Mother’s Day Project

So for Mother’s Day, Shari asked for one thing – that we take down the back porch which was in desperate need of repair. She had decided she would rather have it down than try to fix it, and thought we could do it rather quickly and easily. I had my doubts, but it was Mother’s Day, so who am I to argue, right?

Well, I did some other chores first while she got everything prepped – pulled the furniture out, unhooked the hoses, moved the rose bushes, etc. Then came the moment of truth.

We removed the first 2 of the main support posts from the corners with no problems. That left only the center post to go – which would mean that it the roof of the porch would (hopefully) come gingerly down to the ground where we could dismantle it. Again, I was concerned about how the roof would come down – with fears that it would slam into the back wall and crack all of the brick, but also thought we had taken some precautions to prevent that.

So, we pulled the post and then waited as the roof at first held, then sagged a little … and then finally fell to the ground.

I Don't Know Why She Says I Leave Things Half-Finished

Unfortunately, it seems that one of the support beams was actually embedded into the brick, which caused a bit of damage (see below). Whoops!

Whoops!

But then we had another problem. Naively, I had just assumed that I would start cutting the roof apart and take the pieces to the curb. But I hadn’t really thought it all the way through, obviously, as it was a bit taller than me AND it weighed about 800 pounds (have to love that 80-year-old oak!). So we’d have to pull it over so that we could dismantle it.

Side View of a Downed Porch

With a little help from our neighbor, Dave, we were able to pull the roof onto its ‘back’ so that I could start dismantling it. Blair and Shari helped with the sledgehammer as we tried to break the beams off of the main roof part, remove whatever pieces we could with other methods and left us with a large pile of debris to be dealt with the next day.

The next morning, I set upon the debris with the new chainsaw (FYI – chainsaws are not meant to cut through treated lumber and 80-year-old oak 2x8s. Who knew?). I got through all of the 2x4s, 2x6s and 2x8s, along with other various large pieces of wood, gutter, etc.

Then came the hard part – the actual roof itself. I had to cut through the wood of the roof (plywood, oak 2x4s, tar paper and shingles) using a combination of our saws-all and the chain saw. However, it was a bigger project than I had expected, and even with 2 batteries, the saws-all kept running out of juice and the chainsaw’s blade was getting too dull to make it through the wood. It took me about 8 hours to get through all of the cutting, but finally about 5:00pm I was done cutting.

Clean-up took a while longer (we needed to vacuum up all of the paint chips and splinters at the two places we cut up wood), plus I had to finish with the old mulberry tree we had cut down, as well as clean up other various half-completed projects from the weekend.

By 7pm, I was completely spent – two full days of running around for supplies, chopping and cutting trees and patio roofs, mowing, excavating, building and hauling. It felt good to do so much work, but I was so tired that I was literally falling asleep at the dinner table.

We got an estimate today to fix the brick – $350, which makes this a bit more expensive of a project than first anticipated (since we had only figured we would have to replace the soffit and the gutter). But it’s done, and it actually looks good (pictures forthcoming).

Now onto to making the arbor to replace the roof!


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