The Front Porch Exterior Reveal!

Uh, okay...The Almost Done Big Reveal!

I can't take it anymore!  We've been working on this most recent project forever now.  Actually it's only been a few weeks, but between ordering material, waiting for it to arrive, the great delivery debacle, weather and just seems like this project has been endless!  Well, it's finally done!  Okay, not really done done, but for the most part - done!  There are still some punch list things to do, but the main portion is complete.  So first, let's take a little trip down memory lane!  At the beginning of the summer the front of the house looked like this:

Painting the Railings

When we remodeled the inside of the front porch, it really revealed how shabby the outside was beginning to look.  So I got the idea to paint the railings on the front stoop...

Then the front door, and it started to look pretty good...

Then Came the Shutters

But then one day I decided the house would look so much better with shutters!  What I didn't mention in that post was that black shutters weren't the original choice...not at all.  I wanted brown shutter to match the brown theme we had going but, as luck would have it, Home Depot and Lowes had both discontinued brown shutters.  The other thing I neglected to mention was that I also actually tried green shutters!  That's right...and here was my line of thinking:  no brown, but I wanna get this done today.  Hmm, the house used to be white and green, and hey!  green and brown go together!  I'll do green shutters!  If you look back at this post, you'll notice that there's no picture of the green shutters.  The truth is, I put one up, went down to the sidewalk and just about gagged - it looked horrible!  I couldn't even take a picture.'s how it ended up looking...

Starting Prep Work

Immediately I knew this just wasn't going to work.  The black shutters, brown porch, yellow was like someone spilled a bag of M&Ms!  Something had to be done.  We considered scraping and painting, but thought that would just be covering the mess instead of fixing it.  For some reason I kept getting anxious about the thought of new cedar shingles.  I don't know exactly my worry, but they were ruled out.  We considered some other applications, then settled on vinyl siding.  I know, I know, but as my neighbor put it, I'm preparing for old age!  While we waited for the siding to arrive, we got started on the prep work:

1.  Just a close-up of the condition the shingles were in.  Look closely and you'll see the original color, a very lovely green that probably would have looked nice with those green shutters.
2.  Shingle removal.  This part was kind of fun.  It's amazing the excellent shape the underlayment wood was in, and neat to see the old paper under the shingles.  Check out this post to see another fun find!
3.  All clad with 1/2" plywood.  I know it's probably a bit of overkill but the bottom edges that would be exposed to rain and snow were wrapped with 30W tar paper.
4.  Then 30W tar paper was put over everything!  
Of course that wasn't the end of the prep.  After removing all the shingles, etc, we realized the stoop was in fairly rough shape.  The structure was sound, but the OSB boards were pretty well worn.  Believe it or not, getting the stoop in shape was the longest, hardest part of the project, probably because the "apparent" progress was so slow in coming.
Eventually the siding arrived!  Our criteria for vinyl siding was simple.  A quality product and a good color, but primarily we wanted the siding that looked like shingles.  That part was very important to us.  We wanted to keep the original feel of 173, and several houses in our neighborhood had gone to the straight siding look. It looks okay on their homes, but just not what we were looking for.  Of course I took a gazillion progress pictures, but let's just have at it once and for all.  You ready?  No more tricks, drum roll please!

Certainteed Slate Gray = Valspar's Elephant Gray

I so wish I had a better camera!  Depending on your monitor the siding has a hint of blue, but it's a gray called Flagstone.  I'm comparing the color with some paint for things with the punch list and it's almost an exact match with Valspar's "Elephant Gray."  The siding is Certainteed Vinyl Shake and Shingle  7" Straight Edge Rough-Split Shakes.  We decided to trim out in white for's a closer shot:

Certainteed Shakes

The reason we chose this particular siding was the shakes actually have some relief to them, which causes shadows and even up fairly close in person, they look like real shakes!  One of the neighbors driving by stopped and asked if they were pre-painted shingles!  So here's my favorite shot so far.  I think it captures the feel of the front porch, inside and out!

If you look at the pictures closely enough you'll see the punch list items...that'll be another post.  Like I said, I just couldn't wait any longer!  Immer arbeit!
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