Screened-In…or Out

This post was supposed to read…”You guys!  I’ve been keeping a huuuuge secret from you and it’s all done and ready for your viewing eyes!  We had a screened-in porch built onto our back patio and over the past few months I’ve been having so much fun decorating it on a budget.”  But darn it all, instead it’s going to read…

You guys.  We had a screened-in porch built onto our back patio and over the past few months it’s been so bittersweet, emphasis on the bitter.  Really, the idea was and is amazing and we did get to enjoy several hours of enjoyment out there at the end of the fall but then we found out that our chimney, which is on the roof right above the new porch, is actually rotted out and needs to be replaced.  We would never had known if we hadn’t put the porch on though.  We noticed water trickling down the side of the house inside the porch one day during a big rain which was obviously a problem since we had a big ‘ole roof over our heads.  Then we had water issues on the other side of the porch; the side separating the porch from the outside.  Everytime we had a huge rain, water would leak into the porch between the concrete floor and walls.  Not a little bit of water, a lot of water.  The rugs got wet and muddy.  The furniture had to be moved.  It was a mess and such a huge downer.  Not only did we save up over the past two years to get this thing added on, now we had to once again save up to fix problems that came about after while not being able to really use the porch.  I know, first world problems. 

So, instead of an after picture of carefully curated thrift store furniture and a decorated back porch that I was so excited to make look great on a tiny budget, all I have is this for you:
I love being able to open the french doors in our living room when it’s nice outside without worrying about bugs or mosquitoes coming for me.  I’ll love it even more though when I can just prance out, plop my pregnant self down in the mornings, and drink my coffee aside my loves or walk out to eat lunch al fresco in the summer.

The inside of the porch is currently filled with a bunch of thrifted bamboo furniture waiting for a makeover, a wood-frame couch I made over specifically for the porch (that you can get a glimpse of here), a patio table set, and a couple of rolled up rugs.  The floor is so dirty because we learned, after cleaning all the mud and dirt up after the first rain, that it’s just going to get dirty again with the next big rain so why clean it?  Anthony (and our generous friend Alex!) has been working really hard to put in a french drain right outside the porch to solve the water problem (and it looks like it’s a definite cure so, yay for that!) and he’s trying to carve out some time to fix the chimney himself.  Right now it’s half taken apart and sitting with a huge blue tarp over it to keep the water out…I’m sure our neighbors love it.  Thankfully, you can’t see it from the front.

I’m really so excited to share the finished space with you.  I’m hoping to use only $200 to get it to “oasis” status.  We’ll see how I do.

Here’s what our back patio looked like before we had the screened-in porch put on:
It covers the entire concrete area and the extra space is really awesome for the kids…well, it will be once they can actually use it.  I’ve got plans of stenciled floors (still trying to convince Anthony of that one…) under a couple of great rugs, comfy uphostered bamboo furniture, a separate but open living and eating area, and lots more.  Two hundred bucks max…can I do it?

Stay tuned.


  1. I'm excited to see the finished product! I know you can do it for your budget - that's like your superpower, I think :) And I TOTALLY know about little changes revealing serious issues with houses... It's like we find something new that needs to get fixed every day at our place! We knew what we were getting into buying a house built in 1890, but man, the issues just keep coming!!! And contractors who come to give estimates and then never get back to you don't help things...

  2. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! We are having a deck built this year and I just cannot wait to use it. Bummer on the chimney problems :(