Monday, August 18, 2014

Flash(ing) Dance

The new porch is underway!

Some assembly required.

We had been hoping to preserve the structure of the old porch, and just replace the top decking. Once we started pulling decking off, though, it quickly became clear that everything underneath was rotten, too. Cue the purchase of a whole lot of lumber, now blocking the carport.

Thank heaven for Brett, because while I thought this was just rotten luck (see what I did there?) he knew right away that it was from badly installed flashing.

I think I can be forgiven for the oversight, since until then I had no idea what flashing was. For the equally construction-challenged, it's a metal channel that diverts water away from the house. It should have been installed under the existing siding and doors, but it had just been stuck on top.

As I soon learned, that's probably because installing it properly is an enormous pain in the ass.

Un-flashy house (old flashing has been removed), siding removal begins

So instead of getting right to the making-a-new-porch-appear bit, we started by ripping off a bunch of siding. There's an addition on this part of the house, so naturally the siding is covered in places by  a bunch of trim, and, oh, a room. We had to do a lot of finagling and still managed to break a piece. It won't show, but we can't leave a hole in the side of the house, so I'm hoping to find some spare siding in the shed.

Thankfully, Brett spent a year leading Habitat for Humanity volunteer crews, so he 1) has built a lot of porches, and 2) knows how to explain things to absolute neophytes like me.

New flashing! It's the black stuff under the door.
The flashing won't really show when we're done (it's paintable), but it will keep the new porch from rotting away like the old one did. For now, I just come home and admire it while I can.

Next up: installing the ledger board. (I don't really know what that is either. Lots to learn!)

I call it Still Life with Siding, Sawzall, and Puppy.

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