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Archive for the ‘Porch’ Category

I often need to look at previous posts or older pictures to remind myself of how much progress we are making. It’s been two months since my last post and although progress is slow, I can see that some things are getting done. Some have more progress than others.

Gutters: We ordered the gutter materials back in March so we could be ready to work on this project as soon as the beam was at a good stopping point. We have gotten one section of the porch roof installed without a down spout for now. This first section is our learning section. How much pitch do we need, rivets vs. crimping of the end cap and down spout transition, height of the gutter in relation to the roof edge, etc. We are very happy with this first section. The color is a perfect match to the trim and fascia and the gutter fits well. We may need to flash in the gutters but we figured that’s something we can do any time. We also learned that on the north side of the house, the long straight run, is higher in the front than the back. We installed the gutter parallel to the roof where it will have the right pitch.

First section of gutter along on side of the porch. No downspout yet but a splash block at the bottom.

Temporarily installed gutter along north side of house.

Beam: all the new beam parts and posts are in. We still need to connect the old beam to the new with bolts and threaded rod and put in spacers between the two parts of the beam but we are saving this work for a rainy day or a too hot to work outside summer day.

2 sets of double posts.

Two posts on one side and 1 post on the other plus a new beam under each side of the walls of the stairway.

Porch ceiling: I took down the porch ceiling last summer. The exercise started with me just planning on scraping the ceiling so we wouldn’t have lead paint chips in our dinner. I got so frustrated scraping that I promptly switched to pry bar and hammer and took down the ceiling. This spring we had a lot of birds visit our exposed rafters and one bird couple stayed and laid eggs. The European Starling is now raising four baby birds in our ceiling. We think the babies will fledge within the next week and we have started installing the ceiling. We got fir bead board that I finished in the same stain as the soffit. All I do is run the belt sander across the sides and hand sand the grooves. Then I just apply one coat of stain and let it dry. A. has been using trim screws through the tongue instead of nails. The ceiling joists are long and bouncy and nailing would have been too hard. A. also put in hurricane ties and other ties to bring our porch up to building standard.

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Porch ceiling almost done, just waiting for the birds to fledge

I like the warm color of the natural beadboard finish

Garden: I have been plugging away at the garden. I built two small raised beds for the top of the retaining wall. I planted beans here in a row and will probably add some winter squash with a trellis. The idea here is to have the beans grow up on supports to make a visual screen from the ugly apartment building on the other side.

Raised beds with trellis for beans

This method seems to have worked well for our neighbors so I thought I’ll give it a try. The one thing I don’t like about our backyard is that it is totally exposed and that we have zero privacy back there. I don’t mind it so much for the garden but I would like to eventually have a permanent screen for the upper portion so we can hang out back there. In the garden, I am creating more space for vegetables. I have more tomatoes this year and I am utilizing more of the space around the perimeter for veggies. I have been removing more Daylilies and I am also trying to kill more grass by covering it up with cardboard and hay. I would like to not have to mow back there at all and even though the hay paths will require some maintenance every year, I hope that it takes less overall time than mowing every week.

Garden with more space for veggies. Paths are not quite done yet but getting there.

Some apples on the espalier Honey Crisp.

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So as November rolls around, we still have a lot of good weather projects left unfinished. On the other hand there are a few projects that are finished. So here is the done list:

– Removed all concrete from the porch foundation. Put it on craigslist and someone actually picked it up for free. Didn’t have to lift a finger. Thank you

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Here you see it.

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And here you don't.

– Boiler is commissioned and making our hot water. Old water heater is ready to be pulled out and put on craigslist

– We bought a bunch of blue jean insulation and insulated the attic

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– We have made some decisions about the new roof, drawings should be done within a week and we officially committed to our contractor.

– Removed the chimney and patched the roof.

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Here you see it.

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Here you see the Metalbestos pipe.

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Hole in the roof, view from inside.

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No more chimney in the attic. No more presents from Santa 😦

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All patched up. Hopefully enough to get us through the winter.

– Staining the sills for the front porch.

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Redwood sills for the front porch with transparent stain applied.

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Here's a close up.

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I’m a stripper

I strip paint, off our porch floor to be exact. Lead paint. Yuk. Anyone who has an old house has lead paint, unless someone really diligent went through the work and expense to get rid of it. This is my first attempt because I figured I don’t want to track it in the house every time I come home. I am using a steamer, sold as a wall paper steamer and whatever doesn’t come up with that, I can easily remove using the low heat of the heat gun. It’s a bit tedious but I think it is worth it. Any encapsulating of lead paint would only wear out over time. So I take it all off. When I am done stripping, I will start sanding with the belt sander hooked up to the vac with HEPA filter. If the floor is in good shape, the plan is to use a deck stain. We’ll have to wait and see though. Has anyone brought their porch floor back to stain? Or if you have any other ideas or advice, I am all open ear.

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Porch update

It’s been two weeks since we started work on the porch. As with other things in life, just when you start getting really busy with house stuff, your job also gets really busy. Despite that we have made some progress.

The middle post foundation is poured and the 4x4 post installed to which the front rim joists that run to the 6x6 corner posts are attached.

The middle post foundation is poured and the 4x4 post installed to which the front rim joists that run to the 6x6 corner posts are attached.

New ledger plate is installed into the concrete foundation. New 2x6 joists run from the front rim joist back to the ledger criss-crossing the existing joists. The floor feels really solid now.

New ledger board is installed into the concrete foundation. New 2x6 joists run from the front rim joist back to the ledger criss-crossing the existing joists. The floor feels really solid now.

Old front wall tipped over. It's hard to get this stuff broken up and out of the way.

Old front wall tipped over. It's hard to get this stuff broken up and out of the way.

I started stripping the front edge of floor paint and plan to prime the end grain before we rebuild the front wall. We won’t tackle the side walls until we do the insulation and side on the front of the house. Right now we still need to remove the remaining concrete and get a dumpster to dispose of it.

Note on the roof project. It looks like we found a contractor we can work with that gave us a reasonable quote. We are having the drawings finished up next week and should be ready to sign a contract the week after. The company can probably start the first half of October, which would hopefully be just enough time to get the roof on before winter hits Novemberish/Decemberish.

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