News & Insights


Historic Front Porch Concrete

Carl Christianson

Last summer Deb and Jeff called us to repair the concrete work on their wraparound front porch. Their 1920’s home is north of Oregon State University in the historic district. The home is a Craftsman style home and has elements of the California Bungalow style. Deb provided all of the actual measurements and detail drawings for the restoration. Deb is an interior designer who specializes in kitchen and bath design, historic remodels and renovations, and additions, see her work at http://www.debkadas.com/projects/

The project began with demolition of the concrete porch slab, stairs and sidewalks. We then poured new concrete stairs, slabs, and caps for the stair wing walls. Unfortunately, due to the hot weather and our installer’s attempt to exactly match the old expansion joint layout, the slab cracked extensively. We always stand behind our work, so we removed the slab and replaced it at no charge to Deb. The second slab was poured with more expansion joints to control concrete’s natural cracking process.

We added one new post and pilaster to match the existing post style. During the project we found that wet Oregon weather had caused the old columns rot, so our trim carpenters built new wood columns to match the tapered design of the old columns. We also created positive column attachments because the old posts were not securely attached to the home. All of the new wood was painted inside and out to increase its longevity.

The next step was to refinish the concrete parge coat below the columns to match the foundation. Then one of our trim carpenters created a clever cleat system to allow us to reuse the porch handrails and they can be removed in the future for repainting.

Deb is planning on adding hidden outdoor heaters in the future as well as new outdoor furniture to enjoy her porch this summer.

By working with the homeowners, Deb and Jeff, we were able to upgrade the porch by adding hidden wiring, improve the home’s appearance, upgrade the seismic connections and stay true to the historic character of their home.