Monday, March 4, 2013

Make an Entrance: Renovation Diary

The story of our new doors began a year ago, when my husband decided to remodel the front porch.

Below, you can see an original photo of Rattlebridge. (Just for the record, Bandwidth and I liked the gable. My friend Allison suggested we add a copper roof, which was a great idea.) Dr. Will had another opinion. He was so unhappy with the porch, he wanted to sell the house.
He seldom has strong opinions about design, so this was significant.

The porch was ripped off, and a dinky one was added.

An inexpensive Sun window was added by my contractor, but it was too small, among other problems.

Another Sun window was added--a larger one with a fussy, extremely white grille.
It overpowered the smaller windows. Suddenly the new window had become an undesirable focal point. I showed photos to friends, along with a few experts in the field, nd they all said the window was an eyesore; but the porch was even worse. So I set aside the window problem for a while.

At this point, I sent photos to my friend Susan, from Between Naps on the Porch,
and she showed me photos of her gorgeous porch--it has a classic triple step-down.
I showed the photo to my builder. Using Susan's photos, the porch was re-fashioned.

At Susan's suggestion, the pea gravel was replaced...

... with pavers in a herringbone pattern. Love! 
Now it was time to think about the accent window.
As I said, everyone hated it for a variety of reasons.
As one friend said, it was a "Goldilocks" window. The grilles were too thick on the outside, clashing with the small Anderson grilles. Yet they matched the thickness of the spider web arch.
Speaking of that arch, it didn't reach the top of the window. One friend said the design was busy. Another said it should be bigger. We all agreed that the grilles were just too, too white.
We decided to live with it and see if the window would grow on us.
But the thick grilles in the accent window became a focal point. That's all anyone saw! A wise friend pointed out that it was far better for the grilles to be uniform on the exterior windows than to have them match inside the house. Curb appeal and all that, right?
After a year of hating the window, we contacted Marvin Windows/Doors. They came up with a design. I didn't want to lose the pretty spider web design over the front door, but after a family discussion, we decided to replace the original door and re-purpose it.
Here is an exterior view of the new window. From the exterior, the grilles are all the same size--and color. However, the window is too low. The top of the arch should align with the tops of the other windows. Unfortunately, when the window was installed, I was not consulted. Nor was I given options. Most certainly, I would not have given approval for the masons to add bricks or a keystone. Marvin Windows is looking into the situation, and in an email they stated that the window should have been level with the other windows--unless my contractor or I specifically wanted the window to be lower. My husband has already consulted an architect and structural engineers.

And an interior shot. The window is very pretty from the inside.
But the exterior view is much more important.
So, while the troubles continue, I am trying to keep a positive attitude. As my mother always says, "What man breaks, man can fix."
At least, we have a pretty step-down on the porch's roof.
Our journey began here, with a one-dimensional porch roof:

Each time I look at the porch and the pretty step-down trim, I say, "Thank you, Susan!!"
She turned this porch around!

Coming Soon:
Crockpot BBQ Sliders
Powder Room Update
A New Fireplace Mantle

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  1. You hit the jackpot! The double front door fits the size of your home better than the single one. And I love the design on the new windows and door. I like it better than the old design. Sometimes it just takes time to come up with the best design for the home. It's so much fun to come along with you as you make your new house your new home.

  2. Wow this looks fabulous. Sadly sometimes we make a few mistakes before we find the perfect solution.

    Have a great day!

    1. "Mistakes" should be my middle name. I've been on a roll lately. :-0

  3. Oh, it pays to keep working on a project till you get it the way you want it. Kudos to all of you for preserving! The front porch with the new doors and the gothic window look fantastic! Love, love, love that stairway!

    1. I do love the Gothic panes! Thanks for always being here to support me, Sarah!

  4. Love the arched window, and can't wait to see the finished kitchen!!

    1. The counters were removed last week. It's getting there bit by bit.

  5. Gorgeous! I love your new front doors. I also love your your painted brick. What beautiful changes you are making. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. Thanks! I love the painted brick. It was so much easier choosing the exterior paint than the interior. I would have thought it would be the opposite. But I sure am glad the exterior worked the first time! Whew!

  6. I adore that arched window, timeless and elegant. Beautiful home. :)

  7. Looks great! I like the changes! We have Marvin windows in our house and they are wonderful for several reasons!

    1. Thanks! I'm so pleased with the Marvin windows and doors!

  8. Oh so pretty!...and I might add I love the last photo best....happiness!!!!

  9. Love the Gothic everything so far. :)

  10. Well, like you, I actually liked the original look and you certainly went through so much to get to where you are now...which I love! You have a beautiful home. It is so stately and impressive!

  11. just beautiful....So glad that Susan was able to help you with the porch design!...the door is gorgeous along with the window!

  12. It really does look absolutely beautiful! Definitely worth all the hard work :)

  13. Perferfect! Susan really scored on this. It really looks wonderful.