Friday, October 23, 2009

Front Porch, Framing, and Rough Openings

So I managed to cut out my second rough opening the other day, and felt so much like a man that I went inside and read some Hemingway. This time around, I only dropped the header once, and even that could have been avoided if I wasn't taking shortcuts out of laziness. My inadequacies always come back to haunt me. It was good for entertainment value, however. N was watching me, from a safe distance (I thankfully made him stay a safe distance back until I secured the header), and I'd left my box of nails on the bottom sill. When the header fell, it not only crushed the box, but managed to drive several of the nails into the wood. Kind of funny, though I'm glad it wasn't my head under there.

After it was up, I was ready to cut the final two ROs, but we really need to finalize our choices on windows before we go cutting up the frame. My Mentor concurred with me that this was probably a good idea. This, like all things in life involving contracting, was not as simple as it seems, because in the interest of symmetry and aesthetics, you'd like to get proper spacing and proportions relative to things like counter tops, pre-existing windows, and appliances. This then requires that you envision your kitchen in its final form, and that, for me, is the hard part. It's easy enough to knock out studs and cut jacks, but to have to think about it? Count me out.

After much toiling and discussion, I think we've arrived at a window and its placement. Now we just have to see if it exists, i.e., if they carry the stock window. We could have any sort of window custom made to fit any RO, but then you're getting into the big bucks. We'll stick with stock windows for now, they cost well over half the price.

Yesterday my Mentor stopped by and helped me put up sheathing, though we had to stop because we can't finish the back without knowing the ROs. Those darn windows keep coming back to haunt me, so I've got to just get it done. At least the sheathing has been initiated, making it all that much easier to put the next boards in. I have this incredibly naive fantasy that I can put up sheathing by myself, and I'll at least give it a try, though I need to make sure the kids are not within earshot because I know while I'm doing it, every other sound coming out of my mouth will be the F-word.

Also got loads of good advice about the front porch, all of which simply confused me even more. After all is said and done, I don't think we'll be employing concrete. Out of the 456 opinions I got on what to do, all of which BTW were different, at least 450 of them hinted or declared the concrete would be too thin and would crack. Majority rules. Unfortunately, this also means I have to rip up the cement board, which ain't gonna be easy. I'm never comfortable destroying something that someone else has worked so hard on creating, especially when it involves our house.

On the bright note, after slaving over the details and possibilities, I do feel increasingly confident that not only can this be done, but I can do it. At least some of it. That's why the invented power tools. Whatever happens, it should be interesting, so stay tuned for more wild and whacky adventures. And thanks for reading.

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