One of our favourite things to work on is porches. I think we all like porches, and most of us have fond memories of sitting on a porch on a warm summer evening, enjoying a cool drink and chatting. Porches are the face of most older homes, and should be an aspiration for all new homes – a porch just makes a house! This particular porch was looking a bit tired – the columns, railings and floor had all served this house well but were tired and in need of replacement:
We have done a lot of research and experimentation to find materials that will last and look appropriate on older homes. The challenge is that good old wood has its shortcomings, mainly that we have used up a good chunk of the old growth species that used to be fine outside in the elements. Coupled with the fact that I am not convinced that modern paints last as long as the old oil and lead based paints of the past, and its not surprising that exterior woodwork just does not seem to last as long as it once did.
This porch presented an opportunity to come up with a sleeker look, one that better fits the style of the home. Columns with proper entasis in a marble/fiberglass mix were used for longevity. The railing spindles were constructed from synthetic wood/epoxy mix that weathers very well, and the top and bottom rails are of Accoya -an acetylated wood that promises to resist rot far better than natural wood while still be paintable. The floor is TREX which allows for no painting, so no peeling paint; a common problem with painted tongue and groove wood floors.
A very traditionally styled porch made of long lasting, durable materials. Many summers of enjoyment await.
Rory McDonnell is a General Contractor, Licensed Carpenter and Architectural Designer with Build, a construction firm in Stratford, Ontario, specializing in new custom homes and renovations.
I am a licensed carpenter,