Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Front Porch Framing

      In the last post we left off with the porch posts and headers, and we've been working on the rafters since then.

     My name is Steven, and I am a Simpson Strong-Tie-aholic. In the porch project I used five different ties; Ridge Rafter Connectors, Hurricane Strap H2.5A, Cap Base BC4, Post Base ABA 44, and Mending Plate MP24. I have seen where people have used common nails, but I like to use the Strong-Tie N10D5HDG and 10d5HDG nails. I have seen other people install the ties using other types of fasteners but to me it seemed that a Strong-Tie 10d nail was a bit bigger than a regular 10d and would insure a snug fit with the connector. I prefer contact around the entire nail instead of just were the head meets the plate.

     Hipped roofs are composed of four different framing components: ridge beam, common rafter, hip rafter, and jack rafter.

     The board to the far right, attached to the front of the house, is the ridge beam (special thanks to Ryan!). The diagonal rafters, attached to the ridge beam and the porch header, are the common rafters.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekend in Photos (Front Porch Edition)

     Whew!! We are pooped but feeling good about the house progress over the weekend. It seemed like the entire State of Alabama was under some sort of flood watch from Thursday through Saturday (some parts probably are still), which put a damper on our front porch plans, but we made the most of it. We stayed indoors Thursday and got all the rafters and posts cut. Friday was pretty drizzly, but we were able to complete the front porch demolition. Saturday was a TOTAL wash as far as the porch goes; however, some much needed de-cluttering was done inside. Today, we got the new porch posts and headers in place! Demo is great, but putting new stuff in place is even better :) Steven and I are extremely grateful to our neighbor Craig for his hours of much needed help this weekend!

On with the photos...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Local Fourth of July History

     In honor of the 114th anniversary of the ground breaking ceremony for Merrimack Mill, I wanted to share this article I put together for our neighborhood newsletter:

     Did you know that on the Fourth of July in 1899 ground breaking ceremonies were held for the Merrimack Manufacturing Company’s first plant here in Huntsville? The exciting event coincided with citywide Independence Day festivities, which also included a ground breaking ceremony for Huntsville’s street car lines. At that time, three textile mills were already in operation in the city: Huntsville Cotton Mills, West Huntsville Cotton Mills, and the Dallas Mills.

Front Porch Fest (go away rain!)

     Our plan for the long holiday weekend is to demo and rebuild the front porch roof, but it seems we are in the midst of a monsoon :( Over the last weekend, we took two layers of siding off the front porch area and decided that the porch roof needed to be redone sooner than later.

When we bought the house, there was a low ceiling in the porch, pictured above.

We knocked out that ceiling and found this (WHY do people cover up stuff like this?!). Steven and I actually did this back in December... not sure why I never shared.

     The junction between the porch section of the roof and the garage section of the roof was showing some water damage, and, as you can see, the beadboard and beams are in pretty rough shape. I don't really think this is the original porch roof since other houses in the neighborhood with the same plan as ours have end-gabled porch roofs and ours is hipped. It would make sense that the hipped roof was added whenever the garage was added, though I do not know when that was. However, our plan is to recreate the hipped framing (and beadboard!) exactly as you see above. We will also be replacing the screened-in look with square posts.
     You may be thinking, "Aren't you guys supposed to be working on the kitchen?!" The electricians are set to come do the kitchen/dining wiring next week, so there's not much for us to do until they finish. We will insulate the walls after the wiring is installed. Redoing the porch roof will be a big face lift for the front of the house, and it makes sense to get the demo/rebuild out of the way before putting in the new windows and front door in that area. I don't even want to think about some Clark Griswold moment happening right after a new window was installed... Not that anything like that would ever happen here ;)