It’s been a long time since I wrote about any progress to our front door, and any of you who’ve kept up with this blog for a while may have thought we’d forgotten to finish our “plan”. (I assure you, I had not!)
But…the time has finally come!
I’m really excited about this post because, not only was it a heck-of-a-lot more work than anything we’ve tackled before, it has also really helped to update the exterior of our home.
Okay, so if you’ll remember, here’s how our front entry looked June of 2012:
We painted the doorway white some time shortly after that and then attached shutters in July of 2013:
Fast forward another year, and here we are!
The process began months (or, really a year or two) earlier with plans for our roofed pergola. I cannot stress this step in the process enough. Sometimes it felt like we were beating a dead horse, but since we were (are) amateurs, it was critical in minimizing our stress once we entered the building phase. We talked about what each of us was envisioning. We researched ideas and sketched out our plans. We tried to anticipate what problems we could face. We priced lumber and supplies online. We talked with people in our lives who knew how to build. We made an exhaustive list for our Lowe’s trip.
Then, we set a date to build and recruited some help. This came in the form of my brother-in-law who helped with the manual labor (my dad threw out his back days earlier but still graciously managed to come and help out for a while), my in-laws who brought lunch and helped with just about anything else we needed, and my mom who kept the chilluns so we could actually focus and get stuff done. The hubs and I were talking about how DIYers get all the glory for rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty, but (in our experience) it takes a village to get the job done. We’re so grateful to everyone who helped us out!
The first step was to tear out the old awning, see what was left underneath, and power wash the area before we built over it again.
As in true DIY form, we did experience a few hiccups in our plan. The biggest one was the way we attached our posts to the concrete slab. We unsuccessfully tried a couple of frustrating methods before using L brackets and bits designed to drill into concrete.
The second most frustrating step was the way our corrugated steel bowed.
Even when we drilled it to the pergola while pulling it taut, the front bowed. We remedying it by attaching 1×2 pieces in between each rafter. In the end, we like the look better than without it.
One of the hardest parts about the project both in planning and in execution was building around that little corner. It was a pain because that affected the 3 inch slope on the last rafter. Let me tell you, math is an important skill in building!
Because we used pressure treated wood, we have to wait a while until we can stain it. But the plan is to stain it the same color as the shutters and then paint the concrete gray.
We had many moments of frustration, but we knew that we’d feel pride once we were finished. And we do. One of the areas where I feel most accomplished is in anticipating the cost and sticking to our budget. We built this puppy (including the painting and staining that have yet to be completed) for right around $250.
One thing is for sure: it was a learning experience. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s still standing! 🙂