Side porch diversion
As I got most of the bedroom’s interior stripped, or at least a first pass, now I have to deal with the even more tedious work of stripping out the remaining white paint out all the little nooks and crannies. Before the weather changes, I changed my focus for a little bit to addressing some repairs on a small porch on the side of the house. The porch is not special and is just a small stoop to enter the kitchen or studio. It bothers me because the entire porch is wrapped in aluminum siding and there’s a vinyl siding skirting that has been compromised by feral cats who always rip off a panel and crawl under the house.
Before it gets too cold out, I figured this would be a good opportunity to test ripping siding off, going back to wood and then trying to build some lattice panels to replace the vinyl siding skirting. Since the porch is on the side, if I screw this up, then it’s not going to mess with the curb appeal and also the porch is already a hodgepodge of old wood, composite decking and new 2x4s that it can’t get much worse.
I get inspired reading an article on the Old House Guy about traditional porch skirting.
He talks about using cedar lattice made to older specs with nice shadow lines and having it framed to the house rather than just thin plastic lattice stuck on to the bottom of the porch. He puts a link to a manufacturer of lattice called Woodway.
I read up on their options and then go to the non-big box hardware store to special order the lattice and molding. The guys at the shop give me a little bit of attitude saying that the lattice is way too expensive which I find amusing because yeah, I could just go to Home Depot and buy cheap plastic lattice, but isn’t people who care about buying US made quality products keeping their store alive?
Once I get the lattice ordered, I start researching what to use to protect it. I end up picking another small manufacturer called Dalys. I order some semi transparent stain, a wood conditioner, and some wood cleaner. Once I get the lattice, I then start sanding it and applying the wood conditioner. This takes forever due to the layout of the lattice and then after the wood conditioner, another sanding is needed before the stain.
While the stain dries, I go to the porch to rip off the siding. Every piece of wood is covered in siding and caulked up. Ripping it off goes pretty slowly because most of the nails fall apart as I try to pry them out. The heads immediately bend and rip off as I apply pressure, so I have to resort to using pliers to pull out most nails. Once all the siding is off, I see a lot of new wood sistered to the old posts and there’s a lot of termite damage in the posts touching the wood.
I scrape off any loose paint, sand, then wash the wood using Daly’s wood cleaner. After that dries, I do a quick sanding and then prime all the exposed wood. After the primer dries I then caulk around the gaps.
After all that work, the weekend runs out so I need to put up some temporary fencing to keep critters out and resume next week when I plan to paint the wood with exterior paint and then start building the lattice frames.