I started on this "porch thing" about 5 years ago by campaigning for a new one when I saw ours was rotting. The last 2 years I've been pointing and begging and threatening to cut off the rails.
When there was snow still on the ground we made a list of things we were going to fix in the spring. The porch was at the top of the list. Okay, some of us know that when you make the largest investment of money in your life you're going to have to maintain it. Some people like to buy quality and be done; it's nice enough to stay that way forever. I can show you the car later if you don't believe me. Spring comes and we have our builder-turned-home-improvement-contractor come by and give us separate quotes for all we want/need to have done. Front porch, awnings (the upstairs cooks, Paul's dad freezes in the basement), fixing the dropping driveway, replacing the broken outside water valve, replace the burned out attic fan. I didn't even push for the new windows we need and would pay for themselves the first year. So far, we did the cheapest-we had the attic fan replaced. It's July. We have no future appointments with Robbie at this time. So, while Paul was gone, I took out my saws-all and took those railings down-yes-the ones rotting and missing pickets like lost teeth and loosing more every day. Paul doesn't like it. Ha! If he doesn't like it he'll can have a new porch put on. ;)
Here it was before. The missing pickets on this side are being hidden bye. the fig tree. Bub, bye.