Sunday, August 10, 2008

Working in the Pocket of the Storm

I think God must have wanted us to get our boards down today. The weather forecast had us at 70% chance of rain after 3:00. The storm was coming from the south. It got a little dark and the temperature dropped a hair. But this is what we saw when we looked south:

and this is what it looked like to the north:

Very bizarre - it continued this way for the entire evening. Joyce, my neighbor, said it was pouring in Newton, just a few towns away. And apparently it was hailing further north. I think I felt 2 rain drops all evening.

Here's the low down on today's work:

The first thing we did was lay down tar paper. John (contractor neighbor) suggested taking the sawzall and cutting right through the roll and then rolling it out on the frame, rather than trimming after rolling out. One of his "KISS" suggestions - keep it simple stupid. We can use a lot of these suggestions...

Then we pulled out the Azek deck boards. I thought I ordered them with a routed edge... that's what the sample piece had and I wanted what I had in the sample. But there must have been some confusion, because when I opened the packs, the boards had been trimmed down to 3.5, but the cut edge was not routed.

Minor setback. Luckily, I have the router table set up in the basement. So with a change of the bit and a quick test, Jim helped me route enough boards to get going. In the picture below, the right side is the factory edge. You can see that the bottom of the left side is the straight trimmed board, and the top of the left side is where we routed off the square corner:

Then let the geometry begin... we wanted to be very careful and make sure that we were square and that the center, which we were going to miter, would be perfectly along the diagonal board of the frame.

And finally, the first screw!

We used finishing nails as spacers. We also used some large clamps to help hold everything together for the first several courses. We screwed it in 3/4" from the edges on the long side, and 1/2" from the miter edge.

The miter was not 100% perfect - we almost would have had to back cut the pieces to get them to fit together closer. But overall, I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Here's the view from beween the step and the door - where most people will actually be viewing the porch:

This is where we finished for the evening. We still have to lay boards out from both of the edges. But that should be super easy compared to the mitered corner. And then, of course, we will cut all the edges to be even and finish with a trim board. I love it when you can tell that you've done some work...

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