After removing the shingles from the south end of the front porch, I figured I should cut an access panel into the wall so we could use the area under the porch for storage, you know, things like ladders, lumber and whatever else we have that we just don't know where else to stow it. So I started out by drilling a hole in those beautiful boards. In the picture below you can see a hole just to the right of the access panel. When I was looking at the porch, I couldn't for the life of me figure out where the porch floor was in relation to the ground. You'd think it would have been easy to figure out but believe me - nothing is easy with old houses. So that hole gave me a sense of where the bottom of the porch floor was and where the studs were. From there it was just a matter of drilling another hole (still not exactly on the mark), drawing some lines and then cutting with the saber saw.
After opening the whole, imagine my surprise when I found lattice behind there! After talking to a neighbor whose grandfather had built most of the house in the neighborhood, we came to the conclusion that when 173 was built, it likely had an open porch like a few other houses on the block. At the very least, the lower half of the porch was just lattice! Me being me, I found this exciting and interesting...it leaves me with more thoughts about what 173 really looked like when she was first built!
Anyway, with the days getting shorter, and that whole job-thing taking up most of the day, I find myself just trying to tick off one little point of the punch list each evening before the darkness falls. Tonight was the access panel, or what we've taken to calling the "escape hatch" (although I've been under the porch...it is not a place to escape to!). Here's the hatch after the siding was up:
The raw materials: leftover plywood, leftover vinyl lattice and leftover tar paper (picking up on a theme here?).
After cutting the plywood size, I wrapped it in tar paper. This served two purposes: One - a bit of weather proofing. I always hate the look of plywood when the weather starts wearing it out. The other purpose was - I had something in mind.
Then I cut some lattice to size and used some small nails to face-nail the lattice in place (I ended up cinching the nails on the back side). Here's how it turned out:
So the thought was that the tar paper behind the lattice would just make the whole thing look open, kind of like a grate. One more item off the punch list!