Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Porch Roof

Porch construction has been a slow process.  Between work, weather and some work we are doing at church there just has not been much time for improving our own house.  But over the Memorial Day weekend we were able to make some serious progress.  With the help of Luke's brother we finished framing the porch roof
And installed the sheathing and synfelt
We found some tongue and groove aspen on sale several weeks ago and decided it would be perfect with our open rafter ceiling.
I'm not done with the painting yet, but I think the rafters have a nice contrast against the aspen.
Our other projects have included removing the fence and siding in anticipation of the still-to-be-built garage.
 Luke also remove some of the branches on the tree/shrub in the front yard.  We are hoping to have the stump removed when we have equipment here to excavate the driveway.  The yard is so much more open without it.

I'm hoping to finish the porch painting this week and excavation for the driveway and garage should start on Thursday.  After all these months we are finally doing something with this house!

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Porch Gets A Floor

We started on the porch last weekend but most of our time was spent on boring projects that don't do much for the aesthetics of the house.  But now the concrete is hauled away to the dump and the footings for the porch have been poured.  We're ready to start building.
The first step was to get the framing in place.  Fortunately my brother and his fiancee had a lot of free time during these last few days until graduation and helped us get the posts up and the floor framing in.
We had family coming into town before my brother's graduation so we were in a rush to get the porch floor installed before they arrive. After doing a little research we decided on ChoiceDek composite.  I preferred the look of some Trex on clearance but it had terrible reviews because of mold problems.  The ChoiceDek had much better reviews and was slightly cheaper so I think we'll be happy with it.  We installed it using a the Camo system jig so the screw holes are not visible..
View from the street
Now that we have a good surface for the ladders it's time to start working on the porch roof.  We've got family coming for graduation and mother's day but we're going to buy our materials and see how much we can get accomplished over the weekend.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Back to Work

After a few months away from blogging I'm back and ready for a fresh challenge.  We've been in the house since Labor Day but we haven't tackled any real projects until now.  We plan to make up for that time off in the next few months. Our big project will be building a garage, but there are countless small projects that go along with the garage.  First up is our front entry situation.  Here is what we've been looking at for the last eight months.
 
So far the only improvement I have made was planting these maple trees a few weeks ago.
In an effort to dress up the front of this bland little ranch and tie in with our future garage we decided to replace the concrete steps with a covered porch.  Our first step was to get rid of the precast steps using craigslist. I was surprised at how many people were interested in our free steps and how few of them had any plan for how to move 800 lbs of concrete.  But eventually we found the right person to haul them away.  My brother built us a temporary set of steps to use until we build the porch.
We still did not have a clean slate to work with.  Since our new porch will have steps on the side instead of the front we decided that we really did not need the front walk.  At some point we will fill the hole and plant grass to combine two small yards into one larger yard.  For now we have this:
The walk from the driveway was great for shedding water but miserable to shovel.  Whoever poured the concrete did nothing to prepare the soil underneath which is why it buckled.
When we pour the driveway and garage slab we will also pour a sidewalk leading to the new porch.
I don't usually appear in the blog but Luke snapped a few pictures while I was working on the front walk.
Our last little preparatory task was to dig the holes for the porch footings.  We were concerned this would be miserable work because our soil is so rocky but at 18" we hit good, alluvial dirt and it was easy digging for the rest of the holes.
Since the digging went faster than planned we had time to mix up some concrete and pour the footings for the porch posts.  Now that the prep work is done we're ready to start building a porch.  Stay tuned.