Here's the before:
You'll notice many of the deck boards are rotten. Once I started demolition, I found many of the underlying support boards were also rotten. Scary! If you look carefully, you'll see the scratch marks on the left post, this is Oliver's favorite scratching post, which was relocated into the new porch.
The original back porch only had the one stairway, which meant needing to walk around the entire thing to get to the basement entrance. Since laundry's in the basement, it was quite the royal pain.
And here's the after:
There are many kitty friendly amenities with this new porch. The railings are all 2x4's, so they are much wider, making it easier for the cats to perch on. The railing spindles are all wide enough for the cats to go through (even though that violates the building code). I went with only the one railing for the stairs, making it look more open and inviting.
Oliver's favorite scratching post was relocated to a new spot at the top of the stairs and under the roof, so he can keep scratching for many more years!
There is now a small stairway leading to the basement entry! This is glorious!! There's also a built in kitty shelf making it easier for them to jump onto the shelf to access the kitty doors leading to the back enclosed porch.
The corner near the lilac tree (Oliver's cat tree) is wider for easier kitty-navigation to and from the tree. Oliver uses that tree to get to the roof so he can hang out up there.
All model cats were generously compensated for their participation in these photos!
I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I've never done anything like this before, but it all seemed to work out just fine. The next project will be inside project!