So THIS is my exciting post! A screened in porch! Tennessee can have some pretty amazing temperatures in the spring and fall. For half the year we can open the windows and enjoy the cool mornings or warmer afternoons. We have had some uncharacteristically cool mornings and it has me wanting to be outside. The con: mosquitoes. We even have cases of West Nile here! Solution – screened in porch.

Back door from living room

Back door from living room

We have a fairly large back patio that is covered- 30′ x 10′. I figured we could easily just add some 2×4’s and some screen and viola! we have a screened in porch. If only it were that easy! But alas, our back patio has some serious water drainage issues with two areas that pool water. So we would have to build up or insert a drain.

Water pooling in corner of porch - this happens every time it rains

Water pooling in corner of porch – this happens every time it rains

We decided to build up and add a drain, just not the entire length of the porch. The first thing we had to do was cut into the concrete. We rented a concrete saw from the local home improvement store. That saw had to be the coolest tool we have rented. It ripped through that concrete like BUTTER! We cut through two large sections of concrete in less than an hour! We thought it would take much longer!

So we cut straight lines from one corner out to create a drain to run water off the patio in the shortest distance possible. We did the same in the other corner. Overall, we were quite pleased with the first step in this long process. This is what it looked like after we removed the concrete pieces (used a sledgehammer to loosen it up).

I was in a rush to get this porch completed, so we started to lay out the concrete wall base. You can see it in the above picture with the 2x4s laying on the ground. This served as a form for the new concrete we mixed and poured into place. Only mix one bag of crete at a time – anything more than that and it will solidify on you, unless of course you have an actual mixer 🙂 After you put some concrete in the form, dampen it down with a trowel. The more you dampen the bigger rocks move to the bottom of the concrete and the finer sand will come to the top. This is KEY! Dampen! Dampen! Dampen! If you don’t, then it will turn out all rocky and we just couldn’t have that. Below are the after concrete pour.

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We had two supervisors during this entire job. They approved of our excellent craftsmanship 🙂

See part 2 here and part 3 here. Keep Reclaiming!