Summer 2003 - Porch Rebuilding

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Before - Ivy has been the home for many critters and the bane of Jo-Ann's yard work tasks.  It kept the home cool, but made it tough to find the front door.

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After - Where's Waldo in this picture?  I think he may be relaxing on the porch!


The Vessing's always considered the South side of the house the entrance -- but the Lee's changed it to the East when the carport was put in 20 years ago.  So after consulting with many neighbors - here is the project to redefine the entrance and porch areas.

March - Stripped

All ivy has been removed and some of the handrails.  We try some different arch details so see what works for us.  We decide on the "filled pattern" as the open one will attract bird nests.  

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April - New Stairs

We also decide to use the center of the porch to define the new front of the house.  The old steps are just in the wrong place.  So here Jo checks out the new ones.  One neighbor suggest "rounding" the steps - a good idea but lots of work.

May - First footprints

Our neighbor supplied a small child to inaugurate the new stairs.  Here one can see the first footprints .. a sure fire way to inaugurate the equipment


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May - Out with the Old

This is a pure photo op!  John enlists the help of George Mata to demo out about 4000 pounds of concrete which has been setting up since 1951.  John went to the rental store and lends moral support.

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June - Progress

Here the arches are done and handrails underway.

Shop Work

Thank goodness for the band saw and the shop.  It is pretty easy to do the work in the shop and then take to the porch.  But be sure to measure carefully.

We decide on a hitching post design for the balusters and use a lot of the former handrail as stock.  Clear fir from the 1930's, we think.

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Fill in the old stairs hole. 

 Pretty good match!

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August - Concrete

So the porch complete, it's time to move on to the sidewalks and entrance.  Here John enjoys a new mixer which makes short work of making concrete from the bags.  The garbage can is just the right height to help keep the 80# bags high enough to dump into the hopper.

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Panama Canal

So the canal was not dug by hand - but the railroad across the sierra was.  

John gains respect for the efforts of just plugging away with a shovel to move large amounts of dirt.


Tom Sawyer at Home in Pleasant Hill

Kevin Arredondo helps out a bunch spreading the bedding gravel.  He thinks this is actually a fun job - and it really is!




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Jo-Ann Practices for the Beach

It must be time for Hawaii.  Jo practices up her skills at barefoot sand moving by filling in the pavers with bedding sand from Monterey.  It takes a while using this method - but, Oh how therapeutic!


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