Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Front Porch Project

 What started out as a simple matter of replacing some porch posts that rotted out at their bottoms has turned into a major project. Its not major in terms of cash or complexity but rather in terms of how much time its taking up. Its true that when its nice enough to fix the porch its also nice enough to go for a bike ride but this is something thats been on my radar for a long time and I'm determined to get it in my rear view mirror. 
 It started with painting the metal roof over the porch. You may remember that I showed a pic of my raw arms from trying to get that paint off of them. They got worse to the point of bleeding but I'm happy to report I'm to the stage of just a little discoloration and some itching. That really was a bonehead maneuver. 
 A raggedy old piece of astro turf was glued to the concrete and that was scraped off. I still need to deal with the glue. I then pressure washed the concrete along with the front of the house. There has been some discussion of painting the concrete and I even bought the paint but I think it may be only enough to do my garage floor so we'll see what happens there. The real reason I'm having second thoughts about painting the concrete is how it will handle chairs being slid around on it. Scratches in the paint would look worse than just rough concrete.


 I primed the wood surfaces of the porch and also did the two picture windows. Before that primer went on I spent hours scraping paint. You'd never guess by looking at it that I scraped any paint because I did the same thing the guy before me did. I removed what would come off in about three attempts and left the rest. It has a nice retro look now :-) but looks perfectly fine as you walk past on the sidewalk. I can live with that. I still have to deal with the entire ceiling of the porch and instead of spending hours scraping paint I decided I'm gonna cover it with bead board panels. A top coat of paint still has to go on everything so I have that to look forward to.


 All this shit has to be done in a specific order or you end up back tracking and wasting even more time. The old posts were finally removed and to my surprise they aren't as structural as I thought they were. Sure the roof would eventually sag if they weren't there but I found that when I removed them the roof didn't droop. I probably could have done the swap without the use of a jack. Thats a good thing in my eyes because I wondered how sound that roof really was. 


 Once the posts were up I installed the decorative corbels but of course there was a few hours involved in repairing and painting those decorative corner brackets. It was worth it. Again, they aren't perfect but the cost to replace them is crazy. I cut some trim to wrap the bottom of the posts to cover up my mounting brackets. There was a lot of bs involved in cutting those things and I'm not gonna go into detail but for a non-woodworker guy like myself it kinda sucked. At the time of this writing I still have two to do and thats a good thing because I have since decided that I'm gonna add a 1/4" thick piece of plastic under each post to help prevent them from wicking up moisture. I'm back tracking and I kinda wish I would have thought about that before but hey, like I've said many times, I'm not a carpenter.



 I blogged about replacing the storm door and so far that door has been a big hit. The hide away screen is great and the glass running all the way to the bottom is a favorite of at least one of our cats, and shows off the antique inner door. I still need to put a second coat of paint on that inner door.
 The doorbell button was replaced and the last thing on the front of the house that needs attention is the porch light. I plan to refurbish the old one with either polish or paint. What else, oh ya the rain gutter needs to go back on. One other piece of the front that I want to address is the two bridal wreath bushes that mark the corners of the porch. They are odd shaped and if I let them grow out and droop naturally they rub against the house and also create an issue for Mowby. A chain and the big ass station wagon ought to fix their ass. Some simple landscaping and fresh plant material will spruce things up.

 I spent four weeks cleaning my shop and garage while I was laid off. In two weekends I managed to create a bigger mess than I started with four weeks ago. The good news is I've been picking away at making my garage into something I can be proud of. More details on that project another time.

Later.
 

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