Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two Hours

Most of this summer has been unseasonably cool.  Rainy, too.  So.  Much.  Rain.  Sometimes hard rain and bad thunderstorms, but mostly light rain; the kind of day that can't make up its mind if it wants to rain or not, the kind of day when it mists a little, then rains for an hour or so, then stays cloudy for the rest of the day so that the high temperature is around 80, the kind of day that would be perfect for, say, putting up trim pieces under cover of a porch.  

But Marion and I didn't work on the porch on that kind of day.  No, we chose to work on a day when the heat index topped out at 115.  It was only a couple hours of work, but two hours was plenty in that heat. We laughed about it taking only two hours to do, including a 20-minute conversation with one of my neighbors, because ever since last September when we bought the trim pieces Marion's been saying "It'll only take us two hours".   Typical of us, that it took us ten months to find two hours to finish this up. 

We used 1x4s next to the house.  I could make up a good story about why we did that, but the truth is--well, look to the left of the 1x4 in the photo below.

There's a good-sized gap between the beadboard ceiling and the clapboards, a gap that's too wide for quarter round to cover.  I'll take the blame for that for the one piece of beadboard sheeting that I cut, because I'm incapable of measuring accurately.  The rest of it is a quirk of measurement:  the house itself is still square, but the concrete slab the porch sets on was built out of square to the house, so because we measured from the edge of that slab when we built the porch, the porch is square to itself but out of square to the house.  What this means is that a sheet of beadboard cut, say, 72" long will fit perfectly along the outside edge of the porch, but on the house edge will have a gap ranging from 1/16" to 7/8" or slightly more. We could've compensated for this if we'd realized it before we cut all the sheets of beadboard to the same length.  Whoops.

There's Marion proving himself alive and well and perfectly capable of carpentry with only seven whole fingers.  He told me that an old man at a lumberyard said to him when he saw his missing digits, "Well, now you're a real carpenter." It seems to me that there ought to be a certification course or something he could take, instead of having to run his hand into a saw, to prove that, you know?

Marion notched out the 1x4s around the door and window trim.  (Incidentally, he did that with the ledger boards when he built the porch, too.  One of the things that surprised us was that the original ceiling covered up part of that trim.)  He used chunky quarter round on the other seams, so I don't think it looks bad that it's not all quarter round.  I imagine it'll look even better when it's painted.

The very last thing Marion did was to cover the corner seam of the beadboard with a long piece of lattice strip. With that, the construction of the porch is officially finished.
Now all I have to do is paint those trim pieces to match the ceiling, and finish painting those spindles, and then the front porch will be really and truly completely finished.  My goal is to have all that done by the one-year anniversary of when we closed up the porch ceiling, which will be September 24th.