Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Walk Around the Block

Well, my short semester break has come to an end. I'm not sure that I really got much done... and now I'm sure I'll get even less done.

I am just over 30 balusters cut for the porch, but still have 20-something to go. I bought enough wood to make the remaining balusters, but didn't get much further than that last weekend. The drill press I purchased from Sears finally came in, and Jim put that together in my basement "wood shop" (just next to the "Carrie Closet" ala Stephen King - old cellars in New England are pretty creepy).

For some reason last Sunday I came to a halt (probably contemplating porch flooring), and decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to see what other houses had. I love some of the houses in Natick and thought I'd share my favorites...

The other thing I was looking for was what other people used as porch flooring. I only found one other porch with T&G boards, and it was totally rotted.

I actually talked to one neighbor for quite a while that had boards that I think were the same as the Azek boards. He was a little fuzzy on the brand, but thought it was Procell, which I believe Azek acquired. He also gave me some dirt on the neighborhood, which is always fun!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Anniversary Celebration

Last weekend Jim and I went back up to Rockport for a little anniversary get-away. The couple that rented us the manor house last year were kind enough to let us stay in the room in the back. While the weather was very reminiscent of last year, we had a good time. There was no rushing around to pick up flowers or put together welcome baskets or organize decorations. We got to just do whatever we wanted.

If the weather had been warmer, I would have wanted to rent kayaks and go out to the lighthouses.

But, it was not meant to be this year. Instead we mostly just walked around Rockport and poked our heads into the little shops and artist studios.

Then we drove over to Essex and Ipswich and wandered through antique shops. And we ate at delicious restaurants in Gloucester.
We found this - the creepiest cookie jar ever:

And Jim decided that in his next house he wants a fort like this:

We were both sort of pathetic because we were somewhat at a loss for what to do if we weren't working on projects! How many people have to literally force themselves to relax? I guess that's what we have to take the occasion to do!

(Only don't tell anyone, but as soon as we got home, I sawed out a couple of balusters and Jim went to the shop for a bit)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vintage Woodworks Rocks

I posted earlier about my porch floor thoughts. I decided to go with the "Clay" color of the Azek boards from Vintage Woodworks. (Clay is the bottom one below)

Although in my internet searching, I came across some info that Azek was coming out with a tongue & groove version in a new line they are calling "Azek Porch". However, to my dismay, they are only selling this in brownstone & slate gray...

I even called up the Ask Azek line to see if there was any chance that they were going to come out with the other colors they offered in their decking line. Of course, the person I was actually talking to was just some customer service rep, so she didn't have any answers for that kind of question. "maybe they will announce something in a few weeks or maybe never".... yeeeaaaahhhh, not so helpful.

So with that excitement, and then disappointment, I went ahead and put in my order with VWW for 3.5 Clay deck boards yesterday.

Today I got a call from Roland, one of the owners of VWW. He felt really bad, but I had found an on-line catalogue issue. They did not currently have any 3.5 boards in Clay, and he had called around to all the area resellers and had not been able to find any more. They could make a special order, however, minimums are 2000 boards (my order was only for 90). -- not really in my price range! We talked about what options I had:
-5.5 deck boards in Clay were in stock
-3.5 deck boards in brownstone and slate gray were in stock
-he might be able to get 3.5 in clay in the next month or so if he gets left overs from another reseller's special order
-he mentioned the Azek Porch product that they were going to carry starting May 24-ish

Hmmmmm.... my dilemma is that really only clay and ivory look acceptable with the current paint scheme. AND it needs to be thin boards to look traditional.

So after talking it out with him, I asked "Could I take a 5.5 board and rip it down to 3.5 and route the edge a little? Maybe you can send me a board to try out?" He was like, "geesh - I should have thought about that! Let me go try"

He called back a little later this afternoon, and said it turned out really well. Then I also asked him if they could route a T&G instead of making a deck board. He said they did that all the time with their pvc beadboard, so that shouldn't be a problem either. He came up with another idea that would use up more of the 5.5 also - just rip it in half. The boards would be smaller than 3.5, but not too small - and would save me in material cost. So now it looks like my options for clay are opened up:
-Buy 5.5, rip to 3.5 and give it a decking edge
-Buy 5.5, rip to 3.5 and route a T&G
-Buy 5.5, split it in half and have smaller deck boards

I'm kind of leaning towards the T&G option. Of course, this is probably the most expensive (of course)

What do you think?