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Old 04-30-2013, 02:24 PM   #1
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How to fix up an old porch?


Hi everyone,

I'd like your advice on how to fix up an old porch. My expertise level in home improvement is low/newbie.

It's a nice big square back porch on my 60 year old house. It's raised a couple feet off the ground and from the inside has floor to ceiling screen all the way round. On the outside bottom, it has an apron of vertical slats painted white. Much of the wood is deteroriating -- but you don't notice that much because of the raspberries that cover up the wood almost completely during the warm seasons.

The floor is cement and was painted an ugly battleship pink, probably back when it was built. Just cleaning off the paint chips and dirt will be a big project!

Here are my neophyte ideas.

I guess I would start by fixing the cement floor. I'll clean it. Must I sand it down before re-painting? Do I need to repaint it at all or could I get away with covering it with indoor/outdoor carpet? Would indoor/outdoor carpet hold up ok as it gets wet, as storms toss rain about 2 feet into the porch?

Next I'll sand and repaint the inside wood between the screens. I can do this ok. It's green which looks nice and outdoorsy.

Then I have to decide about the screens themselves. They're ok but replacements would look good. I read about how you buy screen and roll it out while nailing it to the wood. Is this a two person job? I think it'd have to be as the screen panels are about 3 feet wide (If I can't do it alone, it becomes low priority). You can't buy pre-made screen panels, can you?

Lastly I better re-prime and repaint the wood apron, which is white. A real home improvement person would replace some of the wood, cutting new pieces to fit, then priming & painting, but that is probably too much for me. I'll just repaint what I can and let the raspberries disguise the rest.

To finish up I'll buy one of those inexpensive but cute 2 chairs & a small round table set at Target or Walmart for $150 or so.

Any ideas or feedback?

Thank you (I need the help!)

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Old 04-30-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
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How to fix up an old porch?


You could give us some pics?!?

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Old 04-30-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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How to fix up an old porch?


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Originally Posted by benali View Post
I'd like your advice on how to fix up an old porch.
The floor is cement and was painted an ugly battleship pink...
I guess I would start by fixing the cement floor.
Step one in DIY is to distinguish between repair, remodel, and decorate.
All have their place but they are all very different things.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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How to fix up an old porch?


Thanks for your replies.

>>>You could give us some pics?!?

Not at the moment, unfortunately. I'll try to get my camera back from the person I loaned it to, so I can post some.

>>>Step one in DIY is to distinguish between repair, remodel, and decorate.

Ok. I guess that in terms of priorities, "decorate" comes last, while "repair" sounds essential. I guess I'm too much of a newbie to go further on that.

Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:08 AM   #5
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How to fix up an old porch?


Sanding concrete porch? Not sure what sandpaper you would use for that, probably a good pressure washer would get most off, if it's really stubborn then you could media blast it. Works like a water hose (both of them) just they have a big motor and pump to shoot it fast. Not gonna advise on what to do specifically without pics on that.

Rotting wood: Why would you paint it and let raspberry bushes hide it? Seriously, this is a VERY high priority item as 1 rotting board will spread it's issues to any board near it. Pretty soon those pretty green screen frames will be rotting. Cutting a board to length and nailing or screwing it in place is 1 of the easiest jobs out there. Measure twice and cut once. If you take out the bad pieces and measure exactly what you need some of the box stores will even do the cuts for you if you ask nicely and pay a small fee.

Seriously though, if you don't own a saw and such yet I'd take this as a good opportunity to buy a saw and some saw horses. Both are things you'll need for many jobs around the house which means they will save you a lot of money in the long run vs. having a pro do it.

Also, you could take those outside boards out completely and install latice if your not comfortable cutting boards to size and installing them. The raspberries will love the lattice and as long as you maintain it it'll last quite a while for a very lost cost.

Screens, you don't nail screen in. It has a gasket that goes around the frame that you press in. Yes, 1 person can do it, takes a bit of practice to get the feel for stretching it correctly, but once you do it a few times you'll be a pro. Youtube has videos on how to do it I'm sure.

Good luck and don't be scared away from trying any job, DIY is a blast and you get a huges sense of accomplishment and pride from every stop of the job you do.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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How to fix up an old porch?


Thanks for the ideas and the encouragement. I will google more about how to replace those rotting slats and also how to put in the screens. Sounds like maybe I'll be able to do that stuff if I research it carefully first.

I'll start with the concrete. It sounds like I can learn how to clean and paint this. Probably a good first task to get me started.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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How to fix up an old porch?


First off as a Navy vet there is no such color as battleship PINK.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #8
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I know, sorry ToolSeeker, I guess what I mean is it appears to be really old paint, like back when it contained lead or whatever and it has that odd look to it like battleship gray... except that it's pink. No offense meant.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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How to fix up an old porch?


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I will google more about how to replace those rotting slats and also how to put in the screens.
No need for Google, just post some pictures here.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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None taken.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
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How to fix up an old porch?


Concrete Floor. You could power wash loose and flaky paint off being mindful it might be lead based. If the surface is bad, you could skim it with a layer of concrete restoration epoxy but it is not cheap.

Then paint it again with something quality like Ben Moore's porch and floor paint. The oil-based is glossier and urethane reinforced and the waterbased is epoxy reinforced. They are both self-priming over a nicely prepped surface. I am former US Intel so secure enough in my burly manliness I would not be upset if you painted it pink or even lavendar like would bother the squid. If that is what you want. All of them honorably discharged get a free fiver of battleship gray paint to use through the rest of their life so maybe he will cut you a deal. Some try to make a go of it painting in their dress whites but they are not the same as real painters' whites and many clients think the cute hats are just too much!

You can buy really nice looking indoor/outdoor area rugs in whatever color, size and texture you want and at different price points. They will hold up well but you don't have to glue them down so they should be easier to maintain and toss when you have had enough of them. You could drag one outside to clean it.

I agree you should repair the rotting wood. New pre-made panels---lattice patterns or whatever---in wood or synthetic should not be that expensive. If they are broken or rotting away you just encourage critters to nest under the porch.

Obviously you want to wait now until the rasberries can be cut back in the fall?

Think about a solid stain rather than primer and paint. You can get it in factory colors or mixed to match the house if you want. Sherwin Williams Acrylic Woodscapes is a fave of mine but Ben Moor has Arborcoat to compete which I have never used. Solid stain is self-priming.

Screen material is not that hard to work with even on your own. Stretch the centers and work your way around with a stapler. Then cover with some lath strips. You might want to put a coat of finish on the strips so you just have to fill and finish nail or screw holes.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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How to fix up an old porch?


After reading the first post, I thought this was a joke. Battleship pink, cover rotting wood with bushes, sanding concrete, ect.. Please post some pictures and I am sure we can all guide you through each step of it.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:42 PM   #13
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How to fix up an old porch?


Several companies that do spray-on bed liners for pickup trucks also have products for use on concrete porches, steps, and floors. They come in many colors, however, installation is not really a DIY job. But you can buy epoxy garage floor sealers that are nearly the same thing, and are DIY. I have never used either, so really don't know about cost or what surface preparation is required.

Last edited by md2lgyk; 05-05-2013 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Several companies that do spray-on bed liners for pickup trucks also have products for use on concrete porches, steps, and floors. They come in many colors, however, installation is not really a DIY job. But you can buy epoxy garage floor sealers that are nearly the same thing, and are DIY. I have never used either, so really don't know about cost or what surface preparation is required.
Lots of mixed opinions about DIY epoxy floors worth searching for on this site. The pros come with the two part mixing equipment in the trucks that heats it to right temp, vibrates any air bubbles out, etc.

I have used Abatron's concrete epoxy restoration products for damaged concrete but have never attempted an epoxy finish.

I think most failures expressed on this site have to do with prep though. Or the product fissuring or cracking when something was dropped on it. And I don't remember porch floors being discussed---just garages.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #15
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How to fix up an old porch?


If you have a cell phone that has been made in the past...7 years you could use that to take a picture or few and then send the picture as a text message to your email and then upload it here.

Also, it may be of your best interest to transplant the raspberries. Your time is running up depending on your zone, but if you cut them back last year in the fall (as you are supposed to) they should be easy to handle now.

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