Porch building tips
Bradley says he's only going
to charge us $175 for all of his hard work building an 8 by 16
We're trying to talk him up to $200....
Meanwhile, Mark and I
have been dropping by and watching him work as we take breaks from our
own regular tasks. If it wasn't planting month, I'd be tempted to
have us both "help" him for the whole project, because I can tell
Bradley has a lot of experience to impart despite his youth. Here
are a few pointers I've picked up already:
with all new materials goes fast if you know what you're doing. It looks like it's
going to take Bradley only about nine hours to build the entire porch
with no help. I estimate that Mark and I, working together, would
have taken twice that long (which means four times the
man-hours). With scavenged materials, we'd probably multiply our
time by two again, but we would have saved a lot of cash --- we spent
$660 on materials for this project.
save on supplies with a metal roof, make your rafters run cross-wise. The first two photos
in this post show how Bradley made the roof rafters run the opposite
direction from what you'd expect, which saved quite a bit of wood and
was still plenty sturdy enough for him to walk on.
scabs and brackets to turn a two person job into a one person job. Mark kept asking
Bradley if he needed help with daunting tasks like setting the four by
four posts upright, but Bradley had it covered. He used wooden
scabs and brackets to hold the posts erect until he'd built a box on
top to provide structural integrity.
ahead so you don't need to double up. Although he
envisioned the 8'x16' porch as two 8'x8' squares attached to each
other, Bradley got by with one joist where the squares join by building
directly onto the side of the central four by four legs. (See
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We'll share more shots
of the porch when it's done!