The north-facing side of our farmhouse got a major renovation in the summer of 2011. Above is the house in its final, multi-year state. Below is a “before” shot of this side of our farmhouse in February 2011, when we first bought it.
Note the broken window on the second floor, and what you can’t see is that a broken gutter eroded the masonry around the stone foundation, so the whole house needed to be jacked up and the foundation repaired. When they did this jacking, they broke every other window in the house. this was okay, because we planned to replace them anyways.
Below are our floor plans, before and after. The second floor is first, and then the first floor. We gave the north side of the farmhouse a 22′ x 10′ addition (see the left side of each of the diagrams below).
The goal was to make one large, open concept room on the first floor that would accommodate a family gathering at holidays and in summers. On the second floor, we replaced a window with a door onto a new roof deck over the new dining porch addition. (You can click on these thumbnails to enlarge them.)
As you can see from third diagram, the house originally had a very small dining room, separated from an equally small kitchen. We have six children, four of whom were married by 2011, with three grandchildren born, and more on the way. We wanted Storybook Farm to be able to accommodate a group of about 40 people awake, and sleep at least 25 adults and children at full capacity. To that end, we planned to renovate some of our outbuildings to become guest houses (or build new) as finances allowed.
The first step was demolition. To the left, you can see the old porch ripped off.
The next step was foundation work. The house sagged towards the north side, and it had to be leveled before anything else could be done. Here is the foundation restored after the house was jacked up.
Under the Dining Porch, we planned a cinder block foundation to be built. This encloses a crawl space that’s about five feet high that houses the essential components of modern plumbing: a water pump to draw water from the spring head, a filter to keep the water clean, a propane flash water heater, and a pressure tank. There’s also ample room for storage under there as well, but it’s damp and things mold, so we don’t store much down there.
Next came the cinder block work of the new addition’s foundation.
We decided that we would paint the foundation bricks black and then cover that with vinyl lattice foundation. This gave the idea of an existing porch that had been closed in.
The plan was that in future years, we would extend the porch along the north side in order to join with the existing east (front) porch in a wrap-around version.
Here are pictures of the construction of the addition, and the porch above it. Enjoy!
After the addition was completed, our contractor built the rooftop deck. Then it was up to us to paint both the addition and the older portion of the north side of the farmhouse.
Because the ground fell away quite steeply, our 20′ ladder only reached to the tops of the first floor windows. We were perplexed as to how to complete the job, but a new friend came to our aid and lent us his scaffolding, and another lent us a 40′ ladder. We should probably have killed ourselves, but by God’s grace, we did not, and we got the house painted up to the apex.
The house stayed this way from 2011 to 2015. There was a “door to the future” from the dining room to an imaginary deck/wrap around porch to come, but we wondered if we’d ever have the finances for it.
In 2015, we received an inheritance that allowed us to complete our plans to renovate the front porch and extend it around to the dining porch door. Below is the finished project, after painting, in 2016.