How We Added Livable Space By Building A Covered Porch

Our first major project as homeowners was the back porch of our first home (and first flip).

There were a number of issues with the porch when we purchased the house.  

  • Rotting wood & hornet infestation

  • Low roof line which made the house and porch feel dark

  • Cracked concrete

  • Sloped yard which caused standing water on the porch when it rained

Back Porch Before:

This patio just looks so sad!

Old porch when we first moved in to our first flip house

Here is the area next to the future deck where we wanted to put a flagstone patio.

Overgrown weed trees all around the yard at our first investment property.

Here is our back porch after a rain. Kewl.

Backyard flooding before the back porch renovation

Backyard flooding before the back porch renovation

Demolition of the Back Porch:

I have mentioned this before, but we have fabulous friends.  A group of guys came over and helped Chris break up all of the concrete and toss it into the dumpster. You can also see the fence that we built to keep the pups in the backyard. We wanted to be able to step directly out onto the deck, so the next step was for Chris to rent a machine to dig down deep enough behind the house to make this a possibility.

We removed the existing porch to begin the renovation

We removed the existing porch to begin the renovation

After the dirt was removed to the height required for the deck, we built a retaining wall, buried a trench for any potential standing water right next to the retaining wall and laid pea gravel where the deck would be placed. The lawn was regraded and sod was laid.  I love the look of fresh green grass!!

New retaining wall we built

New retaining wall we built

Fresh sod with the new retaining wall

Fresh sod with the new retaining wall

Installation of the New Deck:

We liked that the original deck was covered and wanted to build another roof, but have it higher than the first one.  Because the roof needed to be tied into the house, we hired professionals to complete this portion of the project.  Along with building the roof, we had a bead board ceiling added and painted white and a ceiling fan installed.

Once the roof was installed, Chris built his first deck and it turned out amazing!! I was skeptical when he first said he could build it (sorry Chris), but it turned out so well and I learned just how talented my husband was! I also wanted to give a special shout out and thanks to our friend Ryan, who spent many hours helping us build the deck.

New porch roof with more height to allow more light into the back door

New porch roof with more height to allow more light into the back door

The deck is in the middle of being built by my husband.

Once the deck was built, we got started on the flagstone patio. We had to prep the space before laying the flagstone.  This included: Adding a retaining wall by the fence where we would later add greenery, leveling the ground, adding screening and using a tamper to keep the ground level.  

DIY flagstone patio for the outdoor dining area

We then added the flagstone and had to put together the puzzle pieces, which was a lot more challenging than I expected! Once the flagstone was down, we added more screening to fill in the cracks.  I was 4 months pregnant during this renovation and was only able to help so much with moving the heaving stones and equipment.  

Progress shot of the new picket fence and flagstone patio in our backyard

We had a deadline for this project and it was to be complete before our gender reveal party at the end of July.  We got it done just in time and I was SO happy we were able to share all of our hard work with our friends along with the exciting news of our first childs gender. 

Backyard Porch After:

I mean, how welcoming is that back porch...RIGHT?! I loved our little herb garden we added. For Mother's Day, Chris sent me out for a spa day and surprised me by building a rose trellis next to the patio. We definitely poured a lot of love into this home.

New covered living space in our backyard!

New flagstone patio with rose garden and dining area

If you want a look down memory lane, check out the gallery below of our gender reveal party.  So many great people there.  We miss you YODER FAM!