Instead, the porch was rebuilt in a more durable fashion. Porch posts that had been hollow, flimsy boxes of 1x lumber were replaced with 6×6 posts trimmed with 1x boards to replicate the original look. The replacement roof’s pitch was increased just enough to shed water more effectively without altering its appearance from the street. “We were only able to save one board from the entire porch,” says Jim. “There was one 6×6 floor joist that was still in perfect condition.” Before the porch was dismantled, he took measurements of the finish trim, which he replicated on the newly rebuilt porch.
The upstairs bath, which had galvanized screwed pipe that needed to be replaced, was one of the more challenging and rewarding jobs. In addition to updating the plumbing (“Our prior plumbing experience was minimal,” says Jim, “but I figured if you can solder one fitting successfully, why not a whole bathroom?”), Jim and Theresa also updated the layout to accommodate a full shower in addition to the existing clawfoot tub. “We evaluated many layouts,” Jim says, “but we settled on one where the shower is not visible from the doorway.” To accommodate the new shower without altering the footprint of the room, they switched out the clawfoot tub with a smaller one from downstairs.
“The bathroom was our design, our layout, and we did all the work,” Jim says proudly. “Plumbing was the most difficult—running pipe in places you’d rather not be, like under the house. And the work has to be perfect.”