I am not a handyman. I’m sure that I have mentioned this fact many times. So when my wife came to me and said she was worried about the front porch, we both knew who to call.
Our front porch has felt “soft” for some time. Sam (and I) were worried that our mail carrier would take a step on it and fall through! My father-in-law has helped us on numerous projects. Sam called him and he came over to assess the situation.
The one thing we were not clear on is whether or not there was anything below the deck boards. As we stood there wondering, it was decided that the fix it project would take place the following day. So, without thinking about it anymore, he grabbed a hammer and started to pull out the deck boards.
We were relieved to see that there was a cement porch under the boards. At least we knew our mail carrier was gonna be ok! The boards were literally falling apart as we pulled them.
My father-in-law took some measurements and began to do some figuring. He guessed that we’d need about 10-12 deck boards and we’d be able to get the job done in about 4-5 hours. So Monday night, Sam and I headed to Lowes and grabbed the boards, deck screws, and a few things for pumpkins for the kids.
Tuesday morning, we took the railings off, ripped up the old boards and began measure for the new ones. I’m always in awe of the little things my father-in-law does that I would never think of. For example, the first thing he did was measure and mark the center. I am sure I wouldn’t have done that. He knew exactly where the first boards were going to go and how we were going to attack the rest of the project.
As we were cutting and setting boards, my father-in-law said, “I’m not sure we got enough boards.” This freaked me out. He is always right on with measurements. He reminded me that we had measured thinking we were going to lay boards a certain way, but we opted to lay them a little different.
Thankfully, the main walkway area of the porch were all full length boards. For the outer parts, we were able to take the boards we had and stagger them a bit. Once we butted the pieces together, you really can’t even tell. Plus, Sam and I will eventually paint the porch and those seams will be even harder to see. So it all worked out and the only extra money we had to spend was on a few bolts for the railings which needed to be a tad longer.
If you look close at the outer boards, you can see where we butted boards together. I think it looks great! I was actually pretty impressed with just how much better it looks. It also was a fairly quick job once we started. Instead of 4-5 hours, we were finished in just under 3 hours.
If I didn’t have my father-in-law’s help, I am sure that the porch would be uneven, cracked, and a disaster that looked like I hired these guys:
Instead, it looks amazing! As I stood on it yesterday, I was impressed at just how study it felt. I’m sure the mail carrier will feel a lot safer, too!