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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Updating Our Front Porch with 6"x6" Rough Cedar Posts

Front Porch Makeover, Part 1:

Spring has sprung in Indy and what better way to enjoy it by sitting on the front porch looking at the tulips and kids playing/crawling in the grass, right?

Well, that is unless you have old metal grape vine posts obstructing your view!!!

As soon as March hit, we couldn't stop talking about when we were going to update replace our front porch posts.

I have to admit that they were SO BAD that I had to block them out of my mind every time I pulled up to the house.  It was like I trained my eyes to skim over them and look past them every time I drove up.

And then I kind of forgot how bad they were, until I put the pictures up here on the blog....
I mean they weren't that bad were they?!  YIKES...

Okay, so you probably get the idea now!!!

I mean I can't even defend the 60's charm (if there is such a thing), and maybe 1963 was a big year for metal grape vine posts - our neighbors' look fine painted black, so maybe just not the chipped white paint over rusted metal look is the best...  I don't know; trying to throw the old girls some bones here...

But you know how some projects just need a small change for big impact?  That was this project.

It technically was a lot of work (not for me I have to add, other than making decisions heehee), but considering it was ONE Saturday, for 5 hours, not including Dad's trip to the lumber yard for the cedar posts and metal bases, and help from a brother who knows what he's doing... and viola, the front of the house looks 1,000x better.

We first narrowed down the replacements to two options -

The standard white colonial posts, typical of what you'd see in our neighborhood, at a thicker 6"x6" -

Or 8 ft. long 6"x6" rough cedar posts and then Bill would build a little trim for the bottom of each -

I thought the cedar posts would be be different enough but work okay because we have barn wood columns inside and it wouldn't look too off to use wood on the outside as well... so that's what we went with - and my dad so graciously picked them up the day before.

Now here's a glimpse of the guys getting their 5 hours clocked in two weeks ago -

The vinyl that was wrapping the main support beam underneath the roof had to come down to remove those grapevine posts- 

Trip barked orders at uncle Andy when they first started; and then pounded against the glass door for a good 15 minutes - 

The beams were 8 ft. long and had to be trimmed down.  The bottoms had to be chiseled out to put the metal bases on -

Earlier in the day, we thought that the front side of the cross beam's vinyl would have to all come down to get the posts out and then the new ones up again, but it turned out that wasn't necessary (although we might switch the whole front of the beam to cedar some day)... one thing at a time for now.

Here is the underside of the cross beam where the vinyl was removed that I still need to sand down and paint.  
Support posts went up - 

Drilling new holes into the cement floor was so tough that Bill had to rent a bigger drill and buy a tougher bit... one of the hiccups of the day - 

*Having those dumpsters in our driveway for months last summer was greatly missed this Saturday because a trip to the dump was necessary - 

Last cedar post - 

The position of the middle post was moved from it's original spot so that the two posts flanking the door would be symmetrical. 
Thanks Andy - you're my favorite brother for pointing that out (never mind my only)!

The symmetry really helped the porch look a lot better! 

Lastly, Bill giving the posts some base trim of cedar plank (and maybe top trim later) finished them out. 

Now I have a couple of months before I seal them and have to decide whether or not to stain them before that.  We are going to see what color they turn after weathering for a bit, but then I'll probably ask for your opinion on whether or not to stain before sealing!!!

Ta'da - 

... AS SOON AS the cedar posts were up and looking good, Bill kept commenting all weekend how the new posts brought attention to how bad the rest of the porch looked!

In other words, we've only just begun to tackle this area, but at least I can look at the house and not cringe from the street!

One last BEFORE shot of the old posts (that we tried to mask with old glory flying) -

And the AFTER shot - I think this change definitely feels more like "us"!

Coming up - more changes to the front porch! 

*And the weekend we did the posts, I also "made-over" our IKEA bedside tables in the master bedroom. Pretty stoked about them too.

Hope to see you on the DIY flip side! 


  1. Sarah, it looks sooooo good! But don't get too comfortable out there, I'm still dreaming of the day you move back to MA :)

    1. Awe, thanks! I've loved what you've done with the upstairs and can't wait to see the downstairs remodel! Happy Friday and hope you're feeling well!


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