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Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Tried to Resist Immediate Gratification

One of the hallmarks of maturity is the ability to delay gratification.  If that's the case, I'm at the emotional level of ...oh geeze, what age does that really happen?  I know it's not grade school age, and there's no way it's the teen years!  Well, whatever that age is - I haven't reached it (at least in this case).

Over the past 20 years 173 has seen plenty of changes.  Some minor, some major, most somewhere in between.  This is a major one - on par with the great re-siding of the porch.  But this one is bigger - more dramatic...more exciting and long awaited!  Sufficient buildup of anticipation?  Well..a couple years ago 173 looked like this:


Of course at the time that pic was taken, I had already done some work on the porch, the door and the railings, all of which awakened in us the need to get going on the outside.  After some time, 173 came to look like this:


Looking so much better!  The flagstone color on the porch (actually both porches) really brightened the house up.  But did you notice the gable?  It might look like a lighter shade of flagstone, but the fact is it was aluminum siding which had faded (from white?) and soiled over time, and in person it looked horrible!  Then there was the rust stains on the pediment...all of which drove me nuts, and I had a plan - it was just a matter of time.  NOW is the time.  Ever since the very first viewing of 173, I have I have wanted scallops in the gable...seriously - I have always thought it would add such a nice texture to the house.  

Well, as it turns out, my neighbor had the exterior of his house done a few weeks ago.  I watched the guys working on his house for a few days and saw some really great work and attention to detail, so I thought I'd get a price...and a few weeks later:


In the immortal words of Kramer (think Seinfeld) "Giddyup!"  It turned out exactly how I pictured it - and better.  Let me point out a few details.


1. The contractor (whom I will tell you about in the next post) suggested a black strip between the soffit and the frieze board.  Outstanding!   It really added a subtle bit of eye-appeal.

2. No, actually I'm going to go out of order here - bear with me...

4. Remember the rust stains?  They were the result of a small metal roof on the pediment.  I hated that, and almost every house in our neighborhood has the same problem.  When I noticed my neighbor had a sloped pediment, and it was resurfaced with roofing tile - I fell in love for a couple reasons.  The sloped and tiled pediment took care of the rust issue returning, and I loved the architectural interest it added.  So I had to do it - costs be damned.

2. Then the contractor suggested putting a white strip at the top edge of the now-sloped pediment, to which I said okay (with a look of "I don't get the big deal here").  But then he told me about number...

3. Instead of putting white behind the first course of scalloped tiles, he put black trim.  It doesn't show really well in the pic but from the curbside - insane nice!  

It's these details the contractor put into it that really impressed me about him! Oh!  And then there's #5.

5. Take a look at the windows - he put some texture into the lines of the trim - again, looks great in person.

The contractor is coming back for some more work - then I'm going to do a review on him - all excellent!

So here's some fun pics:


Interestingly, I was surprised to see that the clapboard was removed when the aluminum siding was installed (the only place on the house with aluminum siding by-the-way).


Here's Joe the Contractor building the rafters for the sloped pediment.


A little before and after.


And another.  Crazy difference huh??

So, there's the gable - done, and done in a way I have always dreamed of it!

Just a quick note to myself.  Products used:

Corning Ice and Water
Certainteed Cedar Impressions scallops - Flagstone
Roofing tiles - Colonial slate.

See y'all soon - more coming!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring '16 - Gettin' Started

Spring has finally arrived in upstate New York!  Not that it's been a particularly long winter, I think I heard this was the mildest winter on record.  Either way - we've had a beautiful couple days so I thought I'd get outside and get some things going.

First up - an old punch-list item.  A little over two years ago, I was working on the punch list after siding the front porch.  Well, I never quite finished that list - here's the evidence:


Once again I forgot to get a "before" pic until after I had gotten started.  What you can't see is at the bottom of the end-cap there was a huge hole.  Time and moisture had punked the wood a bit, and the neighborhood feral cats had dug through to make a home under the porch.  So I had to clean all that up, and used PVC boards to cover the end-cap.


Another punch-list item was the boards at the bottom of the porch.  I had put pressure-treated boards in place and primed them, but never got around to painting them.  Here's a shot of the north side of the porch before priming:


About a year after priming (and not painting) I decided to go with the PVC boards:


When I did the north side, for some reason I got distracted and only made it around to the other side of the stoop.  So today I did the south side of the porch:


The local wildlife had also tunneled under the side of the porch, so I filled in some soil and spread some gravel - that'll slow 'em down...for a second.

The other thing I got done was removing the stump for the much-missed birch trees we cut down a couple years ago


This one was not a matter of being lazy - my plan was to let the stump rot for a little while making it easier to remove - I just didn't intend it to be three years!


So I got it out, and it got me to thinking...this stupid little stump took me at least an hour, I can't imagine being a pioneer dude clearing acres of land - insane!  Anyway, got it out and now there's a couple more things off the OOOOLD punch list!

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