Monday, August 04, 2014

hardcore porch

Well, in the end I got about a fortnight of putting my feet up DIY-wise before I had the urge to go and hit some stuff with a hammer again. This was partly prompted by discovering that my good friend Andy had some spare OSB left over after building himself a very impressive double garage a few months back, and, moreover, might be able to lay his hands on a bit of spare roofing felt as well - all of which sounded ideal for fixing up the roof on the rear porch, which was in a state of advanced decay.

Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I hot-footed it up to his place (stopping off to take in 9 holes of golf on the way up) to collect the stuff, and set about a bit of experimental demolishment of the porch on my return. I was half-expecting to find that the whole structure was irretrievably rickety and buggered after several years of repeated rain soakings, but I came to the conclusion that the superstructure was reasonably sound, and that with a new roof and a bit of reinforcing here and there we could probably get a few more years out of it before it collapsed in a splintery heap and killed someone.

I like to have the house to myself when doing DIY, partly because I don't want the bairn getting underfoot and accidentally copping a lump-hammer in the eye, but also so that I can give free rein to my tendency for sweary frustration with inanimate objects when required. So when Hazel and Nia were out for the afternoon on Saturday I decided to tackle the job.

Getting the old roof off was ludicrously easy as you could pretty much put your finger through it, and it yielded to the gentlest of presses with a hammer. Various other rotted bits of trim had to go as well, and it was during the course of the removal of all this that I discovered that the builder of the porch (my predecessor, I assume) had incorporated three pound coins into the structure, presumably as some kind of voodoo offering to the angry rain gods in the knowledge that he was about to bung up a half-arsed plywood roof that would only be a viable long-term proposition if it never rained ever again. This being South Wales that was somewhat over-optimistic. Anyway, since I can't be doing with that sort of superstitious nonsense I pocketed the coins and have since spent them on beer and chocolate.

Once the preparation had been done the actual construction of the roof was relatively straightforward, requiring only the possession of a circular saw and the ability to hold a sheet of OSB in place with one hand while steadying yourself on a stepladder with the other hand, while simultaneously holding some screws in a third hand and screwing them in with a fourth. Use of mouth and feet for some of these tasks turns out to be essential.

Anyway, here's a before and after picture. A more detailed photo gallery can be found here.

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