow strips of wood painted white.

front porch addition

The header space above the windows received a bit different treatment, a beam above the new double hung windows, and beadboard and trim above the existing bow window. Here is the post where I showed more detail of the windows and doors getting replaced.

When I started to paint the house white, I wasn’t sure about the cream colored brick on the front and side of the house. (it’s also on the chimney in back) But now that it’s done, I like the look of it as it is.

I had contemplated painting it dark gray, but after tediously painting the same style of brick on the fireplace inside on the fireplace surround… I was not looking forward to that quantity on the exterior!

front porch addition

We haven’t touched the landscaping in the front. I have plans, but alas ran out of time (and energy) this year. That will be a fun project to look forward to next Spring!

On a side note…

This is the stain and sealant I used on the beams for the front porch.

front porch addition

They are white pine beams, and though pretty with their knotty texture, the color was a little too ‘yellow’ for me. This light gray color sealer stain combo created just the right tone. I selected the semi-transparent stain sealer. The beams still look like natural wood beams. It’s not until you compare them to one that is actually unstained, that you can see how the stained ones have a softer gray tone to them. Here is the shopping link for the stain and sealer.

Another noticeable difference in the pictures back while the porch was being constructed and now is the wrapping at the base of the posts. Some of the posts were hidden under the porch skirting, but the 4 at the entrance to the front door, without the base wrap, showed the metal post supports… adding that wooden trim wrapped around each of those posts really ‘finished’ the look nicely.

The front entry now feels like a warm welcome as it juts out away from the house:

front porch addition

Oh… and the ‘mostly’ done part of the front porch addition???

You’ve maybe noticed it in some of these pictures…

The concrete steps to the porch:

front porch addition


It’s hideous! After the maroon carpeting was ripped off, the glue residue of a couple of carpet jobs was left behind.

The carpenter tried to grind the old glue off. That took a lot of work, (time=money) and he only got 1 step done… not worth it.

No one seems to have a good idea about it.

I could add more decking boards over it, but that would need nailing strips and the combo would add a bit too much height.

I could re-carpet it in a neutral gray color, like I did on the garage and back porch steps… but it does look kind of cheap, especially for such a nice porch.

The latest thought I had is to use a thin brick. (like this one we used on the brick pot rack at our last house) I checked with the manufacturer and it does say it can be used on a floor application like tile. I think I like that idea the best. Now to find someone available that can actually install it for me…

Did you know I now offer e-decorating? I can help you with your decorating needs via email, without having to step foot in your home. If you’re interested in more information, visit my e-decorating site: Frame and Frills. I’d love to help you with your project!

Here you can read more gardening and landscape projects:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and now Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.

This post is linked at the following other sites: Between Naps on the Porch, Skip to My Lou, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Confessions of a Plate Addict, A Stroll Thru Life

Reader Interactions


  1. Martha OBrian says

    Love your changes, though the brick reads yellow, at least on my pc, which would make me lean towards painting a soft sage color which would add depth. For the steps, have you considered an automotive product? An automotive paint stripper or thinner might do the job for you, ask at your local repair shop, bodymen use those things for many home purposes, mine does,lol. And the tree? was it dead? I would just have it removed to open up the lovely pergola you put in.

  2. Carol L. Taylor says

    I love the work you have done on your home. I would look at the brick for a few months… and then, I would decide to paint it. But, then, I absolutely love painted brick. Gorgeous job.

  3. Donnamae says

    I love your porch! Those beams and cross braces really make your home a stand out, in my opinion. Is it possible to just have a skim coat of concrete applied over your steps, and then stain them? We had our front steps redone that way…and it’s lasted a good 18 years. Only the stain is starting to wear in a few spots. All I know….I’d be sitting in those chairs as often as I could! πŸ˜‰

    • Liz says

      Thanks so much Donnamae! I’d love to hear more details about your skimcoating… The previous owner had something like that done on some concrete on the side of the house and it’s all flaking off, so I had immediately discounted that for an option. But perhaps they didn’t do it correctly. Thanks for checking in… good to hear from you again! πŸ™‚

  4. Marianne Frontino McCreight says

    Everything looks great. I never would have thought to finish the ceiling of the porch like you did but it really looks nice, just like the rest of the house!.
    I talked to my resident expert paint and coatings guy (AKA my sweetie) and he says the best way to get the glue off the cement steps is with a sharp blade like a 5 in 1 tool and a hammer, chiseling it off with light taps on the end of the blade handle held at a low angle. A lot of work but at least it’s a sitting job!
    Usually the glue will chip off pretty good and then you can use a solvent like that orange paint stripper to get any residue. Just let it sit on there for a while and then scrape up as much as you can before rinsing it off with water. You don’t want to just rinse or wipe it off or you can spread the sticky residue.
    When I first saw the photo of your steps from afar, I wondered if you had done a decorative stain/stamping treatment on them. You might consider that. There are some good-looking treatments out there that should be less expensive than covering it with something else if they are in good shape physically.
    Have a wonderful fall and winter! Marianne

    • Liz says

      Marianne, Thank you so much! I’ll have to try the chiseling idea… and you’re right, at least it’s a sitting job πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading along! Liz

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