We’re plugging away on the porch. We enlisted the aid of Mike S to help move things along, and I took a couple of days off work to make some progress, since our weekends have been pretty busy. The first step was to put the ledger for the ceiling joists onto the house. Where that ledger wraps around the bay, we had the additional wrinkle of the original decorative siding. We ran into this when we replaced the first floor windows as well. This was probably beautiful when the house was new, but it had been covered up by the subsequent layers of siding and, like much of the original house, was too far gone to save. The challenge was that there was no sheathing under this, so once we removed it we were down to the wall studs. That meant before we could attach the ledger we needed to put up plywood and house wrap around the bay.

Mike came back the following week, but before we got back to work on the ceiling, he wanted to put in some stairs. We can’t put in the permanent stairs until I remove part of the sidewalk, pour a new footing, and figure out exactly how the hand rails are going to work so we can put the right lumber and spacing on the front of the porch floor. Instead of all that, Mike brought some lumber he had cut down from his pile of utility poles and we put together some temporary stairs out of that. This way if things like getting custom railings fabricated takes a while, we can get in and out of the house in the mean time, not to mention making it a lot easier to work on the porch.

With stairs in place, we moved on to notching the top of the three columns and putting the three sides of the ceiling beam in place, attaching to the house at the bottom half of the ceiling ledger. We used a ratchet strap to pull the columns back to plumb, since they’d started to bow and warp, then started putting in ceiling joists. We attached the joists to the ledger with hangers, then the other end rests on top of the ceiling beam at the front. I got the rest of the joists put in the following week, as well as the lag screws for the ceiling ledger. The ceiling joists that connect at the bay were particularly fun, since the angle is so sharp. The last part of this section of the project was adding the short, perpendicular ceiling joists on either end, since the roof will angle down to either side. We’re not putting the roof on yet, since we’ll now use the ceiling as a platform to work on the front of the house.


One Response to Front Porch: Temporary Stairs and Ceiling Framing

  1. adamn says:

    Good to see your porch coming together! It’s looking great. I can relate to your previous post. I just put a new roof on my old brick garage but I failed to adequately check for square after I put the top plates on. It made building the rest of the roof a lot harder.

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