Many years ago, when we bought our house the existing porch, which had cute Georgian style windows and an ornate door, was just an uninsulated cold empty shell. It was only a single stone wall construction with concrete floor, and all the wooden window frames and the door were rotten, so at that time it was in obvious need of a complete renovation.
On a shoestring budget:
Many years later, since my initial renovation, the porch has slowly got tatty over time, with some of the beading around the window frames starting to rot, and so had the bottoms of the doorframe.
Therefore I considered it was time for another major makeover and renovation. This time the main tasks being:
The two options for accessing the roof space was either to take slate tiles off the roof or cut through the ceiling from below.
Although either option would have been fine, I chose the latter because I just didn’t fancy taking the roof off; where repairing a couple of large holes in the ceiling is relatively easy for me.
Having decided on the course of action, but not knowing where the ceiling rafters were, I started by cutting a small exploratory hole in the ceiling with a 3-inch hole saw. I then enlarged the hole with a conventional fine tooth saw in all directions up to the rafters; making the hole large enough so that I could get my shoulders and arms through. I repeated the process at the other end of the porch so that I ended up with two access points from where I could work to get the insulation into the roof space and lay it out properly.
Once I had access, I stood on a small step ladder so that I had sufficient height to be able to lay 6 inches of loft insulation above the ceiling right across the whole porch; using both access points to reach all parts of the roof space.
In the process of laying the insulation, I was careful not to block the space above the eaves, so as to allow for ventilation; ventilation being critical as it prevents the build-up of damp.
Having insulated the space, I then cut a couple of pieces of plasterboard to fit the holes, nailing the edges to the ceiling rafters and then plastered over the top.
Plastering doesn’t come naturally to me, but over the years I’ve had enough practice on other DIY projects around the home to be able to do a reasonably good job; and once it’s all decorated it looks as good as new.
Cutting access holes in the ceiling to add 6 inches of insulation.
The two areas of restoration were the:
The wood I used to restore the beading and door frame were pieces of mahogany and teak (hardwood) which I salvaged and stored in the back of my workshop; the teak came from our old living room French doors when we replaced them with a modern uPVC double glazed door.
Most of the beading was ok; it was only in some areas where the softwood beading had rotted. This being due to the porch having just single pane glass and being unheated, which then causes a build-up of moisture during the winter months from condensation on the glass.
Replacing the rotten beading was a quick, easy and inexpensive job; all I had to do was:
Easing the old rotten beading up with a couple of chisels.
The door frames were the original softwood frames, which I didn’t replace when I first renovated the porch; so I’m surprised they’ve lasted as long as they have.
To replace the rotten wood in the door frame:
Painting and Decorating
I frequently use teak oil around the house and in the garden as it puts natural oils back into the dry wood, enriching it, and if used outside provides protection from the elements.
However, I don’t buy the expensive small tins or bottles, but buy a cheap 5L (1 gallon) container from Amazon for a fraction of the price. The large container is a lot more liquidly than the expensive stuff, but this makes it easier to rub in to the wood (like a polish), it goes a lot further, and it gives good long lasting results.
Having done the roof space insulation, the wood restoration, and adding the built-in cupboards and rack (covered in separate articles), it was just the finishing touches. All that remained was the painting and decorating before putting everything back, including the plants.
Following the golden rule (as a general guide) of working from top down, I decorated the newly renovated porch in the following order:
Renovated porch prior to painting and decorating.
© 2017 Arthur Russ