Sunday, September 27, 2009

The porch disaster

I don't believe I've ever shared the story of our porch disaster. This is a long one...I hope I don't bore you!

In the early summer of 2008, many of the lights in our house went out. Thinking that maybe we just tripped the breaker, my husband went down into the basement to investigate. No matter what he tried, the lights kept going out. We knew it was time to call in our electrician.
Enter electrician and about 3 days of trying to find the problem. (Our house was built in 1933. The basement was somewhat finished by the previous home owners and as a result, he had to break into the ceiling to see where the wires were going.) Anyway, that big mess being considered, he found the problem. I guess when they built the house the wiring went outside under the porch.(?) I don't understand the whole problem, but this was something that sent our electrician into a complete panic. He was amazed that we didn't have a fire because these wires were lying on concrete and sparking. The blessing in all of this was that there was a crack in our porch so whenever it rained the rain would drip through the porch and keep the sparking wires at bay. (Can you even believe this?)

The electrician fixes the problem, and now it's time to call our mason. Being that we love the character of our old home, we're really upset because we don't want to ruin the integrity of this original porch. We were able to keep the old brick base and the mason just broke up the old concrete and repoured new concrete. Until.....he found that the wooden sill that holds up the front wall of the house was rotted. (Oh I can still see from my front window the look on the faces of the mason workers when they found that rotted sill. I KNEW something was wrong out there, I just knew it.)
Time to call our contractor. He had to come and replace the sill before the concrete could be poured.

In order for the contractor to replace the sill, the front of the house had to be jacked up. Go ahead, jack a house from 1933 and see what happens to the plaster wall inside!

Oh yeah, you knew it...BIG cracks! (OK, let me admit, I was angry over this but kind of glad too. I knew the wall would have to be repaired and with that a new paint job. Good riddance to that bright green!)
Needless to say, after this whole big rolling disaster we were quite literally out of money. We had to leave the porch as is with no railings. (which I found annoying)
This summer, my husband and I decided to take on the stress of do-it-yourself-ers and added white vinyl railings to the porch. It was not entirely a horrible project keeping in mind of course that nothing can ever be level or square in a house this old!
So this is what we look like now:

It still amazes me today how a few lights going out in the house led to all of that. Such are the joys of the old home I guess!

Welcome! I'm Gina. Like the header says, this blog is all about home, food and life..


  1. Oh my goodness, to think of what could have happened if the wires under the porch wouldn't have been discovered!!! I guess in hindsight it was all a blessing in disguise.
    Don't you think?

    By the way, you and your husband did a great job on the railing...your proch looks amazing.


  2. Oh My Gosh! I remember something about this, but holy cow the domino effect of all that! Wow!
    Your porch is beautiful... your entire *house is stunning! I just love it!!

  3. This reminds me of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie:) Whenever one thing happens so do 10 others. The new railing came out great though. You have such a cute house!

  4. Hi Gina :)

    Yes, the joys of an old home LOL I'll bet the reason all that happened is so that you could find the rotted sill. Old houses have their own way of telling us what's wrong ;)

    The new porch looks great!



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