So the demolition began...
The floor is mahogany that we had to stain since it weathers gray overtime and I wanted a rich brown color. If we had to do it over again, I would probably go with the composite. Even though I love the wood, it is a lot of maintenance. I have to re-stain it every other year because the edges and the stairs wear quickly with the winter snow.
On the other hand, I don't think I would ever want to put vinyl siding on the house. I love the wood and the paint job should last 7-10 years before it really starts to peel. We also decided to paint the house at the same time (why not?). It was white with forest green trim and we painted it a light beige with cream trim. By far, the toughest part of the job was the ceiling of the porch. Here is my darling husband in agony sanding the ceiling with the new porch covered in plastic:
The ceiling hadn't been painted in awhile but it was a beautiful bead board when finished (with a new light too:).
Here is the porch after the columns were back up. You can see where some work was done to glue the columns. The rails are pressure treated wood and I waited a year to paint them so they could "breathe". That was a long year to wait!
Looking at the picture, on the right hand side of the lattice under the porch, we left a door that could be lifted and now we can store wood or other items we rarely use under there. It came in handy one time when a rabid skunk was under our porch. A police officer crawled under there to scare it out (um yeah, it was a little crazy...). Here are two pictures of the completed porch from the street and up close...
We also re-stained the deck during this whole process. First, I cleaned the entire deck with deck stain remover and conditioner from Home Depot. I taped off all the newly painted siding:
Luckily, I haven't had to re-stain the lattice yet because that was a PAIN! Before I do that again, I hope we can build a new deck. The deck is supported by 2x4's just like the porch was. Also, where you see the vertical white board going down the siding to the right of the door, the area where the door is used to be a side back porch. The bead board ceiling is still inside but it was enclosed to make the kitchen larger. That area is still supported by 2x4's as well and has had major sagging issues. It is another project for a later date. Do they ever end? I think not!