The story of the portico

In general, I love a portico—you know, the decorative “roof” over a doorway. And I always loved the portico on the back of our house. But not so long ago, you could barely even see it. The bulky additions more or less obscured it from view (as you’ll notice above). So when we were planning to renovate the back of the house and the portico was up for demolition, I hatched a plan to save it.

Ahh, there she is! And wow, doesn’t this look scary.

I asked our contractor to carefully extract it from the side of the house, then reattach it to the addition. This was not a small favor, and it took a bit of begging and wheedling to get the crew on board. I mean, here’s this chunk of house weighing hundreds of pounds, and I was asking them to gingerly pluck it off and seamlessly tack it onto the addition. I totally understand their reluctance.

The poor portico sat in the backyard for a few months, just like this.

But they did it anyway, and when it was reattached, the guys made it look extra special by framing it out with beautiful trim. When we finally got our trim painted last week, the portico got a fresh coat of paint too. And I have to say, all the begging and wheedling was worth it.

The arched ceiling is lined in beadboard. And those corbels just kill me. And yes, we are building a deck, seen on the right.

Imagine how boring this entry would be if we just had another plain ol’ gable. The portico makes the back entrance feel special, and it makes the addition feel like maybe it’s not an addition, like maybe the house has looked like this since 1936.

You guys, just because something’s tricky doesn’t mean you don’t do it. And just because the answer is “no” at first doesn’t mean that’s the final word. Hold out for what you want most and make it happen! You’ll be happy you did.

Also, when I watch design shows, sometimes I cringe as they demo everything and toss it in a dumpster. Save what’s worth saving! That’s what gives houses character.

P.S. As I was scrolling through my photos, I ran across this gem. This was my kitchen a little more than a year ago. So crazy! Can’t believe we actually fixed up an old house. It still feels almost like a dream. You should do it too!

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