Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Summer’s Unfinished Project, part 1

Last year I was planning on painting the house. The paint has been popping off the house since I brought it. It is especially bad on the back porch since the PO did have a hot tub setup there. I decided stripping off all paint off, it was the only option I had. I did not want to repaint the house again in other two or three years. When I brought the house, I was given the option of buying the hot tub for an extra $1000. I did not want it and I need the $1000 dollar for other things. I am glad I got rid of it since the exterior paint would probably be in worse shape than it is.

I did not start the project until after July 4th, all my time before then was spent gardening. I decide to lower my expectation and try to just paint the back of the house last summer. I define the back of the house as the exterior walls of the three season porch and the back wall of the proper house.

I first started stripping the three-season porch wall with the screen door. It took me until the first week in November before I finished working on that one wall. As with any project there is more work than you planned for. I torn off several corner clap boards because they were badly cracked. As I was removing them, I found several more that need to be replaced too. It took me a little while to learn how to cut the corners so they line up correctly.

When I finished with the clapboards I made the decision to replace the threshold and the latch side of the door frame. The latch side had been drilled in so many times that the only way to put on a new door latch on was to replace it. I spent the last five year trying to keep the door from blowing open in a heavy wind since the latch would never hold. There was many a time I wedged a chair under the latch to keep in closed. The threshold was original made from a stair trend and I used the same.

The windows to the porch are panes of sliding glass and there are no screens and storm windows to keep the bugs and weather out. I build two of the three screens need several years ago but did not install them. The window did not have a lip which the screens could lay against. I was waiting until I stripped the window to put in a lip for the screen. I did get the one window done on the wall I stripped last fall. This winter I found that I made a mistake when putting in them in; I should not have put one on the bottom of the window. The water now cannot drain out and sit behind the lip. Later this spring when I take the plastic off the screen, I will need to drill drainage holes in the lip and hopefully this will work or my window sill will rot. I hope someone else will read about this and learn from my mistakes.

I started the paint job by using a pressure washer to clean the house and remove any loose paint. Then I used a heat gun to remove the remaining paint. If you are using a heat gun to remove paint made sure the setting is on low if your house has lead paint on it. Lead can vaporize at the higher heat setting. Wear the proper air and face mask. I also found that I needed to wear leather gloves, long sleeves and pant when working with the heat gun. I did burn myself with it while wearing shorts.

After removing the paint I sanded and caulked the clapboard. Hint I should have caulked the clapboard after priming it first. I read by priming it first you protect the wood if the caulking fails. I finally got to start painting the wall with primer and then painting the clapboards with exterior paint. Then I finished it off by doing the trim.

If you look at the door opening you will see the screen door. That will be talked about in part 2.

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