Porch 1st floor level

The moment of truth has come! I have a nice looking and well insulated concrete foundation wall. I suspected that I got all the dimensions and elevations right, and was about to find out if that was indeed the case.

Our carpenter crew arrived and began with the layout for the porch posts, which are anchored to the foundation wall by means of a post shoe.

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Even though I had exercised due diligence when building the formwork I had a nervous 30 minutes until the layout was done and all posts fit right in place. The post were followed by the ledgers and floor joists, and before I knew it, we had the 1st floor porch deck installed.

The next day, the crew started with the stairs and landing down to grade level and installed the post extensions leading up to the 2nd floor porch deck. Seeing the post extensions go up was quite something. To join the posts, the crew used a lapped scarf joint with five heavy duty carriage bolts.

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But before the bolts were installed, the posts were tagged together with some nails. That allows for some flex which is important to set the extensions plumb, line them all up, and brace them so that they won’t move any more. Only then were the bolts used to secure the lapped scarf joint.

While the 1st floor porch level was coming together, I kept busy insulating the foundation wall and installing the drainage membrane.

It felt that this – the new back porch – has been a long, long time coming. Cathy and I had porch envy for years, watching our neighbors enjoying warm evenings outside, while we were left dreaming about doing the same one day.

Needless to say that I didn’t waste a second to get the rocking chair out and soak up the moment we have been waiting for for so long…

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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