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An Apology and Progress

by on March 24, 2015

When I began writing here, I had an ambition of putting together detailed, step-by-step instructions, so anyone who stumbled on this blog because they were trying to do the same thing I did that week, would be able to copy my methods.I’d meant to do a “part 2” for the chimney top in as much detail as part 1, then the reality of being too tired to write coherently after hauling more than 500 pounds of concrete to the roof-top kicked in. Then, soon after, I fell at the house, spent some time on crutches, had a surgeon put my knee back together, more time on crutches, then spent the winter recuperating and slowly working back up the strength to handle a ladder.

So, as soon as I was fit to climb a ladder, and the snow had melted, I had to see how well the roofing underlayment (which isn’t supposed to be exposed this long) survived the winter.

Roofing underlayment survived!

Not bad, for not being designed to survive a winter exposed

Not too bad. A few wrinkles that I’ll try to smooth out. The edge is pulled up in a few places; I’ll cut that off and make up the difference with a bit of the tape the manufacturer sells for edging and flashing. That will have to wait until it gets warm enough (the tape’s adhesive doesn’t stick to something new when it’s under 40 degrees).

Still, wanting to get a little work done, there was another chore I could take care of while it’s cold. I had pulled down a rotting porch soffit and replaced a joist that wasn’t up to the task, then failed to replace the soffit; as a result, birds nested in the rafters last spring.

Exposed porch joists and rafters

You can really tell which wood is less than 60 years old!

That shows two of the porch joists, rafters, and the roof decking over them. The whole area above the porch is four feet wide and eight feet long — conveniently, the standard size for construction panels at lumber yards. Last year, I obtained a thin bit of plywood they called “soffit material,” painted it white, and busted my knee being stupid in how I tried to put it up. Not wanting to repeat that experience, I went slower, and allowed Laureth to tell me when I was being stupid.

After discovering I’m too wimpy to push the soffit up to the joists, we decided to cut it in parts and put up the parts. Now, this is an old house, where no corner is quite square and no line is quite straight, so I measured the spaces and cut each piece of the soffit to fit its space. I hauled the pieces into place, Laureth helped hold them in place with a pole, and I climbed the ladder and nailed them in place. (With a nail gun; I learned that lesson helping my brother build his house.)

Porch Soffet

Yes, it’s a bit messy when you’re not strong enough to put up the ceiling in one piece

A few nails need to be hammered into place; my framing hammer apparently grew legs and wandered off. I’ll also caulk the gaps. But at least the birds won’t be nesting in the porch rafters again.

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From → Framing, House

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