Friday, October 31, 2014

Installing the porch ceiling

So. The porch ceiling was not on the official 2014 project list. It wasn't even on the "it might be nice to do this year" list. But once we finished the board and batten, it looked so nice that we just couldn't leave the porch undone.

There is 12 x 64 feet of this to cover
We decided to use sheet goods and then cover the seams with rough cut pine. We painted the plywood in a 50% Sandtone color so they would be a bit lighter shade than the window and door facings.
It's begun!
Cutting out the holes for the lights was a bit tricky, but Chris did a great job figuring out where they were to go. I used the jigsaw to cut out the 4" circles.

The sheets went up much easier when you had an extra pair of hands to hold them up. I was supposed to be up there too, but I had to take a picture, right?
Hold it right there!
Since we knew we'd be covering the seams, we didn't have to worry about fitting the sheets tightly together.
Ugly temporarily visible seams
The rough cut pine boards are 1/2 inch thick and 8 inches wide; I painted them full Sandtone and I like the contrast with the lighter sheet goods. It only took a few days to get everything up and then I stained the porch pillars and trim black. Arranged the furniture, build a quick pallet daybed, and got to enjoy a couple of fall days on the porch before cold temperatures hit.
Look! The car actually fits now!
I'll spend time next summer finishing the daybed, installing the seat cushions on the barber chair, and figuring out how I want to decorate. For now though, I love having it cleaned off and usable.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I'm jumping around in time lately. Posts are a bit out of sequence as I catch up on what we did all summer. Still, the pictures are pretty.

I already said we put up 162 feet of wood. That's a lot of wood!

We borrowed our friend's splitter so that we didn't have to rent one. It's an awesome splitter! Homemade from an I-beam, a bit of tank (yes, I said tank), an old truck seat, a car frame and axle, dump truck hydraulics, and the motor from a commercial power washer. It ran great and let us work at a slower pace since we didn't have to adhere to a rental schedule.

The last pile to split. And the homemade splitter.
That darn pile was over a ditch. We kept thinking we were almost done and there would just be more wood.
Bug hats were a must this year. All year.
We put down pallets to help with air flow and did our best to stack carefully. All of this pile is now gone. Whew!
Neat ends
While we were at it, we decided to build a kindling crib. Chris used some of the slab wood and put this by the back door to the house.
The gaps may be a bit wide. We'll see.
It has angled slats for the front so I can fill it all the way to the top. Unlike the photo, it also has a complete roof. Apparently I took an in-progress shot but no completed one.
Nearly done.
I've been working on splitting the slab wood left over from our milling - I'm up to the second level already!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Double rainbow

My brother took a gorgeous picture yesterday. A double rainbow hitting the fall foliage and reflected in the Hudson River. Wow. 

Especially nice when you consider he snapped the photo with a cell phone while in a moving car. At least he wasn't driving.

Cleaning off the porch - again

It feels like we've cleaned off the porch many, many times over the last year or so. And that's because we have. It's a wonderful space - long, deep, and covered - which means it accumulates stuff. These pictures were from before we worked on the board & batten. Before we could get boards on the walls, we had to get crap off the porch.

Full of stuff. Again.
 Some of it was needed for the siding work, including an entire stack of stained boards and battens.
Stuff on top of the required work materials.
My Dad likes to call it FSS - flat surface syndrome. If you've got a flat spot, crap will end up on top of it.

We decided to empty out the Nest (which is supposed to be a cute camp type spot) and make it a temporary storage unit. Temporary! Most of what is in here will properly go in Chris's workshop when it's done; the rest will go back into the garage.
Empty shelves waiting for stuff
Cleaning out the porch and garage made us realize that we have usable wall space.
A blank slate
So we built a high (around the 10 foot mark) storage shelf for those rarely used items like camping gear, moving blankets, painting cloths, and coolers.
Soon to be filled!
By the time we got done, the working materials were at the far end (in the car port) and the porch furniture was actually usable.
I'll be posting a true "after" picture soon - we got the porch ceiling done!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Board and batten finally done

When last we left the exterior of the house (last fall) it had boards but no battens. At least no battens on the first floor anyway. We made good use of the manlift while we had it and got the second floor gable ends done in October. It was now time to get the darn first floor done. 

We chose to put black trim around the doors and windows and to paint the doors the same color as the window trim and garage doors. It looks quite coordinated now.

Cutting around light and door trim

Garage done, heading to the main house 
 Chris is still working in the garage as we haven't yet built his workshop.
Working in the garage

So safe
We had to cut the battens from around the second floor windows as we wanted to install matching trim.
Love the ladder outriggers. Great stability.
First floor finished! Now it was time to put the trim, boards, and battens on the sides of the second floor.
Installing top and bottom trim boards
This went pretty quick as we simplified the design quite bit. Trim board on top of windows, trim board under windows, and evenly cut boards/battens to sandwich in between.

Ta da!
That finished the exterior skin on the building. Woot!