It’s been almost 4 years in the making and this Spring I am happy to say, we are finally able to enjoy the porch that I have been dreaming up for years! My husband, Hayden, and I had the plans for our dream porch drawn up back in 2012 and then, LIFE happened. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Sienna, our car was on its last leg, and the dream porch project estimate came in WAY over budget. So we came to the ultimate (adult) conclusion that the dream porch needed to be put on hold.
Fast forward to 2015, we decided that it was finally time! We had some sad family events occur in late 2014 that gave us new perspective- life is too short to be stuck indoors eating meals or outside being the mosquitos’ meal. A client of mine referred me to a contractor that specialized in porches and decks and he came back with a reasonable bid on the project. So, in July of 2015, with my 3 year-old porch plans in hand, we finally broke ground!
With my interior designer mentality, I first developed the furniture layout of the space to determine what the exterior dimensions of the porch needed to be. I wanted to make sure that the inside of the porch had enough space for all of the functions that we wanted to use it for – watching TV, entertaining, and family meals. I knew I was never going to get my husband out there unless there was a TV, and I absolutely LOVE eating outdoors. Therefore I set up two different functional areas for both lounging and dining that has seating for 8 to eat and space for 5 to play games or watch TV.
We had some challenges to work with like the chimney, windows, and door placement. I think I went through 7 different layouts before I figured out which one was going to work the best for the intended use of the space and the existing architectural details of our home.
The good news is that our architect was able to take those hand drawn plans and turn them into CAD plans for the contractor and inspector. We’re now able to develop CAD plans for our clients too, but those hand-drafted plans still do the trick when we need them.
The porch itself was built in a little over 3 weeks under my watchful eye. I don’t think my poor contractor knew what he was getting into when I signed on to work with him – he told me that I was the most detailed, prepared, and decisive female that he had worked with in 25 years. A compliment hopefully! That’s why I love what I do. It’s all about the details, right?!
The porch went up fast, but the painting did not. We had a bit of a SNAFU with a bad paint product that was used to finish the tongue and groove ceiling, and that was a NIGHTMARE to fix. It took about 3 months from when my painter started to the paint completion. We missed the pleasant fall season, but luckily the weather was beautiful for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and we were able to make up for lost time and utilize the space to its fullest!
This project is near and dear to my heart because it’s officially the first one I’ve been able to design and see built from the ground up. I loved every minute of the process (including working with my contractor) to make sure all of the small details were correct. We have spent every opportunity “breaking in” the space since it’s completion and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
I have so many good pictures of the inside of the space that I’m going to dedicate to another blog post full of furniture and accessories! Here is a little teaser below, complete with my design board. Be sure to stop back to read those details soon!
Happy Memorial Day weekend!