The Old Back Porch Make Over

Thanks to my brother’s awesome talents and my father’s save everything mentality…

We took what could have been an eyesore and made it into an asset.

My siblings and I have spent the better part of this year sorting, cleaning, pitching, restoring,

repairing and saving memories (aka lots and lots of stuff) from our childhood home.

The end goal was getting the house ready to be put on the market and sold.  (big sigh!)

We’ve been through every inch of the house, from the attic to the basement.

It’s been quite a job.

To fully appreciate the after, you really need to see the before.

My Dad grew up in the days of screened-in back porches.

He loved being outside and close to nature.  (He also was a saver.)

As I came home one hot summer day, I noticed when entering the

back porch the familiar smell of Grandma’s old porch.

A little surprised, he told me that he’d just replaced a board using one he’s saved

from her old porch.  Funny how smells can trigger memories.

Over the years, as my parents aged, the old porch had become utilitarian.

It was a great place to hold stuff, like all the extra folding chairs for when everyone was over.

As we’ve moved from top to bottom and out the back door…

I wasn’t sure we’d ever get to the back porch.  I wasn’t sure I had the energy.

But my brother saw potential.

When my brother decided to paint the outside of the porch, I didn’t see the point.

After a little discussion, I finally saw the vision and agreed to help him.

We emptied out the porch and removed all the windows so they could be thoroughly cleaned.

What a difference that made.

The old silver screen door was taken down and replaced by the newly repainted storm door

that had previously been on the door between the house and the porch.

We also removed the extra blocks under the porch placed to keep the critters out.

Next, we added lattice and mums around the porch.

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The inside of the porch was unfinished.

My brother reused and installed old paneling that he’d removed from his house 19 years ago.

My Dad had kept the old paneling in his garage all that time intending to use it on his porch.

Born during the depression, dad grew up saving things that still had use in them.

It’s sometimes a blessing and a curse.

We also repurposed old trim we found in the garage.

(And by “we”…I mean mainly my brother.)

The trim was painted a clean crisp white and the walls a creamy off white.

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The floor was painted a nice medium gray.     (not sponsored by Valspar)

Valspar Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel*

I talked my brother into adding a ledge under the kitchen window that looks onto the porch.

After adding a rug and a couple of chairs for reading, I realized just how cozy it was.

I’ve sat out here several times already just enjoying the fall foliage.

We’ve all commented on how much my parents would have enjoyed it.


Thanks to Dad’s thriftiness, the whole project including mums cost us around $100.

And yes, Steve, you were right.

We put the house on the market last week.                               (picture borrowed from listing)

The new listing calls the old back porch “a charming three season room”.

It turned out pretty good if I say so myself.

This current season in our lives as we let go of the house has been challenging.

But as my youngest sister said, “I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else but you.”

If you liked this post you might like to read “making a place for Dad’s coffee”.


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19 thoughts on “The Old Back Porch Make Over

  1. nancy wright says:

    Good to see a realistic project that most of us can do and afford. It looks like a labor of love and a real improvement. Your folks would be so pleased and there is something so special about family members spending time together working on something that brings back memories that only they can share.

    • seldred2 says:

      We have always been a close knit family. A tiny little house with a lot of love.
      BTW…you share the same name as my sister so at first glance I thought she was commenting.

  2. Barbara Zellmer says:

    I love this…sad, but you followed through with your dad’s wishes to fix up the old porch. Great job!

  3. Carole says:

    Great job, it’s beautiful and inviting…and those memories you have will last a lifetime!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Gloria says:

    You guys did a very nice job. I would love to be able to accomplish something like this with my porch. Since I will be attempting to do this myself, wish me God’s speed! 🙂

  5. Melba James says:

    I loved reading this. I, too am a saver. I guess you’d say I was cheap. So many people throw things away that are so useful. I guess growing up poor makes you realize we have to use everything we have and be more frugal.

  6. Sarah elms says:

    I do hope you saved the folding table, the one behind the outer one. It looks like a wooden one, rare. I have one of my grandmother’s.
    Beautiful job!

  7. 2iceblest says:

    Actually, this was a great story more so because you and your siblings worked together so well, I could sense the love and respect for each other. How proud your parents would be!

    • seldred2 says:

      Thank You. We are a very close family. There was a little blood, a lot of sweat and a few tears. But we are finally closing on the house in a couple weeks. A bittersweet time for sure.

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