Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shingles - From Roofs To Walls

... and never had done either before, but you gotta learn somehow. The dining room wall is really taking shape now. I have learned one thing already - buy Pre-Primered cedar shingles! Boy how tedious that is and I only did 1/4 square. I did find rolling was a bit faster than brushing, but not much. Doing this now on all sides should help insure a long lasting paint bond since they will be sealed on all surfaces.

the neighbors were quite amused

After that was done, then they were ready to hang. The starters were already done so I started straight with the first coarse on up. The minimum distance between the edges of overlapping shingles needs to be at least an 1 1/2 inches. For the majority of this though I was staggered by half a shingle - which were all about 5 inches wide. For the reveal, I noted the old shingles before I tore them off. They were roughly between 6 and 6 1/4 inch - and for the new install I kept them at 6 1/8 inch except for the last two rows that had to be 6 1/2 to meet the top of the window exactly. This row gets tricky since they go from the wall to hanging over the window trim, shedding water over the windows - and this row needs to line up across the walls as well in order to look right. For securing the shingles I'm using 6d - 2 1/2" stainless steel ring-shanked nails. A little pricey, but I shouldn't ever have shingles coming down do to rusting nails.

This is where I got to before I ran out, so I will need to order one more box to finish this and for under the foyer window (only 2 rows there). I painted what was up with the color I decided on to get a better vision of how it will look over a broader area and with the stone work.

Next time..... adventures in hanging used garage doors, without instructions (not even chinese), pictures, diagrams, or a normal garage to install it in - and the ending yet to be written....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A New Toy

Oh what fun will be had when I get this baby running! It's a JET Planer/Molder that will do up to 13 inch wide material and 6 inch thick. Doesn't look like there's too many years on this and should certainly work for what I need to do. This will turn that big pile of rough sawed red oak that's been drying in the garage for the past year into baseboards, casing, even the dining room window seat.... the possibilities are endless. Next step is getting a set of knives made to match the profile of the original molding.

Another great find on - yep - you know the site!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Knocking Down The "To Do" List

The past week has been spent after work wrapping up some of the misc. projects left undone. First thing was replacing the last column which finally arrived. This went just like the others and now I can sit on the porch worry free of collapsing roofs.

Next project almost done is the side parlor window. The new Pella is installed and the woodwork ready for paint. I have one Pella left to install (kitchen) plus finish restoring the butler stair window and install. I gave the "go ahead" to have the foyer windows made by the guy I bought the garage doors from. I should have them in about a month. A surprise was that his prices included glass and glazing - so they will be pretty much ready to install and he is using the older style "wavy" glass. Also they will be exact copies of the originals based on the pictures I have from the Hall family.

I started working on the garage this week too. First was jacking up the main support beams that support the ridge beam. One was split in the middle all the way through and patched with two scraps. I was able to raise this about 2 - 2 1/2 inches. The front beam was not as bad. Both are now sistered with a 2x8 on each side. Then I cleared out some misc. wood and now it's ready for joists to be added to support plywood for overhead storage. I removed all the old wood and rails from the previous garage door that has long since disappeared down to the stone and beam spanning the entrance. I staged the bottom section and I needed to build 12 inches out from each side of the stone wall to meet the door and also support the track system. I doubled up the 2x4 studs and for the base used pressure treated. That's about as far as I've got so far on the door.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My First Roof

... and I wish it was my last! What should have been just a small tear off and replacement job turned real ugly. The 1 story section that comes off the back was the only roof that was not replaced by the previous owners a few years back. I had some days off and the weather is still cool, so I thought this would be the opportune time to get this out of the way.

The first thing I discovered is that I needed to tear off the bottom few rows of cedar shakes where the roof meets the main house in order to redo the flashing properly - no big deal here. Next came the tear off. There was two layers of shingles on top of the original tin roof. The shingles weren't too bad, but I can't begin to tell you what a PIA getting the metal roof was. Finally when the layers were stripped down to the old sheathing this is what I found.

What was once a porch was sheathed in bead board and water must have leaked under there for a long time in the past cause it was completely rotted. I couldn't tell from the inside when I was insulating because of all the paint disguising the problem. Also the last section of sheathing along the eave was bad (this was already replaced once when they tore out the old roof gutter system. Plus the end boards were shot as well. Besides the sheathing, the tails of more than half of the joists were bad which I already new would need some work.

Murhy showed up.... see the clouds!

I lucked out and ended up having a ready supply of random width planks just the right thickness from crating material I salvaged from work. We ended up cutting all the tails off flush with the house, then moving a 13 inch wide plank from the middle of the roof down to the end leaving about 5 inches overhanging past the wall. I wanted this to be bead board since the underside would be exposed, but this plan would have to be modified in order to maintain strength of the eave. From this starting point, the rest of the roof was able to be patched where needed until finally the roof was pretty solid. It was a race against time and rain, so I didn't get to many shots of this part. By the end of the day I was able to get 30# tar paper rolled out and then plastic over this for the overnight rains that were originally not predicted - go figure!

Next day before any shingling was to be started, the underside of the eave had to be dealt with. I really wanted to keep the exposed look like original with bead board showing on the underside, so a little creativity had to be used to still keep this and also maintain strength of the overhanging roof that had been damaged so bad. Here is a mock up of what I came up with.

template for eave structure

It's a pre primed 1x6 that runs along the back covering up the bays between the joists and the nailed edge of the last clapboard. Next from an original tail that was cut off, I made a template for a fake tail that will be mounted every 24 inches like the originals and secured from the back side of the 1x6. Finally, bead board will be mounted along the top of this and screwed down though the tails. This was made in one 22 foot long piece and had to have a staggered joint in the middle between the 1x6 and bead board section. A scrap was secured to the 1x6 just to hold the joint in place while the assembly up and mounted. The bead board was spliced in the middle of tail and needed no reinforcement. A nailer was also added in the bay where the 1x6 joint would land on the wall.

And here it is in place on the house, secured both to the wall and through the overhanging roof sheathing. In the end it turned out as good as I could hope and you would be fooled that this is a mounted assembly and not part of the rafters and roof construction. And strength wise, well I stood on the edge and it didn't move at all - rock solid. Once the drips are added along the edges, the seams are all covered and the illusion is complete.

can you tell??

Now, finally was time for the shingles. I added the drips and starter coarse along the edge and sides. Then started shingling. This part really wasn't hard and what they say about the architectural shingles having almost no waste really is true - almost none. Once I reached the flashing point I rolled tar paper along the top section of roof and up onto the wall. I've added a temporary piece of flashing while my dad makes up some nice heavy galvanized section at work, since they have a nice wide break there. Once this is installed, a last section of shingles will be cut and glued on top of the flashing, and a starter coarse of cedar shakes will be mounted over the wall section of flashing.This will hopefully suffice until next year when I start the second story siding job.

I think I'll wait next till year to do the roof on the garage!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Waiting For Shingles (and more discoveries)

I installed the starter courses for the dining room wall. These are low (D) grade white cedar and get overlapped by the first exposed course of higher grade shingles. I ordered some that should be here this week. I will have to prime them first and then install.

Since Thursday I've been working on the back roof project - and like the old saying goes - what you plan on doing and what you find are always two different things. I'm too whooped to go onto it yet, but let's just say three layers of roof and lots of rot to deal with. It looks like there will be a happy ending though thanks to my buddy John lending a needed hand and ideas - it's just about done and really looks good now.

what's under here??

While removing the bottom courses of cedar shingles tonight where the roof meets the main house in order to start flashing the new roof - I uncovered these goodies. It's a John Wanamaker box lid with L. N. Hall and the house address plus a sheet from Philadelphia Public Ledger - Dec. 26, 1917. I suppose Norris must have had to do a patch job on the siding to fix a leak and the box top was from a Christmas present he gave to Lulu that he decided to shove in there with a newspaper for me to find 90 years later.....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Little Of This - Little Of That

I've been hitting the house on several fronts right now. I continued the dining room windows getting the side stops in and caulking everything up. When the sun got strong in this side, I would jump to the other and work on stripping the side parlor window. Tonight I was able to finish that, so now it's ready for some sanding, filling and priming. Then the new window can go in. Back on the dining room side I primed all sides of the new bead board for the soffet under the overhang that's above the dining room bowed wall. I laid out the old boards I took down (in pretty bad shape) and used them to trace the curved cut out onto the new ones. This worked pretty well and getting the new soffet ended up not to be much of a challenge. All this needs now is a little caulking and painting when the rest of this wall gets done.

new bead board soffet

This afternoon I helped my buddy John make a lumber run with my truck and frame out a deck at his girlfriends house. This is another foursquare about the same age as the Hall house except brick construction. What's cool about this place is that it's pretty much untouched and has some impressive original woodwork in original finish and leaded glass work.

Also added a few more paint samples for outside. We finally have settled on a color - it's the middle one in the pic. It's called "Field of Pines" - made by Valspar. This will be the body color in flat, then trimmed out in standard semi-gloss white. This should look good with the stonework. The green will also be used to accent the mostly white porch. I'm debating using a dark red just on the window sills to add a little "something", but I might just keep things simple. We'll see.

This should be pretty much it till next week - I work all weekend and then going to Cape May for three days staying at a restored B&B. Cape May is a really neat town, like stepping back in time. Should definitely get a little needed inspiration (and even some relaxing time!)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Dining Room Wall Con't...

Another full day spent on the outside wall of the dining room and things are starting to take shape. After a morning of applying and sanding filler in the bad spots and nail holes - the afternoon was spent getting a coat of primer on all the woodwork. Next I made up some flashing for where the siding meets the sill piece - the original rusted through pretty bad. Then I covered the siding with tar paper which is now ready for new shakes. I still need to add the side window stops, do all the caulking, touch up a few bad spots with more filler, and then will be ready for paint.

While waiting for the filler to dry, I removed the capping from the windows on the kitchen/parlor side of the house. Looks like this won't be as bad as I thought to strip - pretty well dried out and flaking off like the dining room side. I figured this was the shady side and would be a bit more intact. So hopefully I'll be changing out these windows sooner than I thought.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Dining Room Windows And Siding - Officially Retired!

Another busy day at the Hell.... oops I mean Hall House. I set up scaffolding yesterday loaned by the best neighbors ever - thanks again Mike. This morning I finished scraping the wood work around the windows and then tore off the shingles on the dining room wall. Also removed was the soffet wood above - also in bad shape. Underneath looked pretty good, so all I'll need to do is apply new siding, flashing, soffet, etc.

Before you can construct... you must destruct!

With the destruction done, it was time to happily remove the 1970's windows - and none too soon. The left one almost fell apart taking it out. Next was adding the filler pieces up top like the parlor windows and window stop. I couldn't do the sides until the new window was in, because of the design of the sill which inside is higher than part that the window sits on.

Best thing about the old windows was their scrap value

A few hours later I had all three windows shimmed and secured. Next was a quick sanding of the woodwork and applied a hardener to some areas that had degraded and/or split open. Tomorrow the wood will get some filler and another sand, a coat of primer, and the side window stops can be installed. I need to order siding shingles - I finally decided on the HardiShingle since I was happy with their clapboards I used on the back. If I'm satisfied with the first floor installation than I will use them when I do the second/third floors. If not then it will be pre-primed white cedar, which will no doubt be more frequent maintenance than the fiberboard. I know nothing will look exactly like real cedar, but I'm hoping it's close enough. At least it's not vinyl which just isn't right for this type of house.

Nice new windows with our nice "new" antique oak dining table

I finished up setting the tops of the four columns so far installed and caulked both the tops and bottom in place. Now just waiting for the correct fifth one to arrive. Then it will be a quick sand, primer, and paint.

New columns ready for prime and paint

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Conquering Columns

Well last night and today I managed to install 4 of the 5 new porch columns... and boy what a difference! The old ones look like sticks compared to the new beefy 10in. diameter bad boys in their place now. The scale of the porch just looks "right" now since this size is what was originally used when the house was built.

Lifting to remove first column

First step in the process was starting with the corner column and getting a good height measurement from the cement cap to the header. Once this was found I had to transcribe this to the new column since these are standard 6 ft. high and need to be cut down to roughly 5 ft. for my application. A neat trick I've learned to make a good cutting line is taking a piece of paper (I used tar paper) and wrapping it around the column matching up the edges, trace... instant accurate cut mark. These are fiberglass, so I bought an all purpose blade for my skill saw. Once cut I cleaned up and evened out the edge and was ready to be installed.

First column replaced

A couple 3x4's screwed together and a 20 ton bottle jack on a steel plate did the lifting work. About 1/4in. was all I needed to cut the few finish nails tacking the top in place and removing the old column. Then the new unit was placed, aligned the bottom to the old paint marks from the original (long gone), inserted a piece of pre-cut galvanized flashing over the top cap, and brought the header down on the new column. The cutting ended up being the hardest part!

Pretty bad, eh?!

Once the old column was removed, I could get a good look at the condition of the rotted base - NOT GOOD. It was damaged more than I had thought and glad I'm doing this now rather than finding my porch roof on my porch floor..... no joke, I've seen it happen around the corner from my old house! I hit one corner of the base block with a hammer and it crumbled right off - yikes.

Second column replaced

SO today I did three more and would have done the last, but one was sent wrong. I received a decorative split column made to go around a steel column - that should have been a solid. After talking to Pacific Columns it looks like I'll have a replacement within a week and they said keep the wrong one. It wasn't their fault since these were shipped from a third party....

The "no room for screw-ups" stage

The last one on the corner (the other rotted one) I think is may be at a critical stage. When jacking the next one in series at the steps, this appears to have shifted some weight on the bad column. When I finished I noticed it seems a bit crooked when it wasn't before and the column shaft appears to be sinking into it's own base on one side. I took a pencil and poked it around the side that appeared intact - went right through! I went placed a jack here until the last column gets here..... just in case.

Three done - two to go
(it got too dark to take a pic of four installed)