With this blog we wanted to do more than simply talk about homes sales and purchases. We are going to be rolling out a new feature which is ‘Home Improvement Projects That Can Help Increase Your Home’s Value’ and maybe give you some fun ideas for projects in your own home. We will also be meeting with different trade’s people to assist in writing articles about home projects and the costs associated with them. We are hoping these articles will be a good resource for our clients for projects they may want to do and give them an idea of the cost before they start them.
Project #1: Installing a new ceiling on a side porch or farmer’s porch using pre-finished hardwood instead of plaster, card board blocks or wooden bead board.
We recently started using our side porch as a sitting area so we could enjoy the outside without the pesky bugs. As we sat out there, we could not stop looking at the old block ceiling made of a cardboard like material that had probably been up there for 30+ years. Please see photo #1. So, we decided to take a chance and see if there may be a wood ceiling underneath those blocks. Over time, I have been in so many homes that have these wooden ceilings (typically one inch slats) on outdoor porches and we were hoping for the same. This was not the case (Please see photo #2) and there was nothing more than strapping that the former owner had attached the cardboard blocks to. We needed to come up with something to cover the now open ceiling. The idea of using pre-finished hardwood on the ceiling instead of bead board or plaster popped into our head and there it remained. Off to Lumber Liquidators we went. At first, they thought we were crazy when we told them what we wanted to do, but we stuck to our guns. We ended up going with an engineered hardwood (1/2” X 5” Colonial Birch Plank Hand scraped) with the 5” width planks to give it a different look rather than the smaller boards. The hand scraped gives the boards a look like they are original to the home. The porch ceiling measured 80 Square feet and including cuts and extras we need two boxes — for a total cost of $313.08.
Now that we had the materials, we needed someone to install it. Our usual floor contractors were not keen on doing ceiling work and gave us some higher prices that we were not comfortable with. Now the hunt was on and we stumbled upon Quang Hardwood Floors (617-818-1421) while searching online. Quang had 31 great reviews and he deserved every one of them. He did excellent work in a very timely fashion and kept in touch with us the entire time making sure we got exactly what we wanted. His cost for installation was $500.00 and we also had to purchase 3 sheets of ¾ inch plywood for the “sub ceiling” to attach the wood to. The plywood carried an additional cost of $150.00. The final cost of this project including all materials and labor/installation was $963.08. I am sure this project can be done by DYIers but we thought it best to hire it out. Check out the how it looks in photos #3,#4 and #5. With pre-finished wood you can choose from many different colors, board sizes and textures. The porch area is bright, so we went with a darker wood but if you had a darker area a lighter colored wood would look great as well. With so many options out there, we feel this can be a great design project for those with porches or it can even be done in rooms. Keep an eye out for more BDRE projects and value tips coming soon.