Thursday, June 3, 2010

The porch post

For months now we've had this awful and wobbly post on our front porch. Fortunately, it's not weight bearing or we'd have a family room on the front porch and God knows who or what else underneath.

While technically safe, it's still a nuisance. For instance, it keeps us from having a number of peopel on our porch because in many situations a few would sit on the railing that would ideally be supported by a firm post. Instead you get near chaos and visions of personal injury claims and escalating premiums.

This needed to be fixed and not with shims. That meant replacing three rotting boards beneath the problematic post. While we were at it, why not paint the whole thing since it hasn't been the same since we moved in 16 months ago?

"Four hours," my dad said.

Three days later, it was done. (To be fair, the assessment was for the board replacement, which did take far longer than anyone could have expected. The lengthy work was the sanding, priming and painting of the porch, to which my wonderful mother's blistered knees can attest was long and brutal work).

It started simple enough. Unscrew this, unbolt that, pry these boards off, wear some sandals, look pensive and let Eu do his thing.

I'm telling you, it seemed so simple ... until our day went up in smoke.

Everything beneath the bad boards explained why those boards were so bad. It was all wet and rotting and kind of smelled like it looked. You couldn't put new boards on the delapidated frame and expect it to hold up. So we had to design some new ways to support the new boards and the post. We mostly crammed boards into tight places and were satisfied with the results.

Along the way, I used a saw without incident. This is pretty rare in our clan. Why, you can count the instances on ... well, you'd need a lot of hands, but that's the point.

See?!?!? I'm not sure what was more amazing. Dad doing this or Mom catching it on camera.

As you can see, we'd make progress and then have a small issue. Here, Dad had dropped a screwdriver into the gap and no one's arms were long or slim enough to get it. I proposed a bottle opener magnet attached to string to fish out the screwdriver. Damn right it worked.

Speaking of worked, I can't say enough about what Mom and Dad did over the weekend. It's not possible. Dad took some time for iced tea as Mom immigrated from another task to sand the porch. She was finally persuaded to relax for a moment. A brief moment.

Finally, we finished and restored some of the beauty to the front of out little bungalow. Inspired, we then attacked the back porch, eliminating the blue-gray and replacing it with white.


  1. Why are the house numbers black?

  2. Excellent question!

  3. Who are you anonymous people? You're freaking me out.