By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A new porch on Tom and Terry Batenhorsts' home on Bier Lane has gotten lots of attention from neighbors and motorists traveling along a busy stretch of U.S. 61 in Hannibal.
"Our front door does face the road. It's very visible from U.S. 61 so I'll run into people who ask about our porch. They tell me it looks really good," Tom Batenhorst said.
The Batenhorsts' project made them the Week 2 winners in the Lookin' Good property pride contest sponsored by The Quincy Herald-Whig and First Bankers Trust.
This is the 26th year for the contest and all weekly winners receive $100 cash and a chance to win the contest's $1,000 "People's Choice" grand prize. Contest entries are accepted through midnight Aug. 10, and voting for the grand prize will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 4.
While Tom Batenhorst appreciates compliments on the new porch, he readily admits that his wife was the driving force behind it.
"I have wanted a porch ever since we bought this house," Terry Batenhorst said.
The couple has redone most of the manufactured home in their 24 years at that location. They turned a fairly spacious utility room into a bathroom and turned a cramped bathroom into the utility room. They enlarged their kitchen, improved two bedrooms and have remodeled their living room and a hallway.
When they started that latest project this year "Terry pretty much put her foot down and said we're doing the front porch too," Tom Batenhorst said.
The result has transformed the exterior of their home and given them a great way to optimize the property.
The porch is wide and has a roof extension that shades it. Classic white columns and fence slats frame the addition and give the home an inviting appearance. It has a ceiling fan to keep things comfortable during the summer heat. The porch also features two electrical outlets and a cable TV outlet.
"Tom likes to watch sports on the weekend," Terry Batenhorst said.
He also likes to grill and said having a television out on the porch is good, especially when he's fixing ribs, a pork butt or something else that needs to be cooked slowly.
"If I'm going to be out there for a while, it's great to have a TV nearby," he said.
Terry is a bigger fan of sitting on the porch and watching traffic. She said the busy highway next door is interesting. It's even better when motorcycles come through or classic and restored cars.
"I just wish I had done it years ago," Terry Batenhorst said.
Bobby Kenison, a family friend who has done other projects for the Batenhorsts, put in the porch. Kenison got suggestions from Terry, who had taken pictures of porches she liked.
"She had been hinting about this for a long time," Tom Batenhorst said.
"We would be out driving somewhere and Terry would say, ‘There's a great porch on that house.'"
Now she can point to her own house and say the same thing.