Our latest two B&B guest just left. They were the first ones to use the screen porch since we had a bunch of work done. They seemed to like it and we are mostly happy with the new porch.
The biggest problem was that water collected at the edge of the porch and was starting to rot the fascia boards on the posts.
The posts that hold up the rest of the house. Important posts. Also, the railings around the perimeter were so low that I couldn't clean, or even vacuum, under them. Yuck.
The screens allow the most delightful breezes to circulate, making this an ideal three season porch. The screens also allow rain and snow in, thee root cause of the problems. Dilemma.
We thought about putting in windows and then opening them when we were out there. That sounded really pricey and HOT! Then we would have a greenhouse!
We decided to remove all the damaged fascia and replace it with concrete board, impervious to water. We also cut the wood all around the perimeter and replaced it with marine plywood and a sealer. I asked for Trex at the very edge and got something else, but it is also impervious to water and looks okay.
When we removed the railings, we noticed that the bottom rails had collected water and were gross. The water collected there was also held against the fascia on the posts and was causing problems, which is why we have the concrete boards up so high on the posts. The contractor said that the drop off the porch to the ground was not over 30 inches, so building codes didn't require a railing. We just put the top rails back and hope the animals don't decide to ruin the screens by running through them or scratching them up. So far, so good.
Wasn't Lee smart to mark all the rails? The openings weren't identical, so it would have been a real problem if he hadn't thought to do that.
Then we had some indoor outdoor carpet installed. This is a thinner carpet than the last one we had. It shows all the flaws and lumps in the subfloor and I don't like that. But because it is a thinner product, we hope it will dry sooner and cause fewer problems.
The room is even more open with just the one rail and we really like the color of the new gray carpet.
So Jeff and Ashley were the inaugural users of our refurbished screen porch. They only stayed one night, so they only had one breakfast here. They seemed to like it and said nice things in our guest book.
We hope future guests will also enjoy this area for their breakfasts, but we really did it for us. We eat most of our meals out here and it is one of my favorite places.
And it's even better, now.