July 21, 2019 – Today I started the section four porch decking. Section three was completed yesterday. We ran out to Lewistown for some trim pieces and some exterior stainless steel screws. It was another hot day and we didn’t work very long but I did manage to get a good start on section four.
By early afternoon, having enough of the heat wave, we started the clean up process. We piled a bunch of lumber on the deck help protect and keep the “snake screen” in place. Hopefully nothing will try and walk across it.
After we packed up we headed home. Stay tuned, it will be a couple of weekends until we can get back down to the Cot-Taj-Mahal to continue the renovation. Just a slight pause for some needed rest and relaxation.
July 20, 2019 – Dam it’s hot today! Once again it hit 97° here in Lewistown. The heat index was off the charts. Slowly but surely, with a bunch of breaks, and lots of hydration, I continued the section three porch decking.
“When I prayed during the winter months, I aksed the Lord to make it warm. I did not say, ‘Lord please bring the devil from hell and have him sit his ass crack on earth.’ That is not what I asked for. It’s not what I requested.”
It is so hot that the caterpillars are crawling into the grooves on the Trex decking!
It’s so hot that a group of eight Daddy Long Legger’s gathered underneath a scaffold plank to conduct a Heat Index Convention!
But seriously, I did manage to get the section three porch decking complete today, despite the heat wave.
Tomorrow morning I will start the final section of Trex decking. We are not planning on working all day so I doubt it will be completed tomorrow. We also have to get some trim boards for this section because there won’t be a knee-wall or screens. This means another trip to Lowe’s before I can start.
After the decking is complete we will be jumping back on the porch roof framing and roofing for the rest of the deck.
July 19, 2019 – According to the weather forecast, this weekend will be hotter than Hades. There are excessive heat warnings in effect and the heat index expected to reach 115° F on Saturday. I’m not sure how much work we will be able to accomplish because, for most of the day the porch addition is in direct sunlight. Our only hope is to get up early and work in the morning before the sun comes up. The plan is to continue the Trex decking installation in section three. This is in front of the living room door.
In the morning I completed the additional framing required for the picture framed deck pieces. There will be a knee-wall and screens between deck sections three and four. Deck section four is officially “Brenda’s Deck”. It will not have screens. From what I understand she (Brenda) has divided it up into 2′ × 2′ pieces and is attempting to sell them to the highest bidder. Good luck.
After completing the picture framing support I realized that I was out of snake screen so off to Lowe’s I went. It’s an hour round trip but what are you going to do, right.
With the snake screen in hand, I rolled out and stapled the next piece. After it was down I was able to continue the decking.
The temperature hit 97° in Lewistown today. I took a bunch of breaks and stayed hydrated but once the sun hit the Trex decking it became unbearable. I only got half of the section 3 decking installed. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter so we’ll see how it goes.
As some of you may remember we have seen Osprey along the river at the Cot-Taj-Mahal. Today I witnessed a young Osprey (I think) swoop down and grab a hold of a mouse over by the Old Shed. It pinned the mouse to the ground and stayed there for several minutes. I tried to sneak up on it but it was in the open. Unfortunately, I did not have my DLSR and telephoto lens with me. The picture below was shot with my iPhone at max digital zoom. Best I could get but still kinda crappy.
July 14, 2019 – The kitchen sink drain line is complete so I can continue the Trex decking installation. The goal today is to finish the second section of picture framed deck. Should be a pretty straight forward process.
I have my chop saw set up on the deck framing. This makes it convenient to measure and cut the 16 ft. long pieces of Trex decking material.
As the Trex decking got closer to the cottage it began to cover over the kitchen sink drain piping run.
Trex decking installation in the second section of the porch is complete! Yeah!
Next weekend the Trex decking will be continuing into section three and hopefully the last section, section four. If I can get to it, I have water piping to rough in for a new hose connection. That should be fun, working under the deck.
Well that’s it for this weekend’s work. I hope your enjoying this little blogfest. This is carpenter Gyeem Raj-Du-Kamar signing off from Cot-Taj-Mahal in the Land Before Time. Stay tuned for further adventures.
July 7, 2019 – We reached the end of the holiday weekend. Everybody gathered up their stuff, packed up and headed home. I continued with a little work on the next section of porch decking. I could only go so far because I need to install the drain line for the new kitchen sink. The drain runs under the porch framing and ties into the existing drain line underneath the bathroom. This will be next weekends project. Stay tuned, I’m sure it will present some challenges.
July 6, 2019 – Today, I didn’t get much work done at all. I only worked until about about noon. The heat and humidity were too much and I needed time with the family. It can’t be all work. In the short time that I did work, I finished the first deck section, completed the support framing for the next picture frame and started the snake screen.
July 5, 2019 – This morning when I awoke, the significance of the comment Troy made yesterday evening came bursting through. I needed to restart the porch decking installation from the outside edge otherwise, the mitered corner of the picture frame would not work. It was all clear, finally! This is what I did.
Restarting the deck installation allowed the picture frame pieces to meet at a 45° miter.
While I worked on the porch addition the rest of the family was busy filling the dumpster. Over the years we have accumulated literally tons of junk.
The Old Shed is filled with a bunch of nonsense and has needed a good cleaning for quite some time. (For those following along, at the Cot-Taj-Mahal we have a New Shed and an Old Shed.) Welp now it’s all cleaned out!
At some point in the day the fire ring was rebuilt. It’s now a two story fire ring… cee.
It was a very hot and humid day at the Cot-Taj-Mahal. Two very rare “McVeytown Viper’s” somehow made it thru and onto the snake screening to sun themselves. After shoeing them back under the cottage I knocked off for the day. I managed to get the restarted deck section mostly complete. Tomorrow I will move the first four deck pieces that I started yesterday forward to finish the section.
July 4, 2019 – As promised, we got our Trex composite decking delivery this morning. Lowe’s called around 6:30 AM and the delivery guy showed up at 7:05 AM. Let the porch decking installation commence!
Today was one of those days that you just wish you could start over. I didn’t sleep well last night and I was grouchy when I got up. I started the porch decking installation but it went very sloooowwly and I made a beginners mistake.
We decided to “picture frame” the porch into four sections. This will make it easier to get to the underground plumbing in the future. I am using Trex Hideaway hidden fasteners to attach the decking. They are removable so having a separate section over the plumbing makes sense. No need to remove all the decking if we have a plumbing problem.
“Picture Frame” Support
To install a picture framed deck you have to add additional support framing. This is necessary to accommodate the change in direction of the “frame” piece. The additional support framing is installed at each side of the picture frame. For reasons previously mentioned, I had some sort of brain fart and couldn’t quite grasp the solution. It took me like forever to figure it out.
With the picture frame support completed in the first section I could start installing the porch decking. The gapping requirements of Trex decking are ¼” between the sides and ⅛” between the ends of the deck pieces. To keep the snakes from coming up from under the deck I placed a layer of fine mesh screen before install any decking.
A picture framed deck has 45° miter cuts in the frame pieces at each corner. I our case we will only have 45° miters at the outside corners. To make each miter work you need two full width planks to meet at each corner. The logical place for me to start was on the outside and work in towards the cottage. This way I would have full width pieces at the outside corners. If I had to rip the last deck piece to fit it would be along the cottage and mostly hidden.
Well, where do I start…? At the cottage side, of course! Thank goodness I only got 4 pieces in place before I quit for the day.
Around 6:00 PM I had enough of the sun, heat and humidity so I packed it in for the day. Robrandi and I went out to Wingman’s to grab a bite to eat. As usual, it was great.
When we got back later in the evening the rest of the family and the wolf pack started to arrive. Beam Master Troy made a comment. He said, “I would have just started the decking on the outside and worked back to the cottage. That way the rip will be along the house.” Okay, I heard what he said but didn’t digest the information until much later.
June 30, 2019 – Woke up to a beautiful morning. Perfect time to continue the plywood roof sheathing and felt paper installation. I will need to hustle to get this all done in one day. If I make it, the blue tarps will be moved to the next roof section.
For the roof sheathing in this section I estimated and purchased twelve (12) sheets of plywood. I already had several rolls of felt paper from a previous project and a big box of 1″ plastic cap nails. I had everything I needed so I didn’t loose any time running out.
The plywood installation went very smoothly. I hoisted the sheets up one at a time. Using my Rigid framing nailer I fastened them down with 8d ring shank nails.
Between the roof rafters I installed plywood H-clips. H-clips provide additional stiffness between the edges of the roof sheathing and make for a stronger roof.
After completing the roof sheathing I immediately started the felt paper installation. I had several rolls of felt paper. Some of them were 15 lb and some were 30 lb. I doubled up the 15 lb layers so, for the most part there is 30 lb felt paper over the entire section. One inch plastic cap nails hold the roof felt down.
I am happy to report that this section of the roof was dry by about 4:00 PM. I made it in one day. Hooray!
Next weekend is the 4th of July. We are expecting to have the Trex decking delivered on the Thursday the 4th. That is the delivery date we got from Lowe’s. We are skeptical but we will see.
June 29, 2019 – Just a short blog today. We had some rain that slowed the construction but I completed two more porch roof rafters. Between the rain drops I also completed some miscellaneous roof framing. We are now ready for roof sheathing and felt paper on the roof over the new kitchen addition and the first section of the porch roof.
Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be beautiful. We will be starting the roof sheathing. If we get the sheathing done we will immediately start the felt paper installation. Looking forward to a dry roof!