Porches and Cream

While the rockers follow their own schedule inside the house, we stay outdoors as much as the weather allows. It’s the perfect opportunity to frame and roof the porches. Colin’s plans call for two of them: a wraparound open-air porch between the breezeway and the front door, and a screened porch looker’s right of the front door in the house’s southwest corner. We proceed counterclockwise from the breezeway, layer by layer.

The sequence is the same from one end to the other. First we build the frame for a segment of porch, comprising posts at about 12-foot intervals and a double plate connecting their notched tops. This step requires the most careful measurements and, when the pieces don’t fit, a lot of carpenter’s intuition to identify what’s wrong. Is the post not quite plumb, or is the notch too small, or was one 2×8 plate just milled a little wider than the other? Terry can usually figure it out pretty fast.

Colin and Terry brace a post for the screened porch.

Colin and Terry brace a post for the screened porch.


Roofing the hip.

Roofing the hip.

Next we draw layout lines on 16-inch centers, and raise the trusses. We built them ourselves for the open porch, including the shorter ones and the diagonal king rafter at the northwest hip. After the trusses go up, we nail down sheathing (tricky diagonal cuts to the hip, but otherwise full 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood sheets), followed by a vapor barrier (synthetic-felt Roofer’s Choice or generic-brand asphalt paper), and finally a drip edge and shingles. Today I wrapped shingles around the hip and continued as far as I could up the west-facing roof, until I reached the edge of the drip edge/vapor barrier/sheathing/trusses. Before I can proceed, we need to finish framing the screened porch. We plan to do so the next non-rainy day we get… so it may be awhile.

Fall in Vermont... the dark side.

Fall in Vermont… the dark side.

No blog entry is complete without its cream of mini-projects, and I have a couple to report today. In the Barn, Colin and I assembled some fluorescent overhead lights, which he then hung from the ceiling with Carson. A temporary switch to control them and ta-da, we have light! Also, Terry built those two weird partial walls in the kitchen, mostly out of plywood rather than lumber. He used a jigsaw to cut out rectangular openings for the last couple of electrical boxes. Now the drywall crew can finish rocking anytime they like.

Let there be light!

Let there be light!


Two very unusual walls to flank custom cabinets. It'll make sense when you see the finished kitchen!

Two very unusual walls to flank custom cabinets. It’ll make sense when you see the finished kitchen!

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