Wahoo, Making some progress on the porch

I know in last week’s post I was Debbie Downer, but this weekend has been awesome.  The week overall was a disaster, but the weekend put me back in a good frame of mind.

We started the week with Lynn having gone to the emergency room a week ago Friday.  Then on Tuesday he had to get two injections in his lower spine area.  These injections had not worked before, but he was out of options.  Amazing, they worked pretty good, I just hope he didn’t overdo it this weekend.  When Papa is happy, everybody is happy.  When he isn’t, God help us.  Now he will get to rest a little while I go to work through the week.

The porch is coming along nicely, but the rest of the property has gone to the dogs.  We have weed 3 feet high weeds and everything is dying from lack of care.  My flower beds are filled with debris and need watering, but the porch comes first.  Then some cleanup and it will be time for winter.  Ugh!!  Not going there, back to the porch.

Today we laid our first decking boards.  Then we picked up momentum and about a third of the deck is down.  Lynn had a goal of getting enough boards down to be able to move the freezer over.  Yes we have a freezer on our back porch!  I know the “hillbilly” has to come through sometime.  The freezer is a chest type and it is almost 25 years old and still runs good.  Lynn bought it just before we got married in July, 25 years ago.  I really did not want to have it on my NEW back porch, but, alas, that is where we would have to put the new one until be get the dream home built.  So it really doesn’t make sense at this time.  May go with an upright when the time comes.

Back to goals.  I like it when Lynn has a goal, because things get done.  We finished at about 3:30 just as it started to rain.  What timing.  Maybe next week we will be another 1/3 of the way.  We have to work around that monster stump.  Lynn measured the diameter and it was about 36-42″ across.  It’s not moving, so we are going to do what the pioneers before us did, build around it.  I think that stump is what actually determined what the depth of the porch was going to be.  It’s dimensions of the porch will be 8 foot by 19 foot.  A fair sized porch.  Remember when the deck is done, then comes the roof and railings, so there is still a ways to go.

To take you through what was done today.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the floor I wanted to be in a picture frame style.  With the outside edge done with mitered corners, and then the boards laid perpendicular to the house.  Since we are constructing around that darn freezer we were not able to just tear the whole porch off, which would have been much simpler.  So we had to put temporary boards along the front until we are able to get the other 2×8 put along in front of the stump.  We will be using  pressure treated posts but will not be able to dig down to put in the concrete footing like we did before.  So that will be a challenge.  But Lynn is up to it. 🙂

Then I drilled pilot holes and drove in 3″ deck screws.  There is no bounce!!!  Each board was cut and fitted, and it looks awesome.  We used pipe clamps and an 8″ C-clamp to pull and push each board to its correct position.  Speaking of pipe clamps, watch out for the wild Scotsman wielding the pipe as it made contact with my head.  Made me see stars for a few minutes.  Guess it’s okay, no goose egg yet.  Usually, I don’t need help getting hurt, I have two left feet and am not the most graceful 62 year old.  But that is why I have a guardian angel by my side.

Porch look darn near perfect.  Right, I know it had no where to go but up.  The toughest thing to do was to move the freezer.  We put two 1 1/4″ pipes under it and rolled it over onto the finished side.  That cleared the way for “full-speed-ahead.”

As for the rest of today, I have to finish laundry.  Make dinner which will be sausage and eggs.  Make a taco salad for a work pot-luck tomorrow.  Plus 2 key lime pies for dessert.  Take a shower and work on my quilt.  See you next week.

Now for the photos.

Annie, the novice porch builder

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Happy Father’s Day – Porch Progress

First of all I want to wish my Husband a wonderful Father’s Day.  Also, happy Father’s Day to all those out there in Blogville, and I hope yours was special.

Usually, I always have upbeat posts and try to be positive, but this week really sucked.  There just isn’t any other word that quite fits.

I try real hard to be patient and roll with the punches, but I have found this past week particularly challenging.  On Wednesday I ended up coming home and taking my husband into the emergency room.  His degenerative back disease has been getting progressively worse.  There really wasn’t much that they could do to alleviate the pain.  He is scheduled for injections this week and I pray they give him some relief.  That is pretty much why I am the muscle and he is the brains.  But I have become increasingly aware of my limitations.  Having used power tools, some I am comfortable with and others I tend to be a little leery of.  Skill saws and table saws are not my favorite.  Try building a deck without either one.  Ugh.  Though, I do love the palm nailer.  That thing is awesome.  I took a picture of that little gizmo.

Trying to learn from my husband when his fuse it short, is not fun for me.  We end up arguing and the deck still doesn’t get done.  Frustrating for us both.  The dream house is setting next door and I feel like I am running out of time and afraid I won’t get to work on it this summer.  I am stuck on this damn porch!!

This blog is suppose to keep me on track and encourage me.  If I write it down, and know that I plan to write it down, I am more motivated to get things done.  This week it isn’t working.  I did take pictures of some of the progress, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.  Oh, I am really throwing a pity party now.  Anyway, this is where we are now:

We got the front 2×8 on the posts and have a good start on that, then put in some crossbars.  We are almost ready to put on some of the 2×6’s that we will be using for the decking.  I wanted to get at least this half of the porch done so we can move the freezer over and work on the other half.  Usually a patient person, I am almost ready to throw in the towel.  Finishing this half would have given me the inspiration to keep going.  Add to that I have a tooth ache, and my knee is swollen (haven’t a clue what that is from).  Oh, and the “sock fairy” hasn’t finished the laundry or gotten anything else a domestic diva is supposed to do, done.  Thank God for work tomorrow, I can escape into that world where I can master the things I need to.

Have to get back my positive attitude, so I will tell you what I plan to do next weekend.  The plan is to get the porch deck framed ( like a picture frame) and get about 8 feet or so of the 2×6’s down and get the freezer moved over there.  If I manage to get any of the old decking demolished, that will be a bonus.  My 2 week porch has turned in to 2 months so far.  Now do you understand why my blog is “15 years and counting dream house!!”

Annie, a very frustrated novice carpenter

Not a very complementary photo, those are part of the clothes I intend to burn when this is done.  Using the palm nailer.  Love that thing.
Not a very complementary photo, those are part of the clothes I intend to burn when this is done. Using the palm nailer. Love that thing.
Some of the power tools
Some of the power tools
Palm nailer.
Palm nailer.
Front board of the deack
Front board of the deck
McKinzie, tolerating us ruining her porch.
McKinzie, tolerating us ruining her porch.
A little bit done.
A little bit done.

Porch Progress – Moving Slow and Steady

Lynn reluctantly spending his Sunday, working on the porch.  McKinzie staying close.
Lynn reluctantly spending his Sunday, working on the porch. McKinzie staying close.
April is supervising the operation.
April is supervising the operation.
Another detour.  Fixing a leak
Another detour. Fixing a leak
Love the smell of raw wood.
Love the smell of raw wood.
Staining the boards Rubicon Red.  2X6
Staining the boards Rubicon Red. 2X6

I get a little anxious when the weekend comes around as I want to go gun-ho on the porch.  I don’t want to do any of the other things I have to do, I just want to focus on the porch.  Maybe a little OCD?  But Lynn tempers that side of me.  He says groceries first and then we are both pooped by the time we get home.  Well, I have a plan for that…. We go to town (20 miles away) and get the groceries, come home and unpack the groceries and put them away, quickly…. Get in his truck and go to Home Depot (20 miles away) and pick up some lumber and other building materials, because tomorrow is going to be a totally “get it done” day.  We come home and we are doubly pooped.

Then he breaks the news to me, there is a pipe in the horse pasture that is leaking water and that needs to be taken care of before the porch.  Ugh.  Double ugh!!  Okay, I got to rethink this.  If we turn the well pump off Saturday night, the ground will be soft but dig-gable in the morning.  We can do that first thing as that is when the shade is in that area.

Sunday morning, up bright and early and ready to dig and get that out of the way.  I am the chief-whole-digger as I can get down and into it.  (sometimes it doesn’t pay to be healthy)  The whole is dug and the leak is found and the repair is made.  Let the glue set-up and wait a few hours and test it.  In the meantime, back to the porch.  🙂 This is me smiling.

Staining the lumber first with Architect Series Semi-Transparent Wood Stain – Rubicon Red (It is a redwood color).  This is an oil stain and I really like the color.  It is just what I wanted.  I am staining the top and sides so when it is put down, all I will have to do is some touch-up.  Besides its easier to stain standing up (wood on the saw horses) than for me to crawl around on the floor.  I get down okay, its the getting up that is a challenge.

Got out all the power tools set up for the hubby.  Skill saw; palm nailer; nail gun; compressor; hammer; wreaking bar; pry bar; and a multitude of other tools to accomplish the job.  Now to get Lynn (the hubby) out there to do some of the intricate detailed foundation of the porch work.  Some of the floor joists we are keeping as they are sound and oversized compared to the lumber of today.  Some old, and some new.

If you haven’t figured it out by now I am the energetic gopher of this project.  I get the ideas in my head and try to explain them to Lynn, and he does the magic of figuring how to make my visions come true.  He does tend to get a little frustrated at how my visions keep getting modified and more detailed.  They start out simple and evolve, while he stands there and shakes his head.

Took a break from the porch, to turn the well back on, check the leak, and refill the whole.  That job is done until the next leak.  Nothing stays fixed on a Ranch/Mini Farm.  Always something to fix.

Well I got to get back to work, there’s still daylight.

Annie, the energetic gopher  🙂

Starting the day with a headache, Excedrin saves the day.

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I guess better late than never, the footings are in for two posts.   Four posts have their first coat of Kilz Primer.  So the weekend hasn’t been a total failure.

Had a humdinger of a headache when I woke this morning, but a couple Excedrin and a few hours more of sleep and I am a new person.

The progress on the porch renovation didn’t go as fast as I anticipated this past weekend.  But we are playing catch-up.  I took Saturday off from construction as on Friday and Saturday I participated in the Relay for Life, Cancer relay.  This was my first time participating in this worthwhile event.  Cancer has been a killer for many of my family members and friends.  Through research more people are living longer and beating this dreaded disease.  My Aunt being one of those.  She has lived the past 5 years, that she wouldn’t have had just 10 years ago.  Her cancer has begun to grow again, so she is undergoing Chemo again.  All I can do is pray and feel like I am helping through doing the Relay for Life.  If you get the opportunity, participate in this event near your home.  They make birthdays.

Back to the back porch.  Hauled old decking out to the burn pile and did some clean-up and dug the footings.   Then it started raining on Sunday and that was the end of that.  Couldn’t pour concrete during the rain.

So this afternoon, my hubby and I mixed up some concrete and I managed to prime 4 of the posts that will be holding the roof of the porch up.  I will be painting them white and will have white railings on a redwood deck.  Through experience with doing a lot of painting on my “Dream Home”, I have found that you need to use a good primer or it just will not hold up in our climate.  Though our weather is not as wet as the west side of the state, we do get a lot of wind in our area and any wood surfaces  that are facing south have a hard time holding paint.  Our porch is on the north side of the house so it won’t get that wind, but when you find a good primer, you stick with it.  We now always buy Kilz Premium Primer because that is the most durable.  Just touting the Kilz as maybe you can learn from my experiences.  By the weekend I will be able to put 2 coats of paint on them.

Got a little side-tracked when I went into the dream house and saw the post from the front porch (of the dream house) which had 3 sides glued together (last fall) and needed the 4th side glued on.  So I took a little detour and worked on the Dream House post.  Wasn’t going to work on that until I finished the back porch.  Actually, now that I think of it, the back porch IS the detour.

Again, back to the back porch.  The posts going under the deck will be pressure-treated and hidden so they will not be painted.  I am really excited about the progress, even if it is slow.  I can’t wait to take the pictures of the finished porch.  But in the meantime, here are a few photos from this weekend.

Annie, the novice porch builder.