Last month, month seven of our four month project, we saw three solid work days. And on those three days we got a porch with crisp white railings. What a difference a porch makes!
We chose Trex decking in Lava Rock, which is one their colors that has some shading that makes it look a bit more natural. I love it.
One one of those three work days the front and side doors were stained (handles and knobs are still just temporary.) We chose Minwax's gel stain in hickory. The first coat went on very light and I was a little concerned it wasn't going to "go" as well with the decking as our sample had (we did a sample on pine and the doors are Therma-Tru Classic Craft fiberglass doors.) But coat #2 darkened up a bit and on our own we did a third coat last weekend. Rookie tip - wear gloves when using stain. I think I may do a fourth if we get another warm day before the painters come to seal them. But they're looking closer to what I envisioned now.
I'd love to use the same stain for the beadboard ceiling, but the gel stain doesn't get into the grooves very well and Minwax doesn't have "hickory" in their regular stain. We'll probably do a few tests in the spring on scrap beadboard. There's no rush on the ceiling since I agreed to stain it myself if the contractor upgraded from paint-grade to stain-grade beadboard wood.
The oh-so welcoming bare bulb above the front door is just waiting for the lantern-style entry light that lamps.com so generously gave us a few months ago. I can't believe it has taken so long for the electrician to come back! I cannot wait to show you guys the light we chose. It's easy enough for us to hang on our own, but we're trying not to step on toes unless we really have to. So we wait.
At the back entry, which is really our main entry since it leads to the new mudroom, we have a new stoop with steps to the entry walk, patio, and out onto the lawn. It's exactly as I envisioned it when we were working with the architect last year.
Disregard the ropes and stakes - we were trying to grow grass in the late fall and the ropes are our feeble attempt to keep the dog and boy off the new grass.
The side and front doors are the same door and the same color, but they look different. From what I can gather, one had stain applied with a rag and the other with a brush (applied by two different people at the same time.) I think the brush must have put more stain on so the front door is darker. I found that the gel stain was easier to work with when using a rag when I did my coat though, so I think it's just a preference thing. Hopefully we can get the back door a little darker.
I think the porch and especially the railings tie the addition together with the sunroom well. I was a little concerned that the brick portion of the house wasn't blending well with the addition, but I think all that white on the porch breaks up the brick nicely. I feel like it's coming together and I'm hoping the shutters on the addition will bring it all together even more. I'm glad we went with the four window option and not the two.
So that's where things stand today. No one has been inside in a long time, but things are coming together really nicely as we slowly unpack and spread out. I can't wait to show you our new mudroom and all the work that's gone on in there!