Category Archives: The Porch Project

Winter Prep

In recent years, fall seems to fly by, fast, furious and all too fleeting. Seems like yesterday was August and now we’re just days from December.

This fall has seemed even more jammed than usual and much of it my own doing – some, like the cider, were born of interest and some, like the porch, of sheer necessity.

The upper part of the porch is now (mostly) complete and looks way better than before! Though I’d really like to have been able to get it all done, the weather was becoming a threat.

The underside is still unfinished wood simply because we couldn’t decide whether to stain it before applying the polyurethane.

The exterior paint job was completed a few days ago. We worried it might freeze before it dried but the fine print said that it was good at temps as low as 2 degrees Celcius and, thankfully, dry it did. Just one coat, but it’s better weather protection than none. The colour was chosen to blend with the house brick but I’m thinking it’s just too … meh … so the second-coat colour may change – we have all winter to ponder it.

What’s left? The pillar-cladding and some sort of cap on the brick knee-wall (which I’d love to remove but I was out-voted). Oh, and a trap-door to access the plug for the roof heating cable.

We’ll take the winter to plan the rest and make parts so that what’s left is quick and easy in the spring.

And the cider – it’ll get a second racking this weekend and then I’ll assess the whole bottling business. It’s actually smelling pretty good!

We’ve had a flurry of activity in the last few weeks to get all kinds of things done before the snow hits:

Raked leaves – thirty bags full!
Swapped the contents of two sheds – we do this each spring and fall; the shed close to the laneway holds the necessities for the current or upcoming season and the one tucked away on the other side of the house contains off-season and seldom-used stuff (I’d kill for a garage! Some day …).
Bought and installed brackets – one set to hold the ladder and another set for the sailboat mast.
Planted shrubs … that were bought back in September (yeah, I know …).

And this weekend will kick off the Holiday season, way too early to suit me but a necessity in some regards. Life is just easier if you get the outdoor seasonal lights up before the cold, ice and snow arrive and the end of November is actually late to be doing it around here. I’m not bothered in the least though that it’s still green outside!

I also get to bake eight dozen cookies this weekend, for an exchange I take part in annually. We’ve been at it for more than five years now and it seems to take place earlier each year, as it becomes harder and harder to find a date that works for everyone later into December.

Guess I’d better go figure out what to bake – tune in again to see the end result!

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Porch renovation – Update #1

Back in July, we pulled back the old, ugly aluminum sheeting that had been wrapped around the original wood structure of our front porch back years ago when they did that type of thing – same time period, I think, when kitchen appliances were burnt orange and avocado green – ugh!

As suspected, the two posts were no more than sawdust. Luckily, the roof was cantilevered so it had not collapsed despite winter snow loads and ice build-up. The destruction, which extended beyond just the pillars, had been caused by a combination of wet-wood rot and carpenter ants.

And so we waded into yet another home-reno project – as always, seriously underestimating the scope of the job and time and expense for completion.

Now here we are in September, still nowhere near finished, however, progress is finally apparent!

Here’s a bit of a photo journey …

Underside - lots of rot & a nest

Underside - lots of rot & a nest

Reinforcements & heating cable - we'll see in January ...

Reinforcements & heating cable - we'll see in January ...

Sheeting in

Sheeting in

Interior shaping up!

Interior shaping up!

The whole mess has been complicated by needing to retain the roof while replacing rotted timbers from the underside – it would have been far easier just to tear the whole thing off and build a new one.

There are still posts, exterior finish and trim work to do so check back for future updates – I’m hoping you’ll see them soon because I’d really like to BE DONE!