It is both a rainy weekend and a travel weekend as I write this at midday from the Rochester, NY, airport. I’ve managed to get a bit more done on the porch since last weekend and I can feel it starting to wind down. Nevertheless, I do need to get in the hours to finish the work and the wet weather hasn’t helped.
As you can see in the photo, I’ve completed the lattice work under the porch and steps, though only for this downhill side. I’ve got the wood strips cut for the other side, but I need to prime and prepaint them before making the lattice. Since I won’t be getting back from Europe until Friday, this means next Sunday at the earliest. I’ve also cut the rough blanks for the spindles for the railings over the steps. If all goes well, the porch should be finished by the end of the weekend after next.
The strips for lattice were cut out of 2×4 pine. Each strip is 3/8 inch in thickness, so I can get 7 strips from each 2×4. In case you were wondering, each 2x4x8 cost about $3, so this is a fairly economical way of getting the lattice, though it is quite labor intensive. If you look carefully, you can see that I built the lattice with the strips running vertically and horizontally rather than diagonally. This is a more classic look and I think goes more nicely with the rest of the house.
Pressure treated diagonal lattice is so widely used in decks that I wanted to visually distinguish this work, especially since I went to the trouble of building it myself. Also, the PT stuff you buy at the home center is often very rough, made of lousy wood, and is not held together very well. For example, the home center lattice often has staples every few intersections. For this lattice, I used brass plated 5/8 inch nails at every intersection.
I completely prepainted the lattice strips before construction so that the final result would look neater but also because of the added weather protection. Throughout the construction of the porch I’ve made sure to preprime and prepaint wood to try to prevent future rot. This has been a fun project, but I don’t want to redo parts of it any time soon.
Some parts of the porch have now received two coats of finish paint, though there are still areas that need their first coat over the primer. I’ve invested in a few small paintbrushes to do the final fixing where I’ve overpainted a bit too much.
There are three reasons why I did this downhill lattice first: 1) I have some landscaping to do in the garden next to the porch and I want to be able to get to it before we get too much later in the season, 2) there is more lattice to do here, so now I am more than 50% finished with this part of the job, 3) if I had screwed up, the result would be less visible because of the vine and other vegetation. Regarding #3, I didn’t screw up but I also probably would have redone it until it was right. As I mentioned above, it would not have been expensive to redo it, but it would have taken more time than I would have liked.