South Side Soffit Installation – Day 4

Day #127

June 7, 2020 – Yesterday I made it around the south west corner with the soffit. Today I am working on the south side soffit installation. I tried to get an early start so I can make it around the south east corner.

Amerimax Vented Soffit
Just me, a square, my tin snips and a coffee.

The south side has the closet bump out. As I proceed around the closet I will have to create two inside corners. This is more intricate and takes a little more time to do.

Corner Detail - South Side Soffit Installation
Corner detail at the closet bump out.
Closet Bump Out - South Side Soffit Installation
Working around the closet bump out.

With the soffit complete around the closet bump out I continue towards the south east corner. Thankfully, the electric service entrance LB fitting is below the line of the J channel and the soffit.

South East Cotner
South side soffit installation, working towards the south east corner.
East Side Scaffold
Soffit and scaffolding on the east side.

Near the end of the day I rounded the south east corner and continued up the east side until I reached the bird nest and the family of birds that took up residence under the overhang.

Bird nest and baby birds on the under the east side overhang.

Clearly this is the result of some bad parenting decisions. Since I couldn’t bring myself to relocate this unlucky bunch peepers I called it quits for the day. We have to head back home tonight to take care of some chores but we’ll be back in a day or so.

The new metal roofing is scheduled for delivery on Tuesday, June 9th and the roofers are supposed to start on Wednesday the 10th. If everything goes as planned the cottage will have a new roof by the end of next week!

West Side Soffit Installation – Day 3

Day #126

June 6, 2020 – Continued from yesterday, the soffit installation goes up and down each gable rake on the west end of the cottage and around the corner to the south side.

West Side - Gable Rake
Soffit installation on the west side of the cottage.
Old Vent Opening
Framing in the old vent opening.

As I approach the roof ridge, I frame in, close up and cover the old vent opening with building wrap. In the photo below the soffit installation proceeds up the northern gable rake. The J Channel has been installed on the southern gable rake.

Old Vent Opening Closed
Old vent opening framed in and soffit J channel in place.

With the soffit done on the southern gable rake, the installation rounds the corner and continues on the south side of the cottage. This is existing overhang that for years, has been exposed with no soffit.

South Side Soffit
Soffit installation on the south side.

The soffit on two sides are is now complete. The south side will take a little longer as I have to work around the rhododendrons you see above. This will be tomorrows goal.

Aluminum Soffit and PVC Beam Wrap – Day 2

Day #126

June 5, 2020 – Aluminum soffit installation continues on the north side of the cottage I framed a two foot overhang along the new porch roof to give us a little more protection from the elements. My baker scaffold makes the installation process easier.

Soffit - North Side
Soffit on the north side along the cottage roof.

The installation of PVC trim boards and J Channels on the porch beams precede the soffit.

Soffit - Porch Roof
Aluminum soffit installation complete along the north side.

The porch roof has a shallow pitch so I decided against framing a tradition “Bird Box” at the corner. Instead I turned up the J Channel and aluminum soffit before it reached the gable end. This allows the soffit to make a smooth transition and proceed up along the gable rake. You can see this in the photo below and also in this photo, No Bird Box.

Soffit - North West Corner
Soffit installation turns the north west corner.
Soffit - West Side
West side soffit installation along the new porch roof.

The soffit on side one is complete. Hang in there we are on the way to a new roof!

Vented Aluminum Soffit Installation Begins

Day #125

June 01, 2020 – Over the next several posts I will be installing vented aluminum soffit under the roof overhang. The soffit runs all the way around the cottage. I will try to keep the posts short and hopefully you won’t be bored to death.

During the normal sequence of construction, the soffit installation proceeds the fascia covering. Therefore, if I complete the soffit before the Metal Roofing Contractor arrives they will be able to complete the roofing and the fascia without having to leave. This gets them in and out without delay.

Here we go…. from the north east corner in a counter clockwise direction.

First up, I install a couple of sections of PVC trim boards on the exposed porch beams. We choose Royal Building Products PVC trim for our beam wrap. Next, I fasten Aluminum J Channel to the trim boards. Then I started the the soffit installation.

Soffit Installation
North east corner of the porch roof.
Vented Aluminum Soffit
Vented aluminum soffit, J channel and PVC beam wrap.
New Soffit
Vented aluminum soffit.

This weekend, we stayed at the cottage an extra day so I could start the soffit. I am happy that we did. It is starting to really look good.

Next up, more soffit installation…

Carpenter Ant Damage at the Closet Bump Out!

Day #124

May 31, 2020 – The last section of the old roof that needs attention is the closet “Bump Out”. The exposed roof rafters in this area are clearly rotted so I know that a repair is necessary. This morning I started to demolish this roof. In a very short time it became evident that we have Carpenter Ant damage.

Closet Bump Out
Roof demolition at the closet bump out.
Carpenter Ant Damage - Outside Corner
Carpenter Ant Damage – Outside Corner
Top of Wall
Carpenter Ant Damage at the top of wall at the closet bump out.

Unlike Termites, Carpenter Ants don’t actually eat the wood, they burrow through it to create their nests, called galleries. The burrowing process leaves a very fine sawdust behind. The top of the closet and outside wall contained large amounts of this sawdust.

Carpenter Ant Damage
Carpenter Ant sawdust build up in the top of the closet.
Carpenter Ant Sawdust
Carpenter Ant sawdust in the closet wall.

With the damaged wood removed I re-framed the exposed roof rafters, installed new plywood wall sheathing and new roof sheathing.

Closet Bump Out
New roof joists.
Closet Bump Out Framing
New wall sheathing and roof rafters to repair the Carpenter Ant damage at the closet bump out.
Closet Bump Out Roof Framing
Fascia framing.
Closet Bump Out Roof
Roof sheathing installed.

After the plywood roof sheathing I covered the closet bump out with 30 lb. roof felt. This will keep it dry until the new metal roof system is installed. This is the last section of the existing roof that needed to be fixed. The next major task is the installation of fully vented aluminum soffit underneath the roof overhang around the entire cottage.

Rebuild of the West End Overhang is Complete!

Day #123

May 30, 2020 – Today’s goal is to complete the rebuild of the overhang on the west end of the old cottage roof. The construction on this overhang started back in November of 2019. When I finish this, it will be a good day!

To accomplish this task, I will have to add two rafters and the associated overhang outriggers underneath the existing oak roof plank . I already have scaffolding set up in this area to work from.

The installation of the first rafter required thru-bolting to the last rafter of the existing roof structure. To do this I tacked the new rafter in place, drilled the bolt holes and installed the thru bolts. To make it easier to tighten the bolts I pushed them into the holes from inside the attic. Once I had them through the existing rafter I was able to tighten them up from the outside.

Rebuild of the West End Overhang is Complete
New rafter tacked in place under the oak roof plank.
A look inside the attic.
A look inside the attic.
1st New Rafter
The first new rafter for the west end overhang bolted in place.

After I bolt the first rafter in place I install the outside gable end rafter. The overhang outriggers are toe-nailed at the cottage side and end-nailed thru the gable end rafter. With the last of the outriggers installed the rebuild of the west end overhang is complete!

Overhang Outriggers
Overhang outriggers installed.
Rebuild of the West End Overhang is Complete!
Rebuild of the West End Overhang is Complete!

To finish up the day I installed some 30 lb roofing paper on the overhang to dry it in. This is the end of the blue tarps. After I rebuild the roof over the closet bump out, it will be time to bring in our roofing contractor to install the new metal roof.

Satellite Internet Install Take Two

Day #122

May 22, 2020 – After the first canceled HughesNet satellite internet installation I had to go home and reschedule the appointment. I spoke with the third party installation company to make sure that I didn’t have the same guy that screwed us over last weekend. They assured me that it would be a different installer. Once again I set the appointment up for between 11 AM and 2 PM. Since today is Friday I was hoping that it would be okay and turn out well.

Text Confirmation
Satellite internet installation confirmation text.

As an extra precaution I actually came down to the cottage last evening and spent the night.

While I was waiting for the installer to show up I moved a section of scaffolding around to the back where the closet bump out is. The exposed roof joists in this area are visibly rotted. Beyond that I do not know the extent of the situation so it needs investigated.

Closet Bump Out
Scaffolding at closet bump out.
Closet Bump Out
Rotted joist at closet bump out.

Well, 11:00 AM – No Satellite Installer

12:00 PM – No Satellite Installer

1:00 PM – No Satellite Installer

2:00 PM – No Satellite Installer

Now I am really pissed off! At 2:30 PM I gave up on the whole idea of satellite internet.

Somewhere around 3:00 PM the installer comes down the lane and parks in the driveway. As a precaution, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a mask on. When the guy gets out of his truck he gets a look at my mask and tells me, “it looks like we won’t be able to do the installation today.” I said, “why not.” He said, “you know, because of your mask. I’m not afraid for me but my mother is immunocompromised.”

Satellite Internet Installer
Third party satellite installer.
Direct TV Dish - Satellite Internet
Our Direct TV removed for HugesNet satellite internet installation.


I had to explain to this dumb ass that just because I had a mask on didn’t mean I had the virus. I actually had to convince him to do the installation.

So he agrees and proceeds to march around the property with his Inclinometer and Compass Satellite Angle Finder Tool. We already have Direct TV so I didn’t think it would be much of a stretch to get satellite internet. I was wrong. The guy was struggling to find an area of open sky where he could see the satellite. We had 13+ trees removed but that didn’t help.

After giving up on a good location he agreed to install it temporarily on the same pole that the Direct TV satellite was on. He removed the Direct TV dish and got it installed. At that point he was not able to get signal on the newer of the two HughesNet satellites. He switched the positioning to the older satellite and was able to get about 80% signal strength.

Next he proceeds to show me that there are two trees in the way of “clear sky”. If these trees grow much more we will not have any signal at all. At that point the signal will be blocked and we will not have support because he has to note the tree interference on his installation report.


He tells me that the decision to leave it installed is up to me. If he leaves it, I have a two year commitment, I will probably not get tech support if I need it, and I will eventually have to cut the two, 100 feet high Oak trees that stand in the way.

FML again!

Well, I did not want to be on the older satellite anyway nor did I like anything about my experience so far with HughesNet. I told the guy to take it off, put the Direct TV dish back on and get out of here.

So much for getting satellite internet. Ugghhhh!

West End Porch Gable

Day #121

May 17, 2020 – On most Sunday’s I only work part of the day. Today was no different. With the threat of rain looming I switched gears a bit and decided to close off the west end porch gable. The east end was started way back here, East End Gable Framing

I framed in the 2×4 cripples and then covered them with 5/8 exterior grade plywood. This made short work of the gable end.

West End Gable Framing
West end porch gable 2×4 framing.
West End Gable Plywood
Closing in the gable with 5/8″ plywood.
West End Porch Gable Framing
West end porch gable closed in.

Sometime along the way, Cody, a.k.a “Salad Shooter” came for a visit. Cody is an utterly disgusting dog belonging to one of the cottages near the beginning of the lane. Since, on occasion, we have a pack of dogs at the cottage, every time Cody is here he comes to visit. If none of our dogs are present he basically “marks” everything in sight and then disappears down the lane.

Cody, a.k.a Salad Shooter, making his rounds.

Before heading home for the week I covered the partially demolished overhang on the back side of the cottage. We are almost rid of the blue tarps. I can’t wait!

Old Overhang Covered
Old overhang covered for the weekend.

To jump ahead to the completion of this end of the roof framing visit this post: Rebuild of the West End Overhang is Complete!

Turn On The Water and Demo the Last Overhang

Day # 120

May 16, 2020 – The title for this blog post, as you can see, is Turn On Water and Demo Last Overhang. I did get the water turned on and the last overhang removed. The bigger story is the Hughes Satellite Internet debacle that we went through. More about that part later.

With the Memorial Day Holiday quickly approaching I decided that it was high time that I fired up the water for this season. It is a whole process. First I install a new filter and connect the filter pipe. Next I install the pressure gauge. After that I install the plug in the bottom of the pump housing and prime the pump chamber. With the pump fully primed I throw on the electric and prey that there are no leaks. Most years there are leaks. This year I lucked out, No Leaks….!

Turn On The Water and Demo the Last Overhang
Water hook up at the pump house.
Baby Painted Turtle
Baby Painted turtle near the pump house.

When the water system is full and the pump shuts off, we confirm that the water heater works and then we are good to go. With that work out of the way I set into removing the last old overhang along the gable end at the back bedroom. This overhang is not framed correctly and must be fixed to allow for the installation of aluminum soffit.

Old Roof Overhang
Fascia removed from the old roof overhang at back bedroom.

The old white fascia is shown in this picture. I was pretty rotted.

Shingles Removed
Shingles removed from overhang.

HughNet Satellite Service

For years we have been hoping that cable internet would be extended to the cottages along our lane. Unfortunately, this has not happened. Our internet options severely limited. One of the only viable options is Satellite Internet. A couple of weeks ago I contacted HughesNet Satellite Service and signed up for satellite installation. Our appointment was scheduled for today, between 11 AM and 2 PM.

Yesterday I received a call from the installer who works for a third party installation company. He was pissed off because “he” doesn’t do installations on Saturday and never that late. I explained to him that we live a couple of hours from the cottage and we could not be there any earlier. I scheduled the installation with HughesNet and as far as I’m concerned his problems are with his employer, not me.

This morning, at 7:00 AM, as I was packing my truck, still in Harrisburg, I received another call from the same asshole. He told me that he would be at the cottage in 30 minutes. I replied, “that’s very nice but our appointment is scheduled between 11 AM and 2 PM. I am still in Harrisburg and cannot possibly be there in 30 minutes”. Well, he was even more pissed off and he took it upon himself to simply cancel the installation. So there you go. Awesome first experience with HughesNet. At least I was able to turn on the water and demo the last overhang. More on this whole internet saga to follow. Stay tuned.

Metal Roofing Estimates

As a side note, the third roofing contractor was supposed to meet us to measure the roof and prepare a cost estimate for new metal roofing. We found out later that he had been to the cottage, did his takeoff and left before we arrived. He called later with his pricing.

The Last of the Hurricane Ties

Day #119

May 9, 2020 – This morning I left the house at 6:30 AM. I arrived at the cottage at 8:20 AM with no clear plan of what I wanted to accomplish. Taking the easy road, I decided to complete the last of the hurricane ties.

Hurricane Tie Installation
Installing hurricane ties around the porch roof from a ladder.

For some reason I didn’t take any pictures of the hurricane tie installation (pictures) but I got a few of the May Snow Storm that I experienced.

May Snow Storm
May snow storm.

While it was snowing I ate a lunch of canned Brunswick Sardines and some fresh Blueberries in my truck. I really like the no salt sardines in spring water. I managed to catch a Northern Flicker poking around for bugs in the yard.

Canned Sardines and fresh Blueberries.
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker poking at bugs.

I wasn’t sure that I would have enough of the hurricane ties to finish but I did.

Before leaving for home I moved the pile of scrap lumber I had sitting in the front yard and raked up the leaves.

Last of the Hurricane Ties
Cleaned up scrap wood pile and leaves.

My heart wasn’t in it today so I packed up and left for home at 2:51 PM. We’ll see ya next weekend.