Porch is Getting Closer!

So, the inside of the porch is done, except for those diamonds I’m painting on the floor.  Hopefully, I’ll get that done this week.  Dad has been working on the stairs for the last couple of weeks and he’s making some good progress on those.  Now mind you, these stairs will be far from perfect.  His figuring and all is not what it used to be and he can be hard on himself for not getting things right on the carpentry stuff, but it will be stable even if it’s not perfect to look at.  That I do know!  To the eye, things will be a little wonky and not even close to plumb and perfect, but that’s the way we roll around here.  I’m just so glad he is willing to help me get this done.

I’m about to hire someone to do a little front porch for me, that we can’t tackle, so that one will be in the next month or so, I hope.  That will be one thing I can’t wait to do, get a cute front porch built that will keep water off the head if you’re standing on my front porch.

Back stairs

So back to the porch and stairs on the back.  Here’s how far we’ve come.  We got the posts in the ground and added the upper deck that will hold my grill that I have yet to get. It will not be a huge grill, but it will be big enough.

back stairs 2

Landing outside the screened door has been built and then we started on the lower landing that turns.  Dad did the very best that he could figuring out how to put all of this together and I admire his tenacity for getting it done.  Like I said, it is FAR from perfect, but it will be stable and secure and that’s fine with me.

Picture 011

Over 30 years ago, my dad built these nice stairs over the creek at their mountain house and that was quite a feat to accomplish.  It’s been about that long since he tackled stairs, so overall he’s doing great with mine!

cutting wood

Cutting with the skill saw, he used left over wood and recycled parts of the old railing.


He’s still good at cutting with the tools.

building platform

And this recycled wood goes underneath the decking.

planks on deck

Covered up with new wood planks, it won’t be seen at all.  Once I get all of this stained with a solid stain, it will all come together.

mopping porch floor

Meanwhile, inside the porch, I got the floor ready to paint by giving it a good washing and scrubbing.

mopped floor

It had paint splatters on it, but I didn’t worry too much about that, I mainly wanted to get the sawdust and dirt off it, so it would be ready to accept the new Porch and Floor paint.

one coat white paint

I used 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Porch and  Floor paint in Alabaster, this is after one coat.  Better already, don’t you think?

white floor

It’s looking really good by now!

white floor 2

One coat done!

green wall and white floor

After 2 coats, the floor is looking great and will be ready for my diamond treatment.  I also painted the house siding wall in my Fennel paint, same as in the kitchen. I had it left over, so why not use it out here too.  It will be great with the colors I’m using out here.

adding railings

Back outside on the little deck, Dad was working on adding railings.  We recycled as much as we could from the old stair system.


Stairs added in place.

railings on deck

And it’s starting to coming together now.

miter saw

Dad cut the pickets to fit and we nailed them all in with my nail gun.

adding pickets

One at a time until we got this top portion done.

spacing railings

Here’s how he spaced the pickets, with a piece of wood.  Great idea, huh?  He spaced and I nailed.

progress on stairs

And here’s where we are now.  This week, we hope to get all the railing done and the lattice up around the bottom.  I won’t get this all painted until later, but at least it will be finished.  I’m SO excited to get this porch done.  We will be working on stapling on the new screening too and trimming the outside out with little trim pieces and then it will be about finished.

I really hope to get my porch furniture moved out there by the end of the month, that’s my goal!  It’s hot right now, but there is a pretty good breeze on this porch, a balmy breeze, but a breeze nonetheless.  Soon, I’ll be enjoying it out there in morning and evening. I can see me taking my laptop out there and taking naps on the loveseat.   Oh yeah!

Today, we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day and honoring this sweet man of ours!  I was blessed tremendously when God handed out fathers and I am SO grateful for mine.  Happy Father’s Day to all the sweet men in your lives too.


And here’s some fun news!!  I’m having a BIG yardsale coming up soon with some blog friends at my house, so mark your calendar for Friday, June 28th and Sat. June 29th.  We are going to have it from 8-12 both days, until everything is gone!  It won’t be junk either, lots of great stuff!  I’ll be sharing later how to sign up and come.

Lastly, the lucky winner of the Haven conference pass is #92:  Kara!  Congrats, Kara, you’ve been emailed!


- Rhoda


  1. Rhoda, it doesn’t look “wonky” at all…..you and your mom and dad are all such hard workers, and I admire the tenacity you have ALL shown to see this project through to completion. Your dad is giving you such a gift, and it isn’t a deck……someday, when your daddy isn’t physically here with you anymore, you will know- even more than you do now- that your daddy loved you till the end, and he gave you everything of himself that he had. You are blessed this Father’s Day weekend to see such love, firsthand, on an everyday basis. Can’t wait to see the finished, final project. Wishing you a happy Sunday!

    • HI, Susan, oh my goodness, your comment made me cry! I’m so grateful for my sweet Daddy, especially on a day like today, Father’s Day. I was blessed beyond measure when God handed out fathers. I got a gem!

  2. Beth Morrow says:

    I love the porch! Your Dad is amazing and the steps look perfect to me. Wish i could hire him out for a few jobs i need done in my new/old house in Houston!

  3. Rhoda,
    I too have an 80 something year young dad who still likes to dabble in the home improvement segment of everyone’s life. He still owns and runs his own New Home construction company! How blessed we are too have men like this in our lives. I’ve learned so much from him and I just love watching and learning from your daddy also! Anxiously awaiting the finished porch!

  4. You are going to enjoy that porch! Your dad is so talented. He reminds me of my granddaddy…he was talented like that and built me a beautiful decorative porch railing for my little country house. Lots of time & energy went into his handiwork!

    That’s my sister that won! So excited! Now wish me luck that someone will sell ME a Haven ticket so we both can go! 🙂

  5. Looks shaping up nicely and I’m sure you will get much enjoyment from the room.

    Happy Father’s Day to your incredible Dad.

  6. Susan Hunter says:

    Your porch is perfect. I have a screen porch and it is my favorite place in our home. One of your fans, S

    Happy Father’s Day to your wonderful dad. S

  7. Love that “fennel” – the same colour as my outside doors! It’s beginning to look good now, and the steps are perfect, no need to apologise. I can’t wait till you get the screens up and the furniture in. You are inspiring me as we have ordered a wooden summerhouse for our garden – looks to be similar in size to your porch. It too will need decorating and furnishing, and I will be blogging about that.

  8. Happy Father’s day to your amazing dad!

  9. Jennifer Rambo says:

    I have loved following you on this very long journey, from living with your folks and searching for a house, to this stage of completion. What a tremendous act of sheer determination. Many would have let life’s circumstances hold them back. Congratulations!! Your dad is wonderful. Sadly, there are not too many young men who are learning these carpentry skills. Enjoy the fruits of your hard labor.

  10. Rhoda, your dad reminds me of my papa (grandfather) he saved every scrap when we would do a project and pull it out for our next project and say ” I knew this would come in handy for something” it could have been an inch of wood but he saved it. My papa died last year and this is the first Father’s Day without him. Enjoy your father! I think the porch looks great.

    • Oh, Tammy, my dad does save every scrap of wood. It does comes in handy sometimes, when he finds some laying around that he saved. But, I sure can’t stand the clutter of keeping everything. I can’t wait to get the backyard cleared of all the debris we are making now.

  11. Donna S. says:

    dads want everything to be perfect for their little girls!! your dad’s work IS perfect…you will enjoy his work for years to come…

  12. I think I love your “Dad” posts the most! What a great treasure this back porch will be to you not to mention fabulously decorated. Made with love that’s for sure!

  13. Rhoda your porch is looking great and I’m looking forward to seeing it decorated with your beautiful taste. I am so totally amazed at your Dad. Do my eyes deceive me, or is he NOT wearing glasses when he works? He is truly amazing and a sweetheart. I think his carpentry skills are awesome.

    • Hey, Lynne, he does have glasses but usually only wears them when reading. Both my parents have good eyes for their age. Me and my sister, however, got terrible eyesight.

  14. Rhoda, your porch and steps are wonderful! You have one talented Dad! I love the Fennel paint on the porch wall! I have been considering painting my porch walls another color than the house and was unsure until I saw your porch. I love it! You and your parents have a special bond! I admire all of you! You are all such a blessing to each other! Your parents are my role models to always keep going and never quit! Thanks for sharing them with all of us!

  15. Looks great. I love it when you and your dad are in action! Please tell him Happy Father’s Day from a blog friend!

  16. You have such vision that you share with your dad! Every post that you have about your home and the transformations are amazing. This is my favorite blog to read!

    Happy Father’s Day to your dad!

    I am sure that his heart is bursting with pride at what he has done for you–a true father’s love!

  17. Happy Father’s Day to your Dad.

  18. What a wonderful Dad you have! Happy Father’s Day to him!!

  19. Janice Careins says:

    Love reading about your progress. I also was blessed with a great Father. I miss him so much but I can look around my house and see things he did for me. Happy Fathers Day to your Dad

  20. ann weisman says:

    You may not think it is perfect but I think it looks wonderful.. Big cheer for your great Dad

  21. Looks great, Rhoda! I bought my first home when I was 30 & still single. My dad thoroughly enjoyed helping out with things around my house as well. He went home to be with The Lord 15 yrs ago and even though I am no longer in that house, I have wonderful reminders around this house of things he built for me. It’s obvious that you cherish your parents…as we all should! Hope to make it to your yard sale.

  22. Looks pretty perfect to me. You are truly blessed, Rhoda. Happy Father’s Day to your Dad. Hug him once for all of us who no longer can hug our dads.

    btw…Love the green color on the porch, too.

  23. Your Dad is doing a fantastic job! No need to complain about imperfections that we can’t even see. He’s 85 and it’s a blessing he’s around and still able to do things like this. He puts many men half his age to shame! My Dad would have been 87 this year (he died unexpectedly in 2010). I miss him! He is the type that was always doing some DIY project himself and could do it better than most pros.

  24. I think it looks just super. And you know if Dad did it, it’s not going anywhere for a loooong time. 🙂 Give him a big ole hug and a “happy fathers day” for me, and a hug to your Mom, too. We know she’s the one who keeps him going strong!

  25. Rosalind says:

    You are so lucky to have such a wonderful Dad. I think the porch and stairs look great! I don’t think they look “wonky” at all. I really like seeing all that you and your parents have done to your home. I hope you have a fantastic Father’s Day with him.

  26. Happy Father’s Day to him!

    I don’t think they look off. Probably half the problem is the house being out of level due settling at forty-something; even if he calculates correctly it might not be level, so then comes the carpentry skills to make it look straight and that takes time. I bet it will be amazing.

  27. Hi Rhoda,

    Your dad is amazing. Makes me really miss mine, especially on Father’s Day. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, well before you left BHM. I have so enjoyed your house projects, and your porch makes me a little envious. You mentioned you want to get a grill for your new deck your dad is work on. Here is a link to one that is on Craig’s List in Lilburn. My husband is chomping at the bits to buy this grill, but we already have a gas grill and two Green Eggs. We DON’T need another grill. He used to sell these at the Gas Company and says this is a great buy and a great grill. Check it out. If you have any questions, just e-mail me, my husband can answer ALL your questions about that model of grill.

  28. Joyce Smittkamp says:

    Your father reminds me so much of my late father. He could make anything out of wood. He kept every little piece to be used later for something!! I bet you dad was a red head, when I see his hands they look exactly like my dads, his nick name was Red. They have seen lots of hard work and sunshine!! I love to see him at work. Cherish these moments!!!!

  29. You as so lucky to have a Father that is so talented!What beautiful craftmanship! I would love to have a screened in porch.I am working on that one 🙂

  30. Your deck and steps don’t look wonky!! They will be be beautiful when finished. Your Dad is amazing!! Hug him and tell him how amazing he is, every chance you get!!!….

  31. Your porch looks beautiful Rhoda and I love the shade of Sherwin Williams paint you used for the floors – what a huge difference! I love Sherwin Williams paint too – the quality and wearability of it is fabulous! You have a wonderful amazing Dad, so happy for you that he loves to help you out! Have fun celebrating this great day with him!! Heather

  32. The porch looks great, and I still think your dad is amazing! Wish I could come to your yard sale, but you’re a little too far from California.

  33. I have watched and enjoyed this home transformation from the beginning and each day I look to see if your next post is about your home. I would never want to leave such a treasure and all of its memories! But what will you do when the house is compleat ? I hope you’ve got plans to continue a blog about home decor and decorating!

    • HI, Vicki, I’m not going anywhere, so ya’ll will just have to keep listening to me talking about decorating even if I’m not renovating anymore! It will always be my passion.

  34. Lookin good! I am loving getting to follow your progress! And amazed at how much y’all have accomplished in this heat!

  35. OMGoodness! Susan made me cry too! What a great post for Father’s Day, Ronda! I love that you have such great photos of your dad’s hands. My daddy is a worker bee for me just like yours. We are so, so blessed! I can’t wait to see how you decorate your happy place!

  36. It’s looking good! Tell your Dad Happy Father’s Day from one of your long time readers!

  37. Susan “hit the nail on the head” with her comment. Your Dad is so loving and generous. Your porch and deck will be WONDERFUL!!!! I know you will just LOVE it. We are getting estimates to have a deck built and it should be done SOON! I can’t wait to be able to go out there in the morning and evening, just like you said!!! XO, Pinky

  38. I think it looks great so far, and I can’t wait to see it all decked out with your furniture! I love how your Dad is helping you with this project. You are so, so lucky to still have him in your life, and your sweet comments about him tells me that you have a lovely relationship! That, my dear, is a wonderful thing to see.

  39. Your dad is amazing and hard working!! You both make a great team!! Happy Father’s Day to your dad!!

  40. Rhoda, Happy Father’s Day to your dear Dad!
    You were truly blessed and don’t apologize for imperfections that we can’t see!! The reason your blog is so popular is because you do it yourself and make the best of what you have been given, including recyled wood that your Dad saves! Anyone can hire a person and have a porch done in a week, the blood, sweat and tears of your labor and vision is what has me tuning in every day!!

    When the porch is done I want to see a picture of your Dad resting on that loveseat with a sweet tea in hand, enjoying the fruits of his labor!

  41. karen davis says:

    Hi Rhoda, you brought up a sweet memory of mine, I was sitting in Church years ago, and a young Mother was getting on to her little one for scribbling in her Mom’s Bible, I was sitting close by and I showed her mine, also scribbled by my now grown son, and told her one day she would “treasure” it as I do mine. One day, I believe your “wonky porch” will be treasured more and more as the years go by! I admire you Rhoda the way you live your life and give God Glory! Sincerely, Karen

  42. Rhoda, that’s going to be such a great space. It doesn’t have to be plumb and perfect to be just perfect. Right? I know you’ll love it and have such great memories of working with your dad.

  43. Your dad is amazing and such a skilled carpenter! I wish I lived in your area so I can come to your yard sale!

  44. Love seeing that precious daddy of yours helping you with your dream home. It reminds me of my sweet Papaw. Loved seeing those “old” hands working so hard.

  45. Your sweet daddy! What a trooper to do all this for you and what wonderful memories you are making by tackling this project together. It looks great! And boy, I’d love to come to your yard sale, too!

  46. Not sure if you mentioned this on one of your previous porch posts — do you need to add screening to the underside of the floorboards to keep the bugs from coming up between them? We have CRAZY bad mosquitos in our neck of the woods, and those little suckers will squeeze through any nook or cranny for a quick snack. Screening underneath keeps them from finding their way in. FWIW!!

    • HI, Laura, someone mentioned that and I may add some screening underneath, we’ll see how much time we have to get things done. Might be something I add later. I just want to get on the porch right now!

  47. I think they look amazing! The double landing is so charming!! Can’t wait to see you and your parents sitting out there enjoying that breeze!

  48. I love a painted wood floor! It’s looking great. Your Dad is a Rock Star!

  49. Lisa Rosso says:

    I really have loved following your journey, your blog and especially your sweet mother and father posts. I feel like I know you all. I can only imagine how wonderful your family gatherings are in the South. You are truly blessed.

  50. Here you are, still making memories with that sweet daddy of yours! I am in awe of your progress on the porch, but also his amazing work ethic. What a blessing!! Love that you’re re-using some of the wood… xo Heidi
    PS — hope to swing by your yard sale next week! would love to see you!

  51. Janice Vincent says:

    Another member of “Rhoda’s Dad’s Fan Club”…..

    I know it’s been quite obvious to you how many of us have a “crush” on your Dad…. Many because he brings back fond memories of our own fathers. My dad passed away when I was only 28. I sure wish I had had the time to get to “know” him when I was an adult.

    Your porch is incredibly wonderful…. In fact, all of your projects are done in the same quality of Meryl Streep’s acting – award winning.

    Can I suggest that you frame one of the photos of your Dad working on the porch and hang it on the porch wall, if you can?

    (If you’d like, all of us that have such an affection for your dad could send small photos that would surround his portrait.)

    I love the adjective “wonky”….. and know that I’d love to have a wonky deck by my dad.



  52. Rhoda, love seeing your Dad’s work; you’re lucky to have him; my dad and I worked on projects to the very end andit is fun to remember all the things we tackled together. I’m a Realtor and wish I had someone like him on my team – we’d conquer the world like you two have!!! Really looking good!

  53. These are my favorite posts!

    Your stairs are wabi-sabi and they will forever remind you of your father. Just like great paintings/painters have distinct painterly styles and brushstrokes, your stairs have your daddy’s ‘signature’ style.

    What a wonderful way to spend time together and have a common goal.

    There’s only one “hiccup” in your post – – I’m thinking your dad will beat you to the couch on the porch for the first nap!

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