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The sills for the front porch have moved on to Plan B. This involves making forms for sill segments to pour from some of the faux stone concrete mix. Because they're getting made out of concrete instead of fiberglass and foam, they will be heavy, and are being made in smaller sections of 18 inches. They're also going to be heavily mixed with perlite as an aggregate to make them lighter, and glass fiber for both strength and unique texture.

On the plus side, they will be the same material as the stone veneer, so there will be a textural consistency. On the other, the installation time will be a lot higher.


One can't have everything. Where would one put it?

I have to cut the forms out of Melamine-covered particle board, which I have. They will be assembled with hinges so they sort of fold together to make the form, and unfold to release it, making them a lot easier to release than a solid form. And I'm making a set of them because they will all have slightly unique distression profiles for texture, and when I'm pouring them, I'll make up enough mix to fill probably ten or twelve of them at a time. The cut edges of the melamine need to be sealed and strengthened, but that's a known quantity. And the steel mounting tabs have to be cut down before the final pour so they can be inserted and set into the concrete mixture. I also need to do a quick pass with a router to create a drip edge in the form, but I can do that after the preliminary cutting.

I also got 2" foam to cut for paver positives. It's one of those things that while I have the table saw out, I can cut a bunch of rectangles fairly quickly and do the distressing and detailing at a later time, like during a rainy day; all I really need to do is decide whether I want to go with rectilinear or irregular edges. The rectilinear ones are flatter and more square, where the irregular ones are more rustic and look more like natural rock than man-made concrete pavers. I'm tending more toward the irregular rustic look, since I think it has more historic "weight" to it, and will fit better with the stone veneer exterior.

Tonight will likely involve the melamine cutting, and quite possibly the foam cutting if I finish early enough. Walkies and the workout will get pushed to later tonight when it's cooler and more dog-happy. And I have to collect and prep the location sound recording gear for tomorrow night, and prep the film shooting gear for Saturday.

Gosh, I sound busy.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
It's none of my beeswax, but it seems like you go back and forth between frustrated that the project is taking so much of your time and hits roadblocks so often, and planning very complex methodologies that have a greater likelihood of errors or problems.

I speculate, but I don't know, that you might be happier if it was just in a more usable state.

If this project is making you happy, then I'm out of line and I offer my apologies for speculating where it wasn't needed.

Aug. 21st, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
I kinda thought the same thing a couple of times, too. ^_^;

I'm not 100% sure if it's column A or column B more, but I only hope it's making you happy, R.
Aug. 21st, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
There is happiness there. It's complex.
Aug. 21st, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
There is a kind of trade-off. On one hand, if the porch were done and just there, I wouldn't be worrying about it, it would just be done. On the other, it wouldn't be anywhere near as nice as it will be once I'm done, and I wouldn't have any satisfaction that comes from the sense of ownership.

It's like the siding. I didn't do the siding, I hired it out. And it's a lot better than it was, but it's pretty much your basic vinyl siding, nothing really special.

The porch has a particular significance. It became an issue right at the time that Barb and I were first starting the rocky descent into destruction, and the discovery of just how damaged the whole thing was really paralleled the discoveries in the relationship. I've had to learn new skills in construction and materials science in the same way that I've had to learn new skills in coping with the changes in my life.

And it hasn't exactly been sunshine and roses all the way around. I've had to modify things to fix mistakes or change plans to accommodate new things, and my estimates of time and effort have been atrociously, embarrasingly bad. That in and of itself is a learning experience, and the management techniques I've learned through work are things I'd apply much more now.

And there is still a lot of stuff that I don't know. The sills are a prime example: there's a design aesthetic that I want to achieve, a particular "look" that I'm going for, and it's not something I can just go down to 'Nards or Home Despot and pick up. My first idea failed, more in execution than concept, but it also did give me a visual representation of the look that I'm satisfied with. The second "Plan B" idea is one that I bandied about earlier, and it maintains the look while keeping the exterior material consistent. Considering the curb appeal value of that isn't a minor thing.

As for the fun: it's learning. It's applying set and prop construction techniques to a real-world situation, and saving a buttload of money in the process (burning that it my time and effort in creating this stuff). So hells yes, it's fun. And it's worth doing, at least to me.

If it helps, I'm also considering the tradeoff between a store-bought hot tub and a custom-built one. :)
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Then it's good, and I am glad that you enjoy it.

It is too little to say that you perceive that house as symbolic of who you are. It is good that you are learning and improving it in directions that you want.

I will give you ignorable advice to stop calling it broken, because it's a work in progress.

You're no more broken than any of the rest of us. :)

Aug. 21st, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
It's a whole lot less broken than it used to be, and I agree that the name of "Big Broken Box™" isn't really descriptive anymore, but the rechristening is something that's a planned event... I'd call it a ritual, but you might scoff.

The nice thing is that there is no timeframe beyond the social and "legal" pressure to get it done, other than the sills for the siding guys. That's why the pressure is on.

It's also getting me off my ass and start making rock. It's a new thing, and I'm a little nervous about how it will look.
Aug. 21st, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Fair enough.

I'd call it a ritual, but you might scoff.

In my experience, people respect what they want to respect, without regard for objectivity.

Because I think you're clever, you may call it a ham sandwich and I won't think much of it.

Knowing what I know of you, that makes sense and it seems your style to want something as important as a change of identity to be a formal transition.

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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