Soffiteering

Over at Colin’s house, the front porch proceeds at a steady clip. The porch’s ceiling, so recently a jumble of roof trusses and exposed cable, is now finished with a spread of white solid soffit. A narrow swath of vented soffit encloses the shed roof overhang and forms a sort of border.

Our support columns got wrapped in a neat product called a post sleeve. It’s basically PVC (low-maintenance all the way!) but manufactured in four 5½-inch-wide sections with flexible edges in between. In other words, it wraps around a 6×6 post cleanly and with very little effort. Terry installed the sleeves nice and snug, and he bent and cut aluminum to fit around the top beams’ as-yet exposed faces. Every bit of lumber above deck is now covered.

Meanwhile the screen porch begins to look less like a deck and more like a room. Colin built half-walls around the perimeter, added aluminum sills for the screens, and framed the doorway to the main porch. Still some work to do here, but it’s moving along quickly.

One seamless gutter. They surround the house and the Barn now.
One seamless gutter. They surround the house and the Barn now.

Of more practical concern: we have gutters! A team from the supplier came Thursday to furnish and install them all. With the ongoing drainage problems at Colin’s house (and the gloppy Champlain clay that continues to plague his yard), it’s a big relief to shed the water where we want it.

The big picture.
The big picture.

The Story Ends

Terry installed the last little white triangle today, and now the siding is complete. Next we’ll focus on the front porch.

No other component of Colin’s house took as long as the siding; not even close. (The best contender would be getting the site to drain properly, which is still a work in progress but with far less active labor.) We started siding way back in October, and we probably devoted 600 man-hours to the task. We worked in 85-degree heat and freezing cold, in rain and snow and gale-force wind. We used ladders, ladders on top of roofs, homemade scaffolds, and a bucket lift to reach the highest points. We emptied our massive original delivery of siding and needed about four boxes more to finish. What a relief to be done.

I wasn’t at the house for this occasion so I have little more to say about it. Just thrilled to pass a major milestone!

North gable end of the Barn... all done!
North gable end of the Barn… all done!

Alone Time

Terry spent this week working on a side project in another town. This morning he enlisted my help to move a rusty 600-pound boiler, definitely the adventure. But other than that, I’ve stayed at Colin’s house working all alone. Once again it’s nice to know I was 100% responsible for the progress made each day.

The siding continues. With a fresh supply of materials, I finished the Barn’s south gable end and started paving up the north end. Like every other wall, the bottom course was the trickiest, because the lines had to be level and match the finished side around the corner. Unlike every other wall, this time BOTH adjacent sides were already finished… and naturally, their lines didn’t match. No surprise really that somewhere around the perimeter of the house we got off level by a few quarters of an inch. Fortunately, the way the courses lock together gives me some play in their height, and by the time I made it over the doorways I had everything in line.

The lines on the siding match around every corner.
The lines on the siding match around every corner.

I also completed the top course of siding on the Barn’s east and west façades. Since the siding dies into a wide J-channel on top, there’s no way to nail the top course to the wall, at least not without leaving the nails exposed and visible. Instead, I put a bead of glue in the bottom hook, effectively adhering the top course to the penultimate course.

Siding finally finished on the front façade of the Barn.
Siding finally finished on the front façade of the Barn.

On the soffit front, the Barn is complete. I had to knock down the meanest, nastiest wasp nest of them all atop the north gable end, but that wasp should be glad now to not be built into the house. Then I got started on soffit above the front porch, quickly running out of F-channel. The materials monster strikes again.

Long way to go on the porch soffit.
Long way to go on the porch soffit.