Porch Renovation: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Stunning Transformation

porch outside fireplace, barn wood ceiling, white porch columns, and gray floor tile

Our porch has been an ongoing project for several years. In this post, we share the TOTAL transformation process, which includes links detailing each specific phase. Transforming our porch was a lot of hard work and took some time, but we are delighted with the result.

The porch becomes my outdoor office on a beautiful afternoon. Neal and I enjoy sitting on our porch in the evenings enjoying the view of the lake and sharing about the events of our day. We also enjoy sitting on the porch at night with friends and family telling stories, laughing, and making memories.

So enjoy our porch transformation process (without actually having to do the work).

Exterior house updates, which relate to our overall porch transformation

Several years ago, we renovated our lake house and added a window in the basement.

Then we added simulated stone to the exterior of our house.

We used Hermitage simulated stone manufactured by Horizon Stone. We purchased this from Jenkins Brick in Pellham, Alabama.  We also used Argos Custom Blended Masonry Cement; the color is Savannah Ivory.

We love this simulated stone because it looks like real stone due to the variation; there are so many different shades and shapes. When we were renovating and building an addition to our house, we traveled to Chattanooga to see this stone on a house.

Click HERE to see the installation of simulated stone on the exterior of our house.

Then we built our outdoor fireplace.

A few years ago, we built an outdoor fireplace on our porch overlooking the lake. Candidly, we are not experts by any means, but over the years, we have gained the confidence to tackle more complex projects by just jumping in with both feet! Our approach is breaking down projects step-by-step and just figuring it out by researching. Let’s just say that we have watched a lot of YouTube videos and use a “learn as we go” approach.

Building our outdoor fireplace was a significant step in our overall porch transformation project. Not only did it boost our confidence but it became the centerpiece our porch.

Click HERE to learn how we built our porch fireplace.

Then we built (wrapped) our porch columns.


We originally had old cedar columns on our porch. As part of our porch renovation project, we decided to add an apron to frame the porch ceiling and then we wrapped the cedar columns with Hardie boards. Below is a glimpse of one of the columns. We eventually use the same approach and wrapped the column on our front porch.

Click HERE to learn how we built our porch columns.

Then we installed barn wood on our porch ceiling.

porch outside fireplace and barn wood ceiling, and white porch columns

Neal’s friend tore down an old barn and gave Neal the opportunity to purchase this old pine wood. He jumped at the opportunity. We cleaned the wood, ripped each piece, painted the porch ceiling black and started installing the wood one plank at a time.

Click HERE to learn how we installed our barn wood ceiling on our porch.

Then we installed simulated stone on the front of our porch.

house with arrows showing new stone work

We had previously used this simulated stone on part of the exterior our house and outdoor fireplace but the front wall of our porch slab was ugly concrete. Hence, we opted to install simulated stone to dress this up and make it blend with the rest of our porch and house. We love this simulated stone because it looks like real stone because of its variation; there are so many different shapes.

Click HERE to learn how we installed our simulated stone.

Next, we installed our brick edging around the perimeter of the porch floor.

porch with arrows pointing to newly installed simulated stone

We wanted the brick to frame what would become our porch tile floor and knew it was best to install the brick edging (roll lock) prior to installing the tile.

This was a challenging project for us because we had not done much brickwork until this project. However, we wanted to save money and knew we could do this if we took our time. We purchased brick that was already installed over our basement windows.

Click HERE to learn how we installed brick roll lock (brick edging) on our porch.

Our last step was installing the tile floor.

We were excited to finally get to this last phase of our porch renovation project. We knew we wanted gray rectangular tile and shopped around. We ended up purchasing several pallets from Southeastern Salvage. Purchasing this time from them was very cost-effective. Neal had laid tile many other times so this was very doable for us. This really gave or porch a finished look and were were pleased with the final result.

Click HERE to learn how we installed the tile floor on our porch.

Whether we are listening to crickets on a warm summer night or sipping hot cocoa on a cold winter night, this is our favorite place to relax and enjoy the moment.

night time porch outside fireplace, barn wood ceiling, white porch columns, and gray floor tile

As a final reminder, here is the before and after picture again. Don’t forget to pin this for future reference.

before and after porch renovation process with after picture with outside fireplace, barn wood ceiling, white porch columns, and gray floor tile

Thanks for reading our blog! Where is your special spot to relax? 

Let us know if you have any questions or what you think about our total porch transformation by commenting below.

Happy DIYing!


  1. Karen on 08/09/2019 at 9:43 AM

    Wow! What a transformation!

    • Suzanne on 08/10/2019 at 7:09 AM

      Thanks, Karen! We appreciate it!

  2. Jamie on 08/09/2019 at 9:45 AM

    This is truly stunning!

  3. Katy on 08/09/2019 at 10:49 AM

    Ya’ll are good! I wish my hubby could do this.

    • Suzanne on 08/10/2019 at 7:08 AM

      Thanks, Katy. You and your husband could possibly start doing small projects together. We started small and then expanded our knowledge from there! Let me know if you decide to tackle any projects!

  4. Vivian on 08/09/2019 at 12:43 PM

    Your porch is beautiful. How long did it take?

    • Suzanne on 08/10/2019 at 7:05 AM

      Hey Vivian,
      It took a few years; however, that was before we lived here fulltime and thus just work on each phase on the weekends. Building the fireplace took us an entire fall (working most weekends), the apron and columns also took about two months (working on the weekends), and the brick, stone and tile work together took us a few months (working mostly on the weekends). It was worth all the time it took. Having someone do this professionally would have been costly, so we know we saved a lot of money.
      Thanks for reading our blog!

  5. Pat on 08/10/2019 at 7:16 AM

    I continue to be amazed at the two of you. I live everything about the porch, but my favorites are the fireplace, the floor, and the ceiling. I guess that includes everything. Beautifully done.

    • Suzanne on 08/10/2019 at 7:17 AM

      Thank you, Pat!
      We had to learn a lot along the way, but thankful for the result!
      Thanks for reading and commenting on our blog.

  6. Jeri on 08/16/2019 at 2:18 PM

    I am in shock this is the same porch! ? Absolutely stunning!

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  11. Michele on 06/10/2020 at 6:59 PM

    Hello! Your porch is beautiful. Did you close it in completely with screens or glass?

    • Suzanne on 06/11/2020 at 5:59 PM

      Hey Michele,

      Thanks for the kind words about our porch. We enjoy it. We did not close it in with anything. It is completely open.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.


      • Michele on 07/07/2020 at 12:26 PM

        Suzanne, thank you for replying to me. Sorry for my late reply! (Having some medical things happening) I wondered if you enclosed your porch or not. I thought maybe glass…. what made you choose not to enclose??? I’d like to enclose my covered patio to keep the bugs and dirt out. ?

        • Suzanne on 07/07/2020 at 7:08 PM

          Hey Michele,
          Originally, we were going to enclose the porch. However, we have opted not to do so. We like the look of it open and it enables our dog Daisy and cat Buddy to shelter there in the rain. It does get dirty because we have so many trees but it is easy enough to clean. We have a system called Spider Be Gone which sprays for insects. That makes a huge difference in keeping away bugs, especially pesky mosquitoes. It is basically tubing with nozzles that sprays for bugs a few times a day. We have this same system on our boathouse. I hope that helps!

          Sorry to hear about medical issues. I hope you are getting better!


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  13. Jan on 07/31/2021 at 6:12 AM

    Could you please tell me where your tile is from. Looks beautiful!

    • Suzanne on 08/01/2021 at 8:29 PM

      Hey Jan,

      We purchased this from South Eastern Salvage in Huntsville, Alabama.

      Thanks for your kind words. We are so pleased with how it turned it!


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