Houzz Logo Print

Pics of my new additions (long post)

16 years ago

Ive posted a few times about some of the work IÂve had done on the house and the new gardens around it, so thought IÂd post a few pics, so folks could see what IÂve been talking about.

Background: This old farmhouse was built in 1770,and I bought it in July 2003. It needed some work but was essentially sound. A chronic problem was the fact that the water ran off of both the roof of the main house and the el on the back (used to be a barn, then a carriage house and now houses the kitchen, mud room and two-car garage). IÂm sure this problem was exacerbated, when the metal roof was put on by a prior owner. The water piled up in the corner and then came right through the stone foundation of the main house and ran across the dirt floor. This must have been going on since the house was built and at a minimum resulted in a useless, damp/wet basement that smelled. The smell even came up into the first floor on occasion. Some of the floor beams had been replaced, so they probably rotted from the constant dampness. The outside corner was useless, as was the small farmerÂs porch that was only five feet wide, the stone floor of which was heaved from all the water that pooled there and then froze in winter. The two doors, one to the kitchen and one to the dining room, literally whistled in the winter.

Last year, when the terrible rains burst the dam in Alstead and killed all those people, the water actually backed up in the basement on a sand floor and flooded my furnace. I decided the 235 year-old problem had to be fixed. My solution was to build an addition in that corner, extending the roof out to the edge of the main house so that the rainwater would be carried out beyond the edge of the house. I designed it using Punch! Home Design Platinum and worked out the details with my contractor. It ended up being a 'great' room, approx. 16 x 24, with a cathedral ceiling and big windows on the east side to catch the morning sun. We also added a sky light to bring more light into the kitchen, which the room opens onto through wide French doors. A matching single door now opens to the dining room, and we removed the east window in that room. With all the glass in the new door the dining room actually gets more light than before. The floor in the new room is 5 1/2 inch birch planking and two ceiling fans are going in. There is a drainage pipe that runs all around the foundation, then under the drive and empties out on the other side. Plastic sheeting also covers the foundation.

Originally, I designed a covered porch for that side, but my contractor convinced me to go with a deck to keep the line of the house intact and to allow more light into the room. IÂm glad we did that instead. We ended up making it a two-level deck and it holds all my potted plants. It is made of Trex, so will never need painting or waterproofing. It is reinforced so in the winter, with a layer of marine plywood on it, I will be able to run my Kubota tractor with the snowblower onto it to remove the massive amounts of snow that pile up on that side with virtually every snowfall, basically the accumulation from two roofs.

Since the new room was completed, no water has come in on that side of the basement, and we have had some torrential rains this summer. A 50-foot long by seven foot wide farmerÂs porch that I added on the other side of the house, also with Trex boards, has essentially eliminated water seepage on that side, too. I say essentially, because water trickled in earlier in the summer, but I think it is more a matter of the ground needing to dry out on that side of the house, since the basement has been dry on that side for over a month, despite some heavy rains. The farmerÂs porch also houses a new wood crib.

Here are a couple of pics of the corner before the addition. First, an overall shot. A lot of the wood on the porch was rotted as was some of the sill plate and planking behind the clapboards of the main house. It was just constantly damp in that corner.

HereÂs a close-up of the corner with the useless farmerÂs porch.

HereÂs the new room. The color is actually pre-primed wood. The room still needs to be painted to match the rest of the house. The trim was done to try and match the main house as much as possible. Next year the pressure-treated posts will be painted. My new garden is visible in front of the deck.

You can see some of the trapezoidal windows we added on the east side under the overhang. We had to replace the window in one of the bathrooms upstairs with a smaller one to accommodate the higher roof line of the addition. I also added a window to the master bathroom, which matches the one in the other bathroom. The door to the room has become the new main entrance for the house. Prior to this everyone had to enter through the mudroom via the garage.

HereÂs a shot of the back of the house before the farmerÂs porch went on. It is a bad shot, but the best one I have. It also highlights the state of disrepair of the house and gardens, when I bought it, and its desperate need for a paint job. You can see one of the old barns out back.

HereÂs a shot of the farmerÂs porch. While it was just intended to be a mechanism for shedding water farther from the house, functionally, it has turned out to be one of the best things IÂve done to the place. When it rains, a crowd can still hang out outside, but not get wet. It has a commanding view of the yard, cornfields and main garden. Being on the north side of the house, it never gets too hot. All-in-all a great place to sit and relax.

HereÂs another angle. The loft door with block and tackle was another new addition. I had a set of stairs built in the garage and put a plywood floor down in the attic. Picked up over 800 sq. ft. of storage and a location for a possible future woodworking shop. The area along the wall under the loft door is where the wood pile used to be. The new wood crib holds well over two cords and is a lot easier to access. No longer need to keep a tarp over the wood and struggle through knee-deep snow in a snowstorm to get wood. Will make keeping the wood stove in the kitchen a lot easier to keep stoked. And, I picked up a new garden where the old wood pile used to be.

Well, thatÂs it. Sorry for the long post, but I thought some folks might find the project interesting. In conclusion, I love both the new room and the new farmerÂs porch on the other side. They shed water from the house, have added valuable living/activity space and, I think, add to the look of the house. I hope they give some ideas to people.


Comments (10)