I am most pleased with this project. It has been challenging nearly to the point of overwhelming, but I have been able to meet and succeed at each turn. It is a good feeling.
A month ago, this is the sun room that was in place. Notice how the stone steps lead up to a platform that is actually built up over the cedar clapboards (that's bad).
A week ago, this is what the project looked like:
Things have been moving along at a steady pace. The old sun room was torn down, and the new one is beginning to take shape. The rafters have been reinforced, the subfloor is down, the walls are up and yesterday the rafters and roof planks went on.
I am especially proud of the rafters. For the record, I HATE rafters. I hate finding that correct angle, and all of that pitch stuff (so many inches per foot) just makes my head spin. Because of the confines of this project, there really wasn't a lot of calculating to be done. I only had so much room to go up, and I only had so far to go out. Essentially, I held up the two-by-six, scribed a couple of lines, made a cut and trimmed it until it fit like I wanted. Then I made the notch where the stringer meets the outside wall, and it all went together pretty much without incident.
The client wants to look at the rafters and the pine boards of the roof, so we had to be extra fussy with how they looked. I had my helper sand each of the rafters to get rid of blemishes and ink and such, and then she sanded some of the planks as well to get rid of scuff marks and boot prints. That's my helper, Anne. Her daughter is getting married this week. She is remarkably calm, considering.
In this case, we are going to put up drywall inside and it will run right up to the roof planks on the two end walls. So I had to build out the end rafters to give me something to screw the drywall to inside. Here is how I did that with some scrap two-by-sixes, a two-by-four, and some half-inch plywood. Now that portion of the roof area is the same thickness as the two-by-four wall beneath it. I will put uprights in 16 inches on center next week.
Here is a picture of the roof edge of the carriage house associated with the property. Note the curved cut and beveled edge below the end plate.
The client really liked that style and asked me to duplicate it on this project. The curved cut was especially tricky. I had to dig out my sheet metal dividers and scribe several variations of an arc on a piece of thin plywood until I got the right length of the cut and the right depth of the arc. I didn't want it to look like someone took a bite out of it, nor did I want it to be too shallow to serve as an accent. Here is what the rafter ends look like before we put any roof planks up.
Here is the roof edge with planks and a tarp to cover them for the two days of rain we are expecting. I think they are going to look really good. The roof planks will go all the way to the end of the rafters, but that will require ripping boards on the table saw and I was short on help and time by the time I got that far, so the last course will have to wait until after the rain.
And here is the inside of the room with rafters and planks in place. It is a little darker than the old way, but with large windows, it will still be very light and airy.
And here is a look at the ceiling view that the client will see inside:
The stone steps that went up to a landing where the sliding glass door was on the old sun porch proved to be a bit of a problem. Left as they were, there was no room to put up clapboards, and they would allow snow and ice to build up against the wood, which would cause it to rot. We're doing this with an eye toward not repeating the process any time soon, so the steps had to come down a notch. One level of stones, actually, is what came off. Here is the pile of rocks. They will have to be moved next week when I have a suitably burly helper, but for now, they are out of my way.
Buried within the top layer of stones on that platform was an old metal safe box. It was topped with a wood cover that had been double-wrapped in plastic to prevent rot (it did not work) and the top had once been sealed, but years of neglect had taken a harsh toll. It was filled with nothing but very rusty water. Here is the empty box. We were much disappointed.
This is what the stone steps look like now.
Here's what it looks like when you step back a little. Notice how the steps only go up to about six inches below the sill. This will help prevent rot in the future.