Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Build a Porch in 437 Easy Steps, Part 2

We can walk on our porch!

Okay, we can walk on half of it. I take my victories where I can get 'em. 

We finished cross-bracing the structure and started laying down the decking. (For more on how we built the structure, read How to Build a Porch in 437 Easy Steps, Part 1)

Installing cross-bracing. Brett says it's necessary. I say he just wanted to play with the nail gun.

This part is really satisfying, because the deck gets more obviously useful with every row we complete. I say "satisfying," not "easy," because although the idea is pretty straightforward - cut board to length, sand and paint, attach with nail gun, repeat - it's also very time consuming.

I keep thinking of the classic Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. That was the first book that really made think hard about the trade-off between time and money, and when to choose which one. In this case, we got used cedar decking for free - awesome! - but it makes our project much slower.

Someone pulled up their cedar deck to replace it with synthetic, but the contractor didn't want to waste the wood that was still in good condition. We were lucky enough to get it, which has really helped keep this project affordable. But because it was on someone else's deck, it's painted, cut to odd lengths, has some damage and moss, etc. To get it looking nice again and make sure it's protected from water damage in the future, we need to sand each board and seal it with paint on all sides. We tried to get as far ahead on the sanding and painting as possible, but most of it is getting done as we build. Slow going.

But - it's going to look SO SO good! I'm so excited.

So.. beautiful... *sniff*

Brett's on crutches for a week or two, so probably not much progress this weekend unless the porch elves pay us a visit. More painting and sanding for me!

Bonus content: Hermie apparently wasn't feeling photogenic this week. As a reward for bothering to read this without the salve of her cuteness, here's a video of her attacking an evil, evil milk carton.

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