Monday, September 22, 2014

Yoga for Lumber

Howdy.  Been a while.  Not that we've been watching TV and eating Bon Bon's (do they still sell Bon Bon's?).  Ever have one of those weeks where your kids overflow the sink, flooding your kitchen and basement and then key your brand new car with their Big Wheel flag?  Yeah it was one of those weeks at the Martin household.

Anyhoo when I left you last we had framed the gable roof so next up was how to frame the barrel ceiling under the gable.

How do you frame a gable ceiling?  Shoulder shrugs.

We googled a bit and there were some strategies but nothing really all that cut and dry.  We needed to get framing up there to support the curved ceiling and act as a nailer for the bead board that would eventually go up.

How do you get curved wood?  You let your kids chuck all the wood in the pool.

And let it lounge for a few hours.

Once it is good and soaked through it is easier to bend in place.

And there you have it.  A complicated web of lumber.

 First and last time we ever need to frame a barrel ceiling.

 Next up, a little trim to get ready for the roofers and new gutters and then we can start trimming this sucker out!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Barrel Ceiling

Tuesday night after work in the dark sounds like a good time to figure out a ceiling.  So here we go.  The gable is currently framed but now we have to add in the rafter ties and the blocks that we'll attach the bead board ceiling to.  You can see our very technical idea of the arch we're looking for using side walk chalk.  

We still need to figure out how we're going to step down the barrel ceiling and transition into the beams that run from the posts back to the house and to the straight, shed style sections of the porch.  Obviously I turned to pinterest.

Husband will love this stained bead board style.

Looks like they had the same "need to cover ugly exposed cinder block" problem we do.  i think we'll do something similar but instead of siding in that triangle some kind of decorative white wainscoting.
Like basically everything else in this project we've never built a barrel ceiling so obviously that's what we'll do :)
Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Porch Floor

So we took a couple weeks off from porching (a new word I've made up that means building a porch when you have no idea what you're doing) and were hoping we could get the township out this week to inspect the framing and then maybe get the roof and gutters installed next week.  We thought we were in good shape.  Not so much.  Then we remembered we needed to install more hardware, frame the barrel ceiling and fix all the holes in the floor.

We donned our grubby work clothes and poured concrete during a thunderstorm.  Sounds dumb (and might be) but concrete actually cures better if it is kept wet because it allows it to dry slower).

Our floor over time had grout cracks, stones popped up, etc. We also had holes left where the old posts used to be.  So we dug out the bad sections, mixed 100 lbs of concrete and filled the holes.  I won't pretend to tell you we knew what we were doing.  Shoulder shrugs all around but at least it looks better than it did a week ago.

It doesn't look perfect but at least the stones aren't moving anymore and by the time it gets a layer of dirt and dust on it I figure we won't really see it.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, August 28, 2014


So now that we've got the porch framed and the metal roof templated we're taking a breather for the Labor Day holiday.  While we take this break lets look at the end game.  My favorite part.  The decor.

The porch should be completed sometime this fall which allowed us to time the end of season patio furniture sale perfectly.  Lets be honest, when I say time the end of season sale it really just means I'll be gouged a little less than I would have been in June.  Seriously I had no idea I'd end up having to spend more for quality outdoor furniture than I would spend on my indoor furniture.  Well I didn't have to.  It isn't like someone holds a gun to your head telling you to buy wicker.  I digress.

We spend a good amount of time on our front porch.  While we love the back for BBQ'ing and pool time we love the front for some shade and to watch the boys swing on the tree swing.

Anyhoo I settled on this classic wicker set in dark brown.  Or 'mocha' as the store called it.  Which sounds silly so let's call it dark brown.  The cubes will do double duty as our coffee table and extra storage for pillows, etc.  The set came with bright white cushions but with three little boys I expect them to stay white for approximately 8 minutes.  So I also ordered the Sunbrella slipcovers in yellow as a nice contrast against the brick.  Those Sunbrella slipcovers better look great for years to come and with as expensive as they were I think they should also promise to do my laundry.

Below are two different ways to style the porch using the same furniture to take us from spring to fall.  Now we just need to finish this sucker so we can finally sit down on our new furniture!

Summer Porch

Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The race is on to get the porch roof and gutters up before we enter hurricane season.  The framing is just about done and we have to get the sheathing on before the roofers can come template for the roof.  The metal roof will be custom made, off-site so we really need to get this thing sheathed considering there is a 2-3 week turnaround time on the roof once they get started.

So we were especially excited to wake up to pouring rain on Saturday.

While the kids played basketball in the rain (interesting form right?)...

...Sean climbed up to the roof.  The absolute last place you want to be in the drenching rain.  My job was to play P-I-G with the boys and run back and forth with tools to pass up the ladder.  Cross-training workout.  

Step 1 was probably the most complicated part of this entire project.  We had to connect 2 roofs with 2 different pitches.  So.  Much.  Math.  I was sitting on the lawn with an iPad, googling "how to build a roof" and then reading the results to Sean as we built.  Total pros.  We ended up using this to help us.  

Once that was framed it was time to add the sheathing.  We thought this would be a walk in the park after the framing but after a full day of sitting on the roof in the rain our brains were soaked and it took a few tries to get this puzzle put together.

Eventually we got there.  Look at that.  A framed gable.

Just in time for me to meet with the roofer to get the template started.  Now we'll cover the gable with a really attractive tarp that the neighbors are thrilled about for the next 2-3 weeks.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Friday, August 22, 2014

Framing the Gable

'Sup Internet?

So now that we've been told by no fewer than two neighbors that gable construction is extremely complicated and because we've never done one before we decided we should totally build a gable.

This is all Sean.  Seriously the most capable human being I've ever met.  Easy on the eyes too.  He doesn't have a construction background at all and yet somehow he framed a gable.  So when I left you last we were looking at a lot of natural light coming into our front door due to our missing roof.

Roof building is super complicated unless you are some kind of geometry genius so I won't even try giving step by step instructions.  Actually now that you mention it porch building is not a DIY project.  Hire out.  Sean's just crazy.

This is the beginning of the framing.  The headers are protruding pretty far out but that is just because we weren't sure how much we were going to bring the gable out so we left ourselves options until we decided. 

Then a few days later we Sean finished the framing.  You'll notice a little fanciness in the front triangle.  I'm sure there are more technical construction terms for "fanciness" and "front triangle" but I'm an accountant not a builder so fanciness it is.  This is the framework for the recessed inlay we're going for.  There will be a strip of black metal (matching the roof) that will run along the base of the triangle and then the rest will be trimmed out in white.

Sean's goal was to sheathe by the end of last weekend so at 9 PM Sunday night, after the kids went to bed, we donned our camping headlights and I handed 5' sheets of plywood up to a husband standing on a framed-in roof in the dark.  I still can't believe we haven't made any ER trips.  So far the pace has had to be crazy because heading into hurricane season without a roof or gutters would be bad news bears.

Goal achieved.  2 sheets of plywood are up.  Now comes the part Sean has been dreading.  Figuring out how to tie the old roof angles in with the new roof angles.  My head hurts just thinking about it.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Here Goes Nothing...

Good news!  The township has given us approval on the gable construction so now our porch project changes over from being a repair and reinforce job to new construction.  Gulp.  Have I told you we've never built a porch before?

After reinforcing the old roof and then propping up the entire structure using 2x6's it was now or never on cutting out the center.  What a mess.

First Sean cut the middle section so that it was just resting in place.  To get the roof lifted off and away from the house he used a couple car jacks to lift the entire thing up 6."  Then (and I'm so glad the kids and I weren't home for this) he tied the roof to our jeep and yanked it off the house.  Seriously.  By some miracle the roof came off with no damage done to the house and no trips were made to the ER.

And there you have it.

Now to figure out how to build a gable.  Google here we come.
Follow Me on Pinterest