Porch Progress

Whee!   The latest on Porch Renovation-
Beforevhs-boyce-store-c1895  Boyce store circa 1895

Despite renovating the lodge room upstairs (1991-1993), refinished dining room floor (1995), and new roof (1997) and the renovated kitchen (2004) with a new “pre-owned” stove (2015), and up to code electric and plumbing (2008), and three new efficient room heaters (2012),and renovated anteroom upstairs (2013),  the porch was our most visible structure, and in the worst shape. Two things held it up until the last stage of building renovation. The cost of the job, including the lead paint abatement which might involve all new materials or costly lead removal. And the question of renovating to the 1845 porch structure, or finding a way to also renovate back to the original 1815 basement entrance with granite steps, double doors and three big windows  (whose four stone lintels are still visible on the lower porch deck, or through the lattice under the porch).   We ended up renovating to the 1845 structure, leaving the old entrance and windows intact but still hidden.
In 2004, the Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV) through one of its local board members, Bill Heinzerling, approached us to help with building preservation.
First,  PTC offered to pay half of a $500 fee, if the Town of Waitsfield would pay a quarter, and the Lodge a quarter, for an architectural assessment and plan to renovate.
Keefe and Wesner Architects of Middlebury examined the Lodge building and and suggest a plan for renovation and provided cost estimates.  Twelve years later, we can compare their plan with our progress.  See below.
The thirdly,  PTV later proved a grant from the Roy Family Foundation to the most expensive portion- lifting the porch to pour and  new foundation and then rebuild the rotting supports, walls and ceilings.  Ellen Strauss Architect  of Waitsfield provided invaluable free advice as we proceeded-  old photos her intern brought back from the Vermont Historical Society, balancing new versus old materials, consultations with renovation specialists, and more.
The second contribution of  PTV was to invite two lodge members (Charlie Kettles and Rick Rayfield) to a seminar to educate building owners on how to tackle huge renovations of old buildings.  This was free and it was valuable. Notably, people from other towns shared with us their issues-  taxes, lead paint, roofing materials, contracts, ownership, property tax assessments, information sources, funding options, building sharing,  and most important- local support best generated by community involvement.
2004 Stairs tilting, paint peeling
at least the old rotting lower deck had been replaced by a lodge member in 2000.

2012  First attempt at restoring south rail, and sad condition of north rail
South steps tilting, bottom one buried.  These risers were holding them up, barely.

left-steps-april13 right-steps-april-13
So we took the stone steps out and put in temporary wood steps.
The owner of a granite yard in Barre said the old steps were “grout”.

2013 Steel girders support porch so new foundation can be poured

2014  New foundation in place and carpentry in progress
New posts below and above lower porch

Then      2013 after new foundation and carpentry for posts and siding
Temporary steps back in place.

Now  img_4277
Still need to rehang lower rails and put trim on,  and stone steps.
The blue sign is a duplicate of the tinplate one made by Alden Farr which could not be restored.

Here is how it happened…..

The lodge room was beautifully restored by Bob Tracy and Clay Wagner back in 1992, and rededicated  in 1993 with the wine of refreshment, the corn of plenty, and the oil of joy by Grand Lodge of Vermont Officers.  The renovation included replacing the knob and tube electric wiring, and insulation of walls and ceilings.
A new roof was installed in about 1992 to protect the renovated lodge room.

Gary Bombard was the main mover for a basic remodeling the kitchen in 2000, including a whole new floor and moving the stove and sink locations.
In 2015, we purchased a used but very good replacement stove.

The electrical systems in the downstairs and basement  and the plumbing were brought up to code in 2010.

The anteroom upstairs was renovated beautifully in 2012 under Bob Danaher’s leadership, including a new floor.

In 2012 we replaced the old empire heaters upstairs with efficient RInnai heaters.  Another Rinnai room heater replaced an ancient Empire in the dining room in 2015.

 2013 Hugh Johnson finished his part of the porch renovation in 2013- replacing the lower level posts, and the siding.  Fred Messer donated a new gutter.  The nine porch rails were taken to Rick Rayfield’s garage for lead paint abatement and restoration.
Here is the page show how the lead paint was abated on the porch rails 2013-2016

Status August 2013
  With member donations and $10,000 grant from Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Roy Foundation we are in full swing to fix up the porch.  Hugh Johnson of Warren is doing the porch renovation, with the exception of the rails and spindles which the Brothers will tackle with  perhaps some volunteer help.  The porch itself will need about $20,000.
The stone steps installed in 1845 were low grade stone of unmatched colors and flaking on the bottoms, cracks, chips, veins, etc.  (“Grout” is what our granite-working brother in Barre said as soon as he saw them.)  They had higher than safe step heights, and were uneven. The risers were mostly chinked not cut. While of nostaglic value perhaps, they will be replaced by top grade Barre or Woodbury granite and set on a full below-frost foundation. They will include granite landings in front of our two doors, as we had before, but uniform seven inch step height and uniform 11 inch tread width for safety and ease of stepping up.  The current temporary wooden steps a pretty close to what the new granite ones will be if you want to test the “rule of 18” (tread plus rise).  Recutting and properly setting the old low-grade stones would be far more expensive.  We conservatively estimate the new steps on solid concrete foundation at about $8500.

see Porch Railing Repair  May 2013

Friday Dec 21, 2012  Kingsbury backfilled the holes for the cribbing, replaced drain pipe for roof gutters, graded sidewalk.

Saturday Dec 15, 2012 – New front steps installed- too late for International Boutique,  but ready for  Christmas Party on Dec 16th.

Friday Dec 14, 2012   2×8 braces, steel beams, and cribbing removed

Friday Dec 7, 2012  Porch set on foundation with concrete block risers.

Monday Dec 3, 2012 Forms for foundation walls set and concrete poured !

We had Town and State permits (VTrans) for the work.

CLICK on photos to enlarge.


Tuesday November 19 2012  Porch was secured to steel beams resting on cribbing at ends and middle to allow excavation for new foundation under porch.  Bracing from beam up to second story carries that weight to beam.  Bracing from beam back to wall above triangles to keep porch rigid.  Porch deck is secured to beam with steel strapping.  Posts already cut under the porch- beam has the weight. Still have front door access.

Tuesday November 26 2012  Kingsbury excavated with backhoe under porch, hauling away dirt by truck.  Stone steps from north door stored at Fred Messer’s along with steps from south steps.  Ready to pour footings and foundation later this week.  A new lock on kitchen door is now the Lodge building access.  International Boutique is assembling their bazaar, and nervous that we may not have the work wrapped up by their Dec 8th opening day.  Place your bets,  but be warned that everyone is working hard to get this done pronto.  No skulls found.

Thursday Nov 28  Gendron set forms and poured concrete for foundation base.

Monday Dec 3rd  Gendron sets forms for walls.

Tuesday Dec 4  Gendron pours walls.  Valley Reporter photo on front page 12/6/12

Wednesday Dec 5 Gendron pulls forms

Thursday  Dec 6  Kingsbury backfills inside and outside foundation with crushed stone

Friday Dec 7  Concrete blocks to support porch are placed on foundation wall. Most of porch is resting on these blocks. (Steel beam prevents lifting porch unto block at north end.)   Deck and temporary stairs for front door started.

Saturday Dec 8  Handrails installed at kitchen door, with lights, for use by International Boutique which opens at 10:00 a.m.
Temporary wood steps installed to main door, but steel beam still in the way.

Friday Dec 14- Steel beam, bracing, and cribbing pulled.  Temporary steps finished. Waiting spring for new Town sidewalk.