Friday, May 21, 2010

Repairing my porch?

As an update to my veggie garden, I spent yesterday weeding my garden,

then using all the compost that was ready in the container in this photo.

You can now see my spinach, even though I ran out of compost as I was finishing this up.

The weeds were overwhelming, as you can see how full the compost container above is. My next step will be to place shredded paper (junk mail and newspaper) over this. I'm starting to feel better about the garden and the weeds, but I'm really sore and tired. It was a full day.

As an update on my flower garden growth, here are the remains of The Embrace.

You can see the plants and wildflowers in the garden have take over, and the tulip is just a memory. More photos of my very overgrown front garden below.

I don't like to show my front porch because it is in sad need of repair. About the only good thing about it is the fact that Bleubeard likes to sit on it while I'm outside.

It is in such bad shape, I decided I need to do something about it. So Monday, the first of the contractors I called for bids came to measure and give me a bid on a few things I want done.

In years past, I might have done it myself, but my arthritis has gotten so bad I now feel it would take me two years to make all the repairs and I can't take that long to get into my front door.

Here is the list I gave the contractor on which he was to make a bid:
Repair and paint porch.
Replace trim around columns.
Add a hand rail going down steps so I don’t slip and fall.
Fix or replace the gutters.
Remove branches close to the roof so the new roof doesn’t get ruined.

Although it is still completely safe, it looks bad.

The wood is bad (but not rotten) in some spots and will one day become a hazard if I don't do something about it.

It really looks bad when anyone comes for a visit.

It's going to take more than a fresh coat of paint to make this a functional porch.

Here's the first guy.

After taking measurements, he took a few pictures, too.

Here he is taking pictures of my porch from the street.

I don't see what he can tell from the street. My once nearly barren front yard is now overrun with plants fighting for space in this truly overgrown front yard. Not even the irises, which are in bloom in every other part of the city, have shown their selves yet.

While I wait for flowers to bloom, I must also wait for this written bid, then go through the process at least two more times. Not sure how long this process will take, but for now, it's a waiting game and scheduling nightmare that keeps me from my art. Between my front porch and yard, my veggie garden woes, and grass that is so high I might get lost in it, I won't be doing any art for several days. I also have been unable to visit all my favorite blogs, but hope to catch up tomorrow or Sunday. AHHHH!!! The joys of home ownership.

I was searching for any blog that talks about home building construction and most of the ones I found under that category were written by fire fighters who discuss the problems they have when they are trying to put out fires. I finally found one that was not fire fighter related. The blog is run by Elspeth Briscoe of Elspeth Briscoe Designs. In her profile, she notes that she graduated from Oxford with a degree in Landscape Design with distinction. Her belief is people should treat their outside space the same as their inside space. Her blog is filled with art and many videos. I loved the art she featured. I thought I was getting a construction blog, but it turned into much more. Enjoy.

13 thoughtful remarks:

Halle said...

You got a picture of Bleubeard's face! Congratulations. See all you have to do is make like your not even paying him any mind and "click"...got ya!

Dianne said...

I like all that green in front of your house! good luck with the bids on the repairs...how nice it will be to have a comfy front porch to have your Tues. Tea on!

Patti said...

OMG - guess who is getting the last of the bids before we give the go ahead to having the front porch torn off and rebuilt! yes, we are in the same boat and I have to tell you, it's a lot more than I expected, though we have columns to replace, the wood underneath, new steps, etc. And we live in a historical zone which means lots of little detail to get approved - sigh...

peggy gatto said...

I'd love to come sit on your porch!!!
I love the gardens!

Lynn said...

What a busy life you live. I once lived in a run down old Victorian (for 15 yrs, which they tore down after I moved out)...but I loved the old house and cried when I left it...even though I was "moving up in the world"... I know you will be happy with your new porch. The house is very charming to my eye. I love those kinds of porches and would love sitting out there reading a book curled up in a chair. Soon it will be enjoyable.

Lori Saul said...

Enjoyed this post so much! I too have been weeding like crazy - your vegetable patch looks great. I have an herb garden that I have had to let go ( because of a new puppy) but he's older now and will try again. I love your house it is charming and yes all homes are alot of maintenance( we do our own work still- but it is getting harder!) Do get a number of bids for the work and aim for the (middle) quote- not too high and not too cheap. It is usually the closest to accurate on what a job will cost. Good luck Elizabeth!

Donna: said...

Love your porch E... :) nice and comfy. Guess we all need to keep things in repair. Since Motrin is my NEW friend in the mornings, I agree help is needed for major repairs. Love the shot from the street!!

Marilyn Rock said...

I love porches! Yours looks great and inviting even with the repairs needed. Hope to see pictures of the progression. xxoo

Marlynn said...

I too would love to sit on your porch with you. I love it - even tho it needs some repair. I was raised with porches and loved sitting out on them watching the world past by! Hang in there and play the game, it will be worth it in the end and won't take any time to get the repairs done. Also love your overgrown "English" garden in the front yard! LOL - Derfleus was the word for this one! LOVE it, sounds like a flower don't you think?

Diane said...

It gets so overwhelming, doesn't it? I feel for you, and then it seems when one thing is done, something else comes up. Good luck with everything--your porch will be lovely, I'm sure of that!!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

how exciting that you'll get to have your porch redone ... I know things by our front entrance nag at me the most, you see them coming and going often!
it looks like that fine big tree gives you lots of shade
I feel VERY behind in blogland, at least you are busy getting things done!
oxo

Margaret said...

Hi Elizabeth, glad to see you've had a busy month! We just built a raised bed yesterday, can't wait to get planting! Margaret

Dawn said...

Oh this will be marvelous when it's done! to be able to sit and enjoy I do agree though look much more cosmetic than anything else good luck and BLUE looks stunning.

love Dawn xx