Mill Creek Haunted Hollow: Construction BLOG
Put up the double panels and lower molding around the remaining three porch columns.
Had enough time to go around and caulk seams and do some sanding, too!
This post is so close to the wall, I had to use clamps to glue the inside panels to the post. Going to be awkward to paint.
The view from the front tower area looking up to the tower.
The 8-sided tower base is finally in place. Believe it or not, this took a long time to fit just right so I had the proper 9 in. lip over the entire tower structure.
Looking at the tower roof base from the balcony/second floor walkway.
Looking at the tower base section from the driveway below. The roof sections will rest on top of the octagon.
The octagon center pin with four of the eight rafters in place. My daughter can be clever!
Four out of eight rafters in place and the tower roof is taking shape.
All eight rafters in place (thanks to the pegs) and everything fits together like a glove.
Looking good and ready for sheathing.
This is what it looks like from the driveway. I spent the last bit of the evening measuring and cutting the eight side panels of sheathing and getting them up to the roof, but I couldn't hold the sheathing in place and nail at the same time, so I decided to call it a day and take a shower.
Still, proud of what I was able to get done today.
It might not look like much, but each triangle is 43.5 in wide and 90 in tall. And there's eight of them!!
This is what if looks like from the driveway. Again, it might not look that impressive, but believe me, when you're carrying everything up there and trying to balance, it's a lot of work!
Trace the pattern onto the 1/4 in. plywood.
Cut out the 1/2 in. back panel and put together the A-frame for the dormer. Routered the inside edge, too.
Dry fit the gable fretwork to make sire everything looks good.
Burgundy for the background of the dormer.
Primed all of the pieces that will eventually be white.
This is what is should look like when it's all together. I'll glue everything in place and probably use a couple of short brad nails as well. To clean up the seems, I'll use a bit of all-weather wood fill and then touch up with paint.
This is what the one with the spider will look like. Haven't painted the dowel yet, but you get the idea.
Turns out my engineer doesn't actually do Inspection Engineering, meaning he doesn't do walk-thru inspections, and he has since picked up some full-time work and doesn't have a lot of time for my project anymore, so now he is recommending I go to another engineering group that specializes in inspection engineering so I can fulfill one of the last requirements of the county.
So now I have to find an inspection engineer and spend more money. I really don't know what's going to be left for the county to inspect after I pay for everything to be inspected on my own.
Since I now have to find an engineer to inspect the work I have already done, and then bring any substandard work up to code before the engineer can submit his report. What is left for the county to do? I mean, since I've been "red-flagged", should I just complete the project (minus drywall) and work with the new inspection engineer? It's costing me more money, but it might save the county some time, if you actually approve the inspection engineer's report.
After that, I have no idea what you would still need to do?
Remember, this is my first time at all this, and so far, it's exactly the tumor-inducing, heart-shredding, social-wrecking, psychotic-breaking trauma everyone told me it would be.
It's actually really nice that I have this forum to post to on occasions like this where I really just need to vent my frustrations. Much better then yelling at the people in the county offices and making things about a thousand times worse.
Still enjoying my new scroll saw. So much, in fact, I'm changing my main corbels to a new (and easier) design. I didn't like how the original design was weathering. Trying to join the long curve was difficult, and after a while, the uneven seams would reappear. With this new version, I use less wood, I have fewer pieces to line up, and the joints are more natural, so they'll weather better and be more protected.
I have to make about 50 of these, so I'm happy to have a simpler way to do it that actually looks better!
Old version was the same thickness throughout and the wide curve was hard to blend. New version tapers so I don't have to blend seams.
New version has three distinct sections, so it will be easier to seal and has more visual appeal from a distance.
By not having the center try to curve into another piece, but rather round out, I don't have to be as precise and worry about sanding down the inner curve like I was trying to do with the original version.
I have to make about 50 of these, so I'm happy to have a simpler way to do it that actually looks better!
OK for me I still prefer your original design in overall look. Might be the uniform thickness of the pieces or the simple curve to it. I also wonder if in the second design your not making the pieces too small and the scale will look off in the final mounting. Now that you have the scroll saw couldn't you combine pieces 2 and 3 into one piece and cut the design out of one block (or is it 2, 3 and 4? counting your outside angled piece as Piece 1)? Then only 2 pieces to fit together--that new piece with the outside angled piece. Also wondering if you couldn't have a rectangular block of wood that you use to cut this combined piece out out of and get two pieces from it--one flip from the other. Seems to me like it you'd have less wood to play with, you'd be cutting bigger pieces out, and doing less intricate work and have fewer seems. But then again I don't do woodworking so maybe this doesn't make as much sense as I think it does!
As for the thickness of things. We have been having two pergolas built (Small trellis one over BBQ island and a dining pergola 10x16 I think)--finally trying to finish our dirt yard after living here for 7-8 years. A supposedly 6-8 month project that has now been 2-1/2 years with problems from materials to workmanship throughout. Almost done though--so I hear your frustration at things seemingly always going as unintended. Anyway, we found thru trial and error that thicker wood does look better up than thinner beams from a distance. And you have the advantage of thicker wood not warping over time like thinner wood will. Learned this lesson after workman didn't prime the wood before staining and we ended up with tanning bleeding and blisters all over. That contractor gave up saying he really didn't work with wood much and offered to buy all the wood back so we were essentially starting the pergola over from scratch. Second time around we went thicker with the beams and if accidents happen for a reason, we did end up with a nicer looking pergola with the second contractor as well as one that was prepped properly. That probably is influencing my decision as well as liking the thicker uniform design.
Ghost of Spookie, I really appreciate the feedback. I agree, thick has a better look from a distance. My frustration comes from trying to make the same cuts over and over again so that they can line up perfectly side-by-side to look like a single piece when painted. This is why I'm looking for alternatives to try and break up the look while making it easier for me to build. Sometimes, while it may look more complicated, it's actually easier to build because there's a bit more freedom in how things line up.
Here are some alternatives:
I could double up the new piece, so I'm still getting rid of the problem of the long curve wearing poor with weathering, or I could combine the old with the new, and have a single curved piece down the middle and a split version of the new piece on either side.
The benefit of the hybrid version is that I don't have to try and perfectly match two cut pieces side-by-side. I have one curve and I split the new piece to give weight and detail to either side.
From left to right: 1. The original style, thick, with the wide curve that blends into the top. 2. A hybrid of old and new, combining the wide curve down the middle with two thin, multi-curve pieces on either end. 3. A narrow version that reduces the width of the second block from 3" to 2.5" and then uses a single 1.5" multi-curve center spine. 4. A thick, multi-curve version.
Of the four styles, the original (#1 above) is pretty easy to produce, I just worry about how smoothly I can join the top of the curve. The thick multi-curve version would be the most difficult to produce because it would take the most time on the scroll saw and would be the most difficult to align two 1.5" wide pieces cut to the same template.
Here are some alternatives:
Here's the frustrating stuff (If you want to know): Last Saturday I got a notice in the mail from the county for a $1,000 fine because I was past my 45 day extension to get my paperwork in. Of course, there had been no prior notices or warnings, just a phone conversation 45 days earlier saying, "don't worry, we'll just put in an extension". So, that threw me into a panic and a huff. I scrambled to get the two documents I still needed in.
The plumber was more than willing to help, just hard to get a hold of. Finally got a signed letter approving the plumbing on Tuesday (5/7). My engineer, on the other hand, was a complete pain-in-the-a$$ about the whole thing. The whole reason I got the fine in the first place was because he was dragging his feet. Starting a month ago, he didn't understand what the county wanted and didn't think he could provide it, so after not talking to me for two weeks, he finally told me I should try contacting another group that does that sort of work. So, I then called the county and talked to the head of the department that originally requested the inspection and found out exactly what the county needed. Turns out, all they wanted was a report of the engineer's site inspection of the house that he did back in November. So, I tell my engineer that and wait, and wait.
Then, last Saturday hits and I get the fine!! Now I'm panicked. I call, I write emails, I even call another guy that shares office space with him. I finally find out he's in California. More panic, more calls, more broken promises from the engineer. Sleepless nights, stressful days, violent outbursts, a weird rash, a throbbing vein in my forehead, etc. I think we've all been there. Finally, Friday arrives and the engineer is back in Washington State. I talk to him on the phone and he goes to his office and writes up the report. At 2:30 pm, he emailed me the inspection report, which I immediately forwarded to the county. Now, I still need to pay the fine, but they usually reduce the fines quite a bit once everything is turned in, so I'm hoping to get at least some of my money back.
All five tower dormers are now up! Must thank my oldest daughter for climbing on the roof with me to get this done.
The next thing I want to do is start the siding and molding around the tower.
Very happy to have the spider on the center dormer.
Also putting on the base siding on the exterior. The separating molding will be painted white (eventually).
I'm also going to paint the dividing molding between the grey siding and the corbels white.
This is the fretwork I designed to go over the red sections of flat siding at the base of the second story. It's gonna look wicked awesome!
"The reports you have provided are what we need to approve the building plan review. The cashier staff will process the permit and call you when it is ready to pick up."
Here's a line of complete cut-outs and some that I already glued and sanded. The corbels are just resting together, I haven't actually glued them together yet.
A series of cut-outs clamped and drying. Tomorrow afternoon I'll sand them down.
The kids love a good burn pile. (If anyone from Snohomish PDS is reading this, this was a recreational fire which had the original intention of being 3' x 3' x 2'.)
I don't think I've seen this part of the driveway since last August.
TK I saw bad weather for the Pacific northwest on our weather report. Some school being closed for heavy snow. Hope that doesn't include your area. Good news on your permit though. What's one more day.... Our whole-yard project is nearing the end for the construction phase--electrical left to finish, landscape plans in the works now in the background and waiting for a set time to begin from the landscaper, but I swear these construction guys have felt our yard was a lifetime project for them. Have missed out on a lot of holidays and time in the yard with friends to get to this point. It's all looking good, like your house, so keep staring at it and reminding yourself you're getting closer.
Took off the old corbels and repainted some of the dings and such. Also painted the upper and lower trim pieces, did some more caulking around the windows, etc. By the end of today, the windows and siding are looking much nicer.
I guess I should be happy knowing I can always start a side business. This is the first set of corbels. It looks like a lot, but I will need to build at least another 36 before I'm done.
This is the right side door. I'll start cleaning the left side door next.
The door is stripped of layers and layers of old, white paint.
Windows taped up and the door is dry and ready to go.
First coat of Behr "Chianti" red. It will dry darker. As I was painting it, I was thinking, did I miss the opportunity to do a crackle finish?
It looks...amazing, brilliant, incredible!
Then again there is a thin, fine line between brilliance and insanity...
I will sum it up by simply stating...If I could, I would...and be beyond thrilled if it looked half as good.
So Heck Yeah Man, go big or go live in a boring looking home, Bra....vo! Best of luck with the rest of the process, love to come help, probably cut a limb off, so probably shouldn't.
The front area was overgrown with weeds and sticky little vines that were sprawling everywhere. Nothing was planted and the homemade bench was pushed back into the corner by the PUD box with the old bicycle leaning up against it. The only thing standing was our family marker (which needs a little touch-up paint).
They cleaned off the brick path and found some old round-topped path liners that we had in a pile by another tree. Moved the bench out and cleaned it off, cleaned off the bicycle, and planted things everywhere!
More cleaning, weeding, and planting as you continue down the path. They also edged the lawn and path to make everything look sharp and clean! I really wish I had some before pictures to show the amazing difference.
Painting the front doors. Not the best picture thanks to the afternoon sun, but that same sun is what allowed me to get the doors out from the garage and spray them, so I can't complain, or did I?
Putting up the new corbels. Very happy with the new corbel design. Still have to build another 30-40 more, but it's nice to get some of them up.
To start, I found I had to raise the existing header on the new enterance by 1.5 in, so I had to take it apart and use up 30 ton piston jack to raise everything up. That was a meticulous, but rewarding afternoon.
Molding, siding, and sheathing removed. Right side raised with jack.
Right side secured, left side jacked up. The pictures make it look easy, but I had to cut out a sill plate to raise everything up, then add new wood and level everything again.
I was so proud of myself, I had to take a picture.
Both sides raised and secured. Sheathing going back on.
Door jamb construction and left door mounted! Don't want to mount the right door because it would block the current true door to the house.
Also continuing the work on the entrance. Put the siding and some of the trim back on, and started building two corbels to go at the top of the vertical molding on either side of the doors. These two corbels will go from the molding to the ceiling.
My corbel design printed onto paper, then cut out and laid onto a piece of 3/4 in. pine.
I'm getting pretty good with my scroll saw.
Starting the painting process. Each piece will get at least two coats.
Cut and glued the center pieces together. Painted the sides in Chianti because they'll show through the side fretwork.
Painting the center pieces and finials.
Dry fitting the corbels together. I'm going to even out the portion of corbel where the finial attaches before anchoring the finial.
Primed a stack of siding. Next I'll give them a base coat, then cut to fit, and do one more coat when they're in place.
Putting a new coat of primer on the porch column to even out the base. Next I sand and then put on a final coat.
More painting of the porch column. Still have some routering to do on the bare post portion, but I was on a roll with the 4 in. brush.
Painted porch post and entry trim. Lots of detail will be going into the entry, including the corbels I just built.
A shot of the house with the unfinished tower section. I'm hoping to put in the window casing, corner trim, and siding.
Getting the tools out and cutting all the pieces.
Wife helped by painting the siding I primed yesterday.
Window head casement with cap attached.
Nice pic of Molly painting away. After painting the Hemotite grey for the siding, she starting priming the casement pieces as I assembled them.
A few claps of thunder and dark clouds told us we needed to move everything into the garage.
Got the window casing in place, nice and true. Also took down the house numbers and hose cradle so we could paint the remaining green area of the garage.
The 2x10s will be covered with plywood siding and another row of corbels, and the tower cap will go on top! My goal is to put the tower cap on after the Fourth of July holiday week.