Have you ever become so stuck in a house project that needed someone to come unstick you?
I wouldn’t say I was completely stuck on my front porch makeover, but I was feeling mucho apathetic about the landscaping part. Thankfully my Momma came to visit me, and since we both like to tackle projects together what better time to plant some flowers?
Thank God for mamas!!
Four years ago, Momma made her first visit to our fixer-upper where she discovered that I had neither mopped the scummy floors nor cleaned the cloudy windows since moving in three months prior.
It’s true: I walked on nasty orange linoleum floors for 3 months (sometimes barefoot, even) and refused to mop them because if I mopped them then that meant I had accepted them. And I did not want to accept hideous orange linoleum!
Needless to say, I was really STUCK, and if it had not been for Momma’s visit that year, those floors and windows would have stayed scummy and cloudy. (Thankfully both are long gone now!)
Shudder! Those were some crazy days.
Anyway, fast forward to two weeks ago when our handyman arrived to fix our potentially hazardous porch!
Since this project involved structural issues, I let the professionals handle it. No DIY here, thank you.
The old, weak floorboards were ripped up and replaced with thicker, sturdier composite wood boards. (But don’t worry, I’ve got plans for those old floorboards…)
Three extra support beams were also installed, and I could almost hear our house give a sigh of relief at the even distribution of weight.
If you look carefully, you can see how the corner beam had begun to bow under all the weight it had been supporting over the years. Yikes!!
TOTAL PORCH REPAIR COST: $1800
Not the cheapest makeover, but when you own a fixer-upper you learn to keep a house fund going at all times. If anything, the repair saved us from a major disaster down the road.
With all that serious work done, it was time to tackle the grass thorns, tree saplings and sand drifts surrounding the porch.
Thankfully, we scored deals on all the plants we got, but there was absolutely zero selection of shrubs this late in the season.
Oh well. Momma and I planted what we could, and then spent the rest of the time fighting…
…the sticker weeds, that is. Those damn things are incorrigible!!!
The two shrubs I did manage to snag at a local sale the week previous were Mexican Tarragon.
Have you ever experienced this amazing plant? It smells like gum drops and licorice. I love its fragrance so much that I call it Mrs. Smith’s Catnip. Not only does this plant (also known as Mexican Mint Marigold) have a wonderful fragrance, it has sweet yellow flowers and can be used in cooking. So it looks good, smells good AND tastes good.
Pretty plants with purpose, that’s how I roll.
Momma suggested we also grab some pansies since they’re cold-hardy, colorful and cheap.
TOTAL LANDSCAPING COST: $60
My little plants might not look like much, but the majority are perennials and will grow back taller and fuller come springtime.
Eventually Momma had to get back home (insert one big sigh here), but her visit gave me the inspiration to pull out my paintbrush and get to work!
Since I was painting porch railings and doors, I needed an extra dose of paint-staying power.
This primer is oil-based but you can paint over it with latex. I could really feel the paint adhering to the surface after using this primer.
Look at me all sophisticated with my matching porch floor and railings. Watch out, world!
Oh, but matching porch parts have NOTHING on these beauties:
WEEEEEE, BLUE DOORS!!!!!!!
One coat of primer and three coats of semi-gloss later, I was jumping for joy at the pop of color. (Do me a favor and ignore the ratty framing–I’ll tackle that issue later.) Just sit back and enjoy the blue. 🙂
TOTAL PAINT COST: $40
So far, my porch makeover has cost about $2000, but it’s been repaired, painted and landscaped.
So what’s up next?
I’ll give you a hint:
Until next time….