Trimming out the Porch Finale

This is a big, big week coming up!!  The 2nd annual Haven conference is happening this week, starting on Thursday night, so my week is going to be busy, busy, busy!  I’ve got posts lined up for you so nothing will stop on the blog, but just know that I’ll be running like a crazy lady this week.  The Haven team is so excited for this year’s conference and we just know that it’s going to be even better than last year!!  You’ll be hearing all about it after it’s over too.

But meanwhile, we’ve still been in project mode at my house.  Even though we are now enjoying my screened porch so much and it’s all beautifully decorated, the outside wasn’t quite so beautiful and we’ve been trying to get all that finished up.  Just those little details that take awhile to complete and the rain hasn’t helped either.  Oh, the rain we’ve had!  So, we had a few days of sunshine last week and were able to get most of it done…..finally.  I’ve been living with a mess of a backyard since March when we set up shop out there. My dad’s table saw has been sitting on sawhorses and we just covered it with a tarp to protect it from the rain, so it’s nice to get that down and stored again.

messy backyard

So this is the mess I see when I look outside my porch windows.  Not exactly paradise out here.  I’m hoping to get this all cleaned up in August and all this debris hauled away.

stair progress

Little by little we are finishing up the stairs and getting everything trimmed out.  It’s amazing all the cuts and fitting that has to be done on something like this.  I really didn’t think it would take 4 months to finish the porch, but it sure did. Between rainy weather and both of us out of town and traveling at times, it’s gone on a lot longer than anticipated.

Some siding was added which you can see has to be painted too.

measuring trim

We reused some of the wood that we took down when the screening went up, but a few extra boards had to be put up.  Dad is measuring to add another board right below the windows.  Then we will trim out around the screens and hide all the nails behind strips of wood.

fence posts

We bought these fence post pieces to rip up and use as our trim around the screens. All will be painted out eventually.

ripping boards

Ripping up the fence pieces.

sawing boards

Cutting them to fit.

ready to paint

After we ripped all those small slats to fit between the screens, we got them primed and painted.

needs trim

Here you can see the outside where the screening is tacked up and waiting for trim. The trim work will finish it off nicely especially when I finally get everything painted out here.

working on stairs

We alternated between finishing out the stairs and working on the screen trimming.

cutting down posts

Finally got around to cutting down those big posts that anchor the bottom steps.

cutting with skillsaw

Dad marked his line and started cutting with the skillsaw.

sawing off posts

Then he finished off the cut with his handsaw.

done with posts

He loves that handsaw.

cute copper caps

I got these cute copper cap pieces at Lowes to fit on top of the posts.

copper caps in place
Don’t you love them?  They add a little bit of bling to the stairs.

stairs progress

Dad has been busy working on these stairs and we are finally finished with them.  Lots of cutting and fitting in pieces here and there. They are definitely not perfect and a pro carpenter would probably not like them, but I think they are pretty and work just fine. They are nice and solid and should stay here for years. All of this wood is pressure treated and should hold up for a long, long time. I’ll soon paint all of this out with a solid wood stain. You can see we reused some of the old stair materials too, that’s where the blue color comes from.

stairs close

The stairs feel good going up and down now.

copper cap close

Close up of my copper caps on top.

painting strips

Next all those slats were primed and painted with 2 coats of exterior white.

adding trim

And we got started on that job next.  Dad cut all those slats to fit right on top of the screens where the wood posts are and it will cover all the nails.

before trimmed out windows

This is before we started.

cutting off board

Back to trimming off the ends of the rails going down, I had him cut those at an angle.  You know, all fancy like. Smile

hand sawing end

He finished that off with the handsaw.

angled board

I’ll sand it a bit and paint it all out. Paint will make it all look better.

dad resting

Dad taking a break.

stairs finished

So here we are til this point, almost done with the stairs.

trimming slats

Starting to cut the slats.

windows trimmed

Now all the trimming around the windows goes up and I’m glad I painted most of it before it went up. Much easier than cutting in around that screen.

windows trimmed out

White slats all in place and finished.

side windows trimmed

On this end too.  I have plenty of painting to finish up as well, but I’m so happy to be done with the trim work.

closer windows trimmed

Front side trimmed out.

side of stairs

We figured out one more thing to make the stairs look better and cut some of those fence slats to fit on the ends of the stairs.

end of stairs

Cut them on an angle and slid them in place and got them nailed with the nailgun.


I think it looks pretty darn good.

screened porch before

Here’s a reminder of where the porch started when we bought the house.  A shell of a porch, very basic with nothing finished out. The old stairs were so pathetic, they were hard to walk up and down.  But, I can tell you I was ecstatic that the house had a porch, I knew we could do something with it….and we did!

stairs are done

One of my projects will be adding a brick landing at the bottom of the stairs.  My dad has lots of left over brick and I’m going to get those over here and make a nice brick landing coming out from the bottom of the stairs and I’ll fill in that little alcove with bricks too, which will help keep the dirt down and everything cleaner.

I can’t wait to get this backyard cleaned up!  I hate living with a mess like this, but it was necessary to get this job done.  We are both so happy it’s all finished.  Well mostly finished.  The other end of the porch still  has to have lattice added.  Dad is going to build a gate that will open and close for storage under the porch and we have to clean out all the extra lumber that has been stored under there.  So, as soon as I can, we’ll clean up the mess, get rid of the extra lumber (which means Dad will take most of it back to his house, he is a lumber hoarder) and then I’ll have my pretty backyard again.  I think I’ll get another Bagster for clean-up this time. Those work really well.

This is my view through the screens….yuck!

backyard debris

Yay! It’s a great feeling to get the outside finished and it will soon be pretty like the inside.  Can’t wait to get the yard cleaned up and everything painted. I think my Dad did an awesome job on this project, don’t you?

I took one more little video of him as we were finishing up, so enjoy!


- Rhoda


  1. I’ve loved following your progress on this house. It’s all been pretty amazing. I can understand how anxious you are to get that mess in the backyard cleaned up. Stuff like that can drive you crazy, but it is what it is when you’re doing a big remodeling project!! And of course, I am in your dad’s fan club, and have enjoyed the videos of him so much. Sweet man!

  2. Ah Rhoda! Looking good and it’s so sweet to hear yours and your Daddy’s voices! Enjoy the rest of the summer and the fruits of your labor!!

  3. I always have the urge to hug your dad and pour him some iced tea! He’s just the BEST! Porch looks awesome, Rhoda — I don’t know how you do all the things you do. 🙂 Thank you for another awesome Haven experience… 3 priceless days.
    xo Heidi

  4. Your Daddy’s hands, earthly treasure from above.

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