Legacy Post: Carport 2002

October 24, 2017


I've been completely transparent about this blog since the beginning - it's primarily a way to chronicle the developments of ol' 173, just to know when what was done.  A side effect is that I get to share those developments to those who may be interested.  This isn't a fancy blog, and it sure isn't as polished as so many of the blogs I follow, but it's a fun little hobby in itself.  Legacy Posts are a new addition.  They will be based on journal entries about projects that occurred in the years before I knew about blogging.  I don't recall where I got this journal...


...but it was a fun way of tracking our progress.  I guess it kind of shows my interest in chronicling the changes in 173 since the beginning!  The first Legacy Post will be based on entries about the carport back in 2002.  Of course there have been a couple posts about the carport over the years:  July 3, 2011 and July 3, 2016.  Holy cats!  I never notices they were both done on the 3rd of July!  Anyway, back in 2002 the carport looked like it had for decades:


As a matter-of-fact, here's a shot from the '70s:


Here's the entry from the journal:


Kinda fun looking back at these entries!  And look at that - $45 for my reciprocating saw!  That thing has been so useful!  Here's what the carport ended up looking like in '02:


Look at that corner of the yard!  Hard to believe it looked so bare!  Here's a more recent picture, taken after the second remodel:


And there's the first Legacy Post!  A nice little trip down memory lane!

Fixing the Bathroom Sink Drain Pipes

October 21, 2017

I guess it's pretty obvious, not every post here at 173 can be exciting and glamorous (although I'm not sure anything here is actually glamorous!).  Some things are just mundane, gotta do - things.  This post is just such a story, after all, there's absolutely nothing exciting about bathroom pipes.
So, the other day, the bathroom sink drain sprung a leak.  Things are pretty busy at work right now, so the repair had to wait 'til today.  I know, doesn't sound like a big deal - bathroom sink out of commission, but it really messed up my morning routine.  For someone like me, who is definitively not a morning person, the morning routine is rote and it doesn't take much to mess that all up!
See the darkened floor tiles behind the sink?  Wet.  Of course we all know water is the #1 enemy of a house, so this was obviously an important job.  Besides that, experience showed me the damage water can do.  Back in December of 2011, the setting ring on the toilet finally surrendered, resulting in damage to the kitchen ceiling:
Well, earlier this year, the kitchen here at 173 was remodeled a bit, and after all that, there's no way I want to take a chance on the new ceiling getting damaged!  But, because it seems every project here at 173 ends up becoming more involved than I plan for, this one made me nervous.  The pipes are still the ones that were there when the house was bought in 1997, and I just figured something would go wrong.  But, it actually went pretty smoothly - surprise!  First I removed the pedestal, which I was worried might cause the sink to sag - or worse.
Luckily it didn't! But wait 'til you see the old pipes! Oh, as you can see in the picture above, the sink drain flange was new when I installed the new sink years ago, but look at what it drained into...ooooold pipes!
Here's a closeup...as soon as I put the wrench on the wall pipe, it pretty much crumbled:
And every coupling nut was about rusted off altogether!
What a mess!
I'm just shocked there wasn't a leak a long time ago!  The new stuff went in pretty smoothly, with only one extra trip to the hardware store for one coupling nut.  
Here it is - all new!
Hopefully, not to be seen again for a long time!

New Front Stoop Railings: One Last Time (Bonus Shots)

October 15, 2017

I changed by mind!  Last time I said I probably wouldn't get back to posting about the front stoop railings after doing the final touch-ups, but I had a couple nice pictures I wanted to add, so I figured - why not?  I touched up all the paint, although I think there's still a few spots, particularly on the post-bands that need a little more.  I also caulked all the posts where they meet the stoop and stair boards, using silicone caulk:
I also caulked the screw holes in the skirt surrounding the stoop.  Now she's all done - I think.  Now, just a few bonus shots:
Usually, here at 173, projects don't quite turn out the way I envisioned them.  Crooked walls, old materials, wonky things - all contribute to the oft-altered dreams, but quite frankly, most of the time it's because of of my amateur skills!  But this time!!  This time...it came out just how I pictured it! 
And here's a shot from inside... 
And finally, a nice bucolic view of 173 - in the middle of the city!
I promise, I'll do all in my power to make this the last post about the railings!

Front Stoop Railings Finished!

October 3, 2017


Okay, just a couple touch-ups to do but I probably won't get back to posting about the front stoop again (other projects to move on to as time permits), so I'm posting just a tad early because I actually have a few minutes tonight.
We left off with the dismantling of the old railings, and the prepwork - including wood filler, priming and painting prior to putting (holy cats that's a lotta P's!) the new railings together.  Now I'll show a little of the progression.  I showed you some of the painting:


Bear with me a second.  What I wanted to do was incorporate all the primary colors of the house (not including the yellow doors) to give a little interest and dimension to the stoop.  Here's what I did:


Because the lower rails would be 2x4, I started the top rail with a 2x3, topped by a 1x4 which I re-sawed to the width I wanted, then routed the edges.  On the sides I applied trim moulding for that bit of dimension I was talking about.  Once assembled this is what they looked like:


I painted the moulding Valspar's Elephant Gray


...which is one of the primary colors here at 173.  To get a touch of black involved, I painted the bands on the posts with Sherwin-Williams High Gloss Black:


I'm not generally a fan of high gloss paint, but I picked this up at Lowes on the "mis-mix" shelf for about two bucks - who can pass that up?  After what turned out to be weeks of prep, it was time to put it all together.  Now, one would think that with all the prep, pre-cutting, etc, that assembly would be a cinch.  Well, one would be wrong!  You know, I did okay in high school geometry, and I watched numerous videos about figuring angles in construction, but in the end - I went with the most obvious approach:


Just clamped on a board left over from some long-forgotten project, scribed a line, and cut it on the chop saw!


Oh, and let me take a moment to tell you about the saw!  That saw is just a basic chop saw, nothing fancy about it.  But, because I'm so terrible at angles, I searched for, and found this awesome little gadget:


What a difference!  Perfect alignment made my angled cuts spot-on!  By-the-way, nobody paid me to say that, but if they'd like to....!  Anyway, I digress.  Once all the angles were figured, and cuts made, it was a matter of assembly.  I decided to go with 3 rails to match the back stoop, but this time, I chamferred the board to provide for rain runoff (the things you learn on YouTube!).


Using Kreg jigs and screws, trim screws and GRK structural screws (another product I loved!), the whole thing came together:




Then it was a matter of caulking, filling holes and sanding...


Followed by more painting (did I ever tell you I hate painting?), 'til it ended up looking like:


But, I had an idea a few weeks back, just one of those final touches I thought would add that little something extra:


Little solar lights!  O vanity of vanities - I love the look!


Before I wrap up this post, let's have a quick look at the front stoop evolution...

Early '70s:


 1990's:


 Late '90s:


 Early 2000's:


2016:


And now:


All that's left is a little paint touch-up, but other than that, there's the story of the new front stoop railings!

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