Saturday, September 1, 2012

What A Mess

Between Naps on the Porch
Have you ever started a project and found it was 100 times more work than you expected?  Well ~ that's where I find myself right now.  This spring, I discovered that the corner of my screened porch was rotten.  The wood under the paint was mushy and I knew it needed replaced.  The people who built this porch before I moved in 23 years ago, did not use treated lumber.
Here is a picture of the side of the porch so you can see what it looked like before.

This is not the side I'm working on, but just wanted you to get an idea of what the before looked like.  About ten years ago I had the plywood replaced and I added the trim to dress it up.
This is the corner that is rotten.  It consists of three 2x4's and all three were rotten halfway down to the bottom.

I was so hoping it would be a minor repair and the rot would be only above the trim ~ not.
To make matters worse ~ the rot was in most of the 2x4's.

And so a long hot day of work began, tediously pulling things apart and replacing the wood, one post at a time.

Each time I replaced a piece and tried to nail it back in, I discovered the next piece had rot too.  Trying to stay true to my new motto, "Replace and repair to the best of my ability and affordability", I realized that while the porch is torn apart, it was necessary to keep replacing each piece in the interest of structural stability.
Now the corner that I originally started with was sound at the top and since it consisted of the three 2x4's and was tied into my arbor, I cut out the bad wood at the bottom and then replaced it.  If I had a husband or handyman, I would have torn out all of the three pieces, but I don't have either of those, so did the best thing I could do instead.

Not the best solution, but the best of my ability.

While up on the ladder I kept hearing a noise in the gutters.  I thought it was just a bird pecking around in the gutter or at worst a squirrel.  But when I kept hearing it and I was working and banging right there, I climbed a little higher to see over the gutter and this is what I found.

Can you see it ~ those two little beady eyes in the gutter?
That rip in the shingles represents where the wisteria on the arbor had grown through the shingle and up onto the roof.  When I cut it out earlier this summer, I slipped a new shingle underneath the ripped ones to stop any water from leaking through, but underneath the wood was rotted and flaky.  I was planning on covering it up with new wood when I worked on the porch, but now I have this new problem ~ mice inside the eaves.  He was pulling crab apples out of the gutter and taking them into his nice little home (my home) for storage.  Now I have to think about how to get him/them out of there before I close it up.
Anyways ~ at the close of the first day, this is how far I got.

Better than before, but still a long ways to go.  The bottom and top will get treated plywood and trim, and the door needs replaced, it's frame and the cat door.  Then I'm going to attempt to make my screens so they can be taken in and out for repair instead of being stapled to the frame.
I realize now, getting this side done right will probably be all that gets accomplished before winter and I'll have to wait until spring to tackle the other two sides.  But at least now I know what to expect as I work my way around post by post.
If there's one thing I've learned this summer while working on my own home instead of working on furniture to sell ~ it's inspecting your gutters and downspouts regularly.  I have found wisteria growing through the shingles, roots growing 18" up inside the downspout, mice, and wisteria laying on a gutter causing the high end to overflow during heavy rains, which ultimately led to this porch rot. During a heavy rain, take an umbrella and go outside to see where the gutters are overflowing and how the downspouts are draining.  If you see any problems, don't put off dealing with them ~ a hard lesson learned.
Linking with
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays 
Between Naps on the Porch  for Metamorphosis Monday


Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Good for you Cindy! I think you did a great job of replacing the framing! As women sometimes this is kind of foreign to us but when we have to do it, WE CAN DO IT! Hey, I am impressed!~Hugs, Patti

Debby said...

I am impressed as well. I wouldn't know where to start.
We had a bad leak in our roof and just had repairs done this week.

Sonny G said...

I applaud your hard work and thank you for the tips and cautionary warning. I will be checking mine.

Michele said...

WOW Cindy, y ou really have been busy!

I am so impressed you can do this kind of work, holy moley I know I couldn't!

I shreiked when I saw those beady little eyes looking back at you, how did you not fall off your ladder for the shock of it?


Sorry you had such heat to deal with, whew it's hot.

Take care and have a safe and relaxing holiday weekend, you have really earned it!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I think you are be able to do this by yourself. I am in the same boat, but I certainly am not adept enough to work with rebuilding walls!!! I am currently building arbors but that is nothing compared with what you have done. A big congratulations.

My Little Home and Garden said...

Thanks for the eaves trough reminder. I do have water spilling over mine in a rainstorm. Great work on your place!

The French Hutch said...

Hi Cindy, Wow girl you sure know what your doing and doing a great job! I know that must have been sad to keep finding all the rotten wood. The thing is you are taking it one step at a time and doing it right and it will pay off in the long run. Maybe you can get some work done with cooler weather, honestly don't know how you did in the heat of summer. Goodness, I finally found those little eyes looking back at you. Now that is one big problem. You both call the same house home. I bet I know who wins that battle………Take care

The French Hutch

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Wow, you did have a big job to do. But your hard work is paying off. Love the gate too.

Unknown said...

Cindy - Congratulations, you did a great job. I'm still a little politically incorrect and class that as a "blue job". Not that I can't do it but I would prefer no to. Times like this I would like to have a man (a handy one) around. It looks like to me that you know exactly what to do and how to do it. J

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

OMGoodness, what a WOMAN you are to undertake all that repair work. I hope you hear me clapping for you because you deserve it!! That wisteria sure has wreaked havoc, hasn't it? I hope those beady little eyes disappear from YOUR home.

Unknown said...

I would be up the proverbial creek if I attempted such a repair job! You are amazing! Looks like you're doing a great job. Kudos to you!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

My goodness! I am so impressed with your work. There is always something trying to fall down around here. That's an amazing little mouse photo!

Anonymous said...

Darn- I just lost a long comment I had started to you! Where in the heck do those things go?????

I am so proud of you for tackling that big job! You are doing great work and it will last another 50 years after you get all the rot out.

I had an encounter with a mouse yesterday. We went out to the building at the land to store some furniture that picked up at yard sales and the little critter came dashing out when I went to open the overhead door. They always startle me - I was actually being careful making sure there were no snakes when he came scurrying across the floor.

Dont work too hard friend!

bee blessed


Denise said...

Screened porches really can be a mixed blessing. Your pictures remind me so much of our porch. It's about the same size and looks like it's on ground level (literally), which is the way ours is. It makes it very hard to keep clean and dry. When (and if) we can afford it, I think I'll just let a professional rebuild it for us. I admire you for tackling that by yourself!

The mouse picture is funny. There just aren't many places they can't get to. Good luck with the porch; I know it will be pretty when you finish. Have a wonderful weekend!

Denise at Forest Manor

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

The repair looks wonderful!!!


The Tablescaper said...

What a job! You are so right, don't put it off.

Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays. Looking forward to having you with me this Sunday.

- The Tablescaper

Robyn said...

Wow definitely not what you expected but you are doing a great job! And just think, when its all done it will look so nice and you can take pride that you did it all by yourself!...I hope it's OK that I'd like to put a link on my blog to yours. I love reading yours an Im sure others would too..
Robyn :)

Zane Wooder said...

You're going to have projects where they are just more trouble then they are worth. This is normal. My mom wanted me to go up on the roof and clean some stuff and I said no. I don't want to take the risk of falling. Your doing these projects mostly because they are fun. If they are not fun anymore then why do them?

-Zane of ontario honey

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