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The more satisfying part of construction begins

Doesn’t look like much, but it’s pretty exciting to me. Today The Wandering Monk returned to resume construction. First order of business: begin framing the new screen porch.

Here you see the framing near the beginning, with the Monk holding the screen door in place. My original plan was to use a door I salvaged from the landfill. Then the lumberyard put this very nice vinyl door on sale (roughly half of Home Depot’s price for it!), so I repurposed the salvaged door and grabbed this.

This entire phase of the Great Foundation and Screen Porch project should be more gratifying and a heck of a lot more fun than the foundation repairs we did earlier. It’s all framing and siding and other relatively simple things to bring Ye Olde Wreck closer to becoming Mo Saoirse. Unfortunately, we might be working in temperatures approaching 100 later this week. Fortunately most of the work is on the north side and under trees.

The north side has long been the ugliest and most problematic. By the time we’re done with this phase, both the north and west walls should be repaired, sided, and beginning to look like real walls on a real house.


  1. StevefromMA
    StevefromMA July 31, 2017 8:05 pm

    That is great looking. I’m always impressed by new wood and framing, beyond my skills. Vinyl is good for door. My coke addict $&@ unlicensed roofer did some bad stuff but replaced all my destroyed wooden shutters with salvaged vinyl ones from somewhere…no upkeep and look good.

  2. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran August 1, 2017 2:31 am

    I’m a fan of front porches, especially screened in porches. When I had my house in the city, it had a big front porch and I spent a lot of time on it. In my youth, porches in the city promoted neighborliness as they brought people out of their houses in the warm weather, prompting greetings and conversations to other neighbors on their porches or taking walks on the sidewalk. Suburban houses rarely have front porches, instead having rear patios an/or decks that lend privacy, but do not promote neighborliness. My townhouse has a rear patio area that my wife and I fixed up nicely and it opens to a common grassy area, so I do get to see and interact with my neighbors who are out on their patio areas or walking through the common.

  3. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 1, 2017 7:24 am

    I have a vinyl storm door on both exits, and am so very glad to have them. They provide cross ventilation in warm weather, with the windows open, and cut off much of the cold air and snow against the inner doors in winter when both are closed.

    As for front porches, I’ve lived in several houses with them. Do not remember ever sitting out there for any reason. Between work, children and house/garden, there simply never was any time for it. Later, when I lived out in the remote desert, I occasionally took a chair out into the orchard and had my supper there… but I didn’t have any neighbors then. But it seems to me that the whole idea is mostly nostalgia now, both the definition of “neighbors” and use of time being so very different than it was in the 50s. Maybe a lot of that has to do with the TV and other gadgets that keep people indoors more.

    Actually, the last time I remember much neighborhood interaction was when I had a large garden (1970s – when I lived on the edge of an actual city) and took the extra produce around to those who didn’t have gardens, especially in local senior trailer parks and apartment buildings. I could have sold the stuff, but it wasn’t worth the hassle of dealing with the “city officials,” who questioned me often about the need for a “business license.” Never had one…

  4. Pat
    Pat August 1, 2017 9:48 am

    Screened porches are great, if you have something to look at and there is a breeze. Surprisingly a screen can cut off a fair amount of wind. Open porches are more the neighborly type; screens can put off neighbors and even hide from them (which is why I like them).

  5. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2017 10:44 am

    Well, my screen porch isn’t neighborly at all. šŸ™‚ It’s not only on the back of the house, but gazes out onto a wooded hill that rises only about 14 feet away. It’ll also gaze out upon a patio, but that’ll also be as private as I can make it.

    In this climate, the main joy of a screen porch is that it enables sitting outside in the rain. This one, accessed from the future bedroom, will also allow me to sleep with the bedroom wide open to nature without inviting various critters-of-the-night (from bats to mosquitoes to raccoons and bears) indoors.

    I like most of my neighbors. There’s still a very friendly, borrowing-a-cup-of-something vibe here. But I’m with Pat; I also like to hide from them while still being outdoors.

  6. Claire
    Claire August 1, 2017 10:50 am

    StevefromMA — I love the idea of shutters, whether wood or vinyl. And salvaged vinyl shutters! That might almost have been worth putting up with a coke-addicted roofer for.

    I know back east a lot of older homes have or once had storm shutters. Here, and with modern windows, storm shutters are probably of minimal use. That said, though, I sure wouldn’t mind having shutters that would enable me to close off the windows if an earthquake shattered them all. My windows are probably too big for shutters to be practical. (After the main construction is done, though, I’d at least like to lay in a supply of plywood for that purpose.) Still, for you what a great find.

  7. rochesterveteran
    rochesterveteran August 1, 2017 10:57 am

    One house that I lived in as a kid had 3 porches. It had a large front porch, a smaller back porch, where the entrance to the back door was, and on the rear of the house on the second floor was the sun porch, an unheated room that had windows that could be opened, all the way around. My family spent a lot of time on the front porch in the summer. We really didn’t hang out on the back porch and the 2nd story sun porch was my playroom.

  8. parabarbarian
    parabarbarian August 3, 2017 6:06 am

    Mo Saoirse. That’s kind of cute. My Freedom in Gaelic and, IIRC, Too Far in Japanese.

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