House Projects: Finishing

Yep, we’re finished. Well, basically. Almost.

The other night, we finished marking and cutting the planks for the first sloped section. We put them into place to see if we had enough that night. Today I took them back down and added a center joist. We thought we could get away with not having one but, nope. It was interesting doing it myself. Mike’s been going out with me when I worked on it during the day. One day he stayed up on the porch and gnawed a bone, pausing whenever I started cussing. Earlier today, though, he was able to get down onto the ground with me.

When Lorna got home (much earlier since she got help on the route today), we got to work. First she dug holes for the two end concrete pier things. Then we squared it up and hung the last two joists. With that in place, we then measured out the width of the planks and cut all that we had. Then we did the two drill system and set the first section’s planks. The last board will have to be replaced. It didn’t quite fit and needed to be notched. I was using the new cordless circular saw and it was dark and….let’s just say it’s not pretty.

By this time, it is quite dark and very cold. But we wanted to get the damn thing done! We are supposed to get a snowstorm starting in the morning. Being able to let them out the back door vs me walking them outside was important. The new Porter-Cable drill has an LED light. Between that and a flashlight, we drilled one pilot hole and put in one screw on each end.

The first 5×10 section is done. The first sloped section, roughly 4×10, is done. We will replace that last board later. The third section, roughly 3×10, is planked up to about the last 3 planks. We ran out of wood. So close!

I’ll get a better photo tomorrow. That’s Jo at the bottom, being a wimp and not wanting to get up in the dark.

We want to add some lights since the ramp now extends far beyond the reach of the pitiful back porch light. We got some solar marker lights and that’s all they are good for – marking. I put one in near the top the other night. Our goal is to use all solar so we can keep it lit while not wasting energy. We may use motion sensors, not sure yet.

Like I said, it was quite dark by the time we were done. We cleaned everything up (Lorna had gathered the wood scraps earlier before it got dark) and let the dogs out. Sam has been going out the back door all along anyway since he can jump all the way up from the ground onto the porch. The girls, however, were quite freaked by the thing. PopCorn didn’t like the noise it made when Lorna walked down it ahead of her. Joella went down but didn’t want to come back up. We finally ignored her and come in, taking away her audience. It worked and within a few seconds, she was barking at the door.