August 18, 2015
The decking supports for the wrap around porch were put in last fall. To provide a temporary deck surface, we used the wood for the rafters. But for the last month or so we have slowly been removing that wood and putting up the roof for the wrap around porch.
The first task was mammoth – put up the posts that support the roof. Instead of using three 2×6’s, as suggested by the architect, we decided to use natural wood in the form of birch tree trunks. These were cut last fall and dragged back to the house site with the tractor. We have opted to leave them natural with the birch bark on.
It took some doing to figure out how to get the posts up. They are big and heavy. First, Ken cut the bottom six inches into a six by six square. To make sure the post would fit into the deck opening, he built a template of the deck opening and shaved the post until it fit perfectly. By the time he finished all 9 posts he was pretty adept at getting the right size with the chain saw
Then he rough cut the top of the post to close to the finished height of the post. Even with the trimming of the logs, the two of us could not lift them into place. Luckily my strong sister Sheryl was around for the summer and generously offered a hand. Once we got the hang of it, we became pretty efficient at getting the posts up. The posts fit perfectly and were pretty solid. However, just to be safe, they were braced in two directions.
Once the posts were up, Ken build a form to use to level the posts and cut the top of each level so the beam could be placed on top. Then he used the chainsaw to cut the post to about the right height.
Once the posts were rough cut, he used an electric planer to get them to the exact height needed.
Once the posts were levelled, they were lag bolted into the deck. Then we could begin putting up the beam that would support the roof rafters. The beam is three 2×10’s bolted together. Since there was no way we could lift a 52 foot long beam of that size (even with Sheryl’s help) it had to be built in place. First he cut a channel down the center of each post for the middle 2×10. We placed the middle 2×10 in place, supported on each post. Then the two side 2×10’s were put up and screwed into the middle 2×10. When they were all up, we bolted the three 2×10’s together to form a solid beam.
The rafters are 2x10s with bird’s-eye notches at both ends. They sit on the beam on one end and a double 2×8 ledger bolted onto the house wall on the other end. It took some fancy figuring on Ken’s part to get the corner rafters done. We used a mixture of architect’s drawings, internet research and searching hardware stores for available bracings but I think we came up with a good system.
The roofing was next. The roof will be metal on top of plywood. We haven’t used plywood under any of our other metal roofs, but since the underside will be visible in the wrap around porch, we decide to sheet it rather than just use strapping. We won’t be putting up the metal until we finish the vinyl siding above the roof. Much easier to work on the plywood roof than a metal one.
Still the vinyl siding, the metal roofing and fascia to finish. Then the deck. And then a nice cup of tea on the wrap around porch. Can’t wait.