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Category: Repairing the Porch (Page 1 of 5)

Repairing the Porch, Day Seventeen

Yesterday was perhaps the last warm Saturday until spring. We will probably have more warm days, and I’m pretty sure we’ll have Saturdays, but to have both at the same time is becoming less likely. It was in the sixties during the day yesterday, but by nighttime it was in the thirties. The forecast for the foreseeable future is cold.

Since it was warm, I worked on the porch railings… and finished! Woo hoo! Denis was a huge help. We put in four sections of railing, and by the end, we were a well-oiled machine.

The middle posts are too tall and need to be cut, but other than that, the railings are finished! (except for the stair railings) (and the one section that attaches to the column I share with Karl)

This isn’t the big AFTER picture for the porch, because there are many smaller things to do yet.

Repairing the Porch, Day Sixteen

Cutting the edge of the porch floor has been holding up any further progress installing the railings. I was going to use some special straight-edge clamped to the floor or something, but planning it was taking so long, I just decided to snap a chalk line and do it free-handed. Actually, Denis did it free hand. He’s got an eye for detail.

It was sunny and cool.

It was sunny and cool.

After the floor was cut, we put up some railings. Railings! It’s taken so long! We only got two sections up before it started to get dark. Still, I’m very happy about it. And future work will be much easier and much less scary because I’ve already done it.

The middle post is un-cut, so it’s too tall. I’ll be cutting it when the other railings are in place and I can decide how tall they all should be.

Looking nice...

Looking nice…

Repairing the Porch, a Half Day’s Work

It was blessedly cool and cloudy yesterday. It was great! After breakfast at the diner, I pulled some weeds in the garden for a while, then worked on the porch. Denis has become an expert at putting screws into the floor boards, so he did that while I hammered in the little plugs that fill the screw holes.

There were some snags along the way. Some of the screw heads stripped, requiring the reverse-threaded bits to back them out. The constant drilling was hard on the driver’s battery. Eventually, it’s what stopped the work. We discussed continuing, and working on the steps or cutting the edges of the porch, but we decided to stop. I had some errands to run, and today I’ll be working all day at school.

I used the MDF to protect the finish while I hammered the plugs in.

I used the MDF to protect the finish while I hammered the plugs in.

Not Working on the Porch

I intended to work on the porch over the long weekend, but didn’t get around to it. As I was sitting around yesterday, I just went outside to pull some weeds. I have Canadian thistles in my garden. They are some of the scariest, awfullest weeds I have ever encountered.

After I pulled the weeds, I was dirty and sweaty, so I decided to clean up the area around the front porch a little. There have been some extra boards in the grass. I picked them up. I should say “we” picked them up. Denis helped. I was glad. Some of the boards are twenty feet long.

I think the bank will be glad to see my clean yard.

I think the bank will be glad to see my clean yard.

Denis has been working on the lattice that covers the bottom part of the porch. The lattice is PVC, just like the floor. It looks awesome!

The panels are custom-cut to fit.

The panels are custom-cut to fit.

While cleaning up, I made some unusual discoveries. On my front lawn, there was a collectible Aladdin cup from Burger King. It seemed a shame to just throw it away, so I brought it inside to wash it. I have no idea what to do with it.

Now I'll have that Prince Ali song stuck in my head all day...

Now I’ll have that Prince Ali song stuck in my head all day…

The other discovery made me laugh. A couple of weeks ago, I kept smelling a dead animal by my back yard gate. I thought one of the neighborhood cats had caught a bird. I looked and looked for it. I never found it until yesterday. It wasn’t a bird.

Rat mummy!

Rat mummy!

It was a rat! A pretty big one too. All that is left is bones and some dried skin and fur. I’m not sure what to do with it. I just left it there for now. I should probably move it though. Unless…. maybe I could use it as a garden decoration for Halloween. I did talk to a woman this summer who loved doing a garden pot filled with Halloween-themed plants. This would be a perfect addition!

Repairing the Porch, Day Fifteen

Happy Birthday to Beth! Woo hoo!

Since school starts tomorrow, I decided to work on the railings of my porch yesterday. Denis is back in town and was interested in working on the lattice that covers the bottom part of the porch. We went to Home Depot to get the lattice materials. The Home Depot location we went to didn’t have enough trim pieces, so we went to a second one. It had enough trim, so we got what we needed and headed home.

This is one of the two we stopped at.  It's the closest one to my house.

This is one of the two we stopped at. It’s the closest one to my house.

When we got home, Denis started on the lattice. The trim pieces don’t snap on, so we had gotten some glue. To keep them in place, Denis was using masking tape. I thought he should use zip ties, so I ran out to Home Depot to get some. That’s three visits to Home Depot so far.

At home again, I was going to start by cutting the railing. I planned to use a jigsaw, because I need to cut a slight curve into the railing ends to accommodate the columns, but after I opened my new jigsaw blade, I realized it was a reciprocating saw blade. D’oh! I headed back out to Home Depot to get the correct kind of blade. I found some blades specifically made for cutting curves. Woo hoo! Four Home Depot visits.

When I got home, I put a blade in the jigsaw. It only stuck out about an inch. That wasn’t enough to cut the railing. Dang. Off to a different Home Depot to see if they had a longer blade. There weren’t any long jigsaw blades. The guy in the tool department suggested a coping saw. That means sawing by hand. Ugh. Five Home Depot visits.

This is the next closest one.

This is the next closest one.

Denis was finished with the first panel and working on the second when I got home. I realized that I needed to paint the face pieces of wood before he attached the lattice to it, so I postponed the railing work and painted instead. Painting wood was LOT easier than painting the fiberglass columns. It was also particularly satisfying because it’s such a visible change.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

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