Back Porch Siding - Part 4


East Wall Started

When last we met, the south wall shakes had been put in place and the window sill had been installed.  Now it was time to move on to the east wall.  And with that move comes the sum total of all my fears (play a little dramatic music in your head) for for the last several years.  Let's get into it.


What I Worried About

I was worried that making a nice window sill on the east wall of the back porch was going to be more complicated than my skill level could manage.  For years I knew the day would come I would actually have to dismantle the window sill.  And I figured, to make it so that I could (in a way) start over fresh, I'd have to do something as crazy as using my reciprocating saw to cut the outside of  the window sill, with the risk of tearing up the windows with the saw.  I mean I've thought about these things for years! 

And...before we get too far into this post I just want to point out that, not only did I have no idea what I'd find under these layers of cosmetic cover-ups for the window sill, I was also dealing with an incredibly humid day.  We're in the middle of a heat wave here at 173, so I tired to get an early start today.  

But even with an early start, by the time I wrapped up at noon I was absolutely drenched with sweat. I mean my shirt, my shorts, even my hat - everything... absolutely drenched. So when the day started out, all of that helped gnaw at my anxiety over how this was going to work out. 

The Worst of It

I never liked the way the window sill and the sill skirt looked after I installed it with the initial shingling of the back porch.  Like I've said in previous just always looked very cobbed up and didn't have that finished look.  Of course, it was just supposed to be temporary, not hanging in place for eight years.  Not only did it not look good from a distance but if you looked even a little closer, you'd see a lot of flaws. One of which was relatively significant.  From this angle while you can still see it, it might not draw your attention.

And just in case you didn't notice (which would be kind of cool in a way) let's take a look at a zoomed-in the shot.  Do you see it? 

The very first thing to notice is that there's a little stuffed bear sitting in the corner of the window sill.  That's not such a horrible thing, it's just a bear we found in the road one day and we put it there just for kicks.  It wasn't a long term plan but, it's been there for at least three or four years now.  Somehow that goofy little thing became part of the family!  

Back to the point-  the thing to really notice in the context of this blog is that you see on the right hand part of the skirt... 1. you see a screw hole I never filled because, again, this was supposed to be temporary.  2.  You can also see a gap above the skirt and the window sill.  For whatever reason the last 18 inches or so of the sill has a pretty steep upward bow to it.  If you're not looking for it, you might not notice but I noticed it every   single   day. And finally I say no more.  So say I.

There are people who are always anticipating trouble, and in this way they manage to enjoy many sorrows that never really happen to them. - Josh Billings

Tearing Off the Bandaid 

This morning I decided the time had finally come to rip-off the band-aid and see what was under my original temporary fix and the aluminum that was covering whatever window sill was underneath before we got here in '97.

So I started by pulling out the PVC boards that I had originally put in for the temporary finish.   This brought me down to the aluminum wrap, of which I tore off a fairly large strip.  I had passed the point of no return. 

It was at this moment that I recognized that all of my fears and worries over the last several years about this window sill were absolutely on the level of unnecessary.  The entirety of the sill under the windows consisted of a 1"x3" face-nailed (screwed actually) pressure treated board.  That was it - nothing more.

Rather than the things I dreamed like using a reciprocating song or someone planer or any number of other things that I conjured up in my mind, all I had to do was remove a series of screws which took all of about 2 or 3 minutes.


When all was removed I was more than ecstatic to find there really wasn't anything there except for the wall!  This picture may not look like it because there are some gaps I might have to fill with some pieces of wood but, all in all, it's just a long solid wall and the new window sill should be able to fit in there quite nicely without a whole lot of problems.  Of course, I say that now.

Old houses, I thought, do not belong to people ever, not really, people belong to them. - Gladys Taber


The next step will be to make the new sill.   I've already bought the lumber and definitely have a plan in mind!  And yes... when it's all done,  the bear goes back to its regular spot.  One more look at my great relief...

Hey,  thanks for stopping by - see ya' next time!

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