New Porch/Grill Space: What I Did This Summer

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richlife

New User
Rich
This started out as a "two-week project" that ended up taking 2 1/2 months. Since it was "short term" I went at it aggressively and as it still didn't get finished, kept working harder and longer. I became very single-minded about it and didn't get much of anything else done -- not even grilling. This is the pictorial story.

Since this is built into my house, I wanted it to look as if it had always been there. To ensure I met building codes, I even got a permit and inspections. The only complaint there was the $300 cost -- 10% of the building costs of $3000. (That total included some contracted landscape and driveway work to ensure the porch fit in.) All work -- design with Sketchup, demolition, footings, building, roofing, electrical, and painting -- was done by me. (I got help to raise the large posts to vertical.)

First let me show where I started. This is the original deck with walkway to the front. The leftmost bay under the upper deck was my 8'x8' covered grilling area. I did the supports for the corrugated plastic cover a couple of years ago.
P1070861 Walkway Before.JPG Original Setup.JPG

My first task was to dig and set the footers and set the 12' and 16' posts. This is when the drive work was done and I got the help raising posts. Then I thought I needed to install the upper level flashing (should have waited) while I had decking. Took out all the old walkway preserving still good pressure treated lumber for later projects on my property. This part justified the Sawsall I had requested last Christmas. ;)
P1070924 Walkway Removed.JPG P1070925 All Posts.JPG

The old walkway flashing had to be replaced, so off came the ledger, new flashing added and proper lag screws to meet code. Then the new deck banding was done and the old posts cut out. I cut off one original deck rail post and then recessed the stump below the band level to insert a new 8' post as the final support for the new roof girder. One of the good things about doing a project like this on your own is that new tools can be justified. No way could I have recessed that stump without reciprocating saw. Nothing I did with drills and existing tool I had would get the job done. (Mallet and chisel maybe, but on the endgrain of 20-year-old PT posts -- no thanks!)
P1070930 Deck Banding.JPG P1070932 Old Posts Removed.JPG

Folks, when you KNOW you should wear gloves for things like installing flashing -- just do it!. I was doing fine until I raised a hammer to secure the flashing and slashed myself on that edge. The nail is still growing out and the scar will always be there.

So with the basic supports in place, adding the joists and decking wasn't a big issue. I don't like using joist hangers, so the deck joists and roof rafters were put up on a 2x2 ledger instead. Much quieter and nicer looking. With a new deck to stand on, I could work at cutting off the posts to the right height. (My favorite job that is -- standing on a ladder with a circular saw cutting through 6x6 posts.) I fitted and re-used the rails from the walkway which saved a lot of time not having to make a jig and fit pickets. Then the stair posts went on and the temporary stairs added. (I had a bear of a time trying to fit pre-cut stringers. Finally just cut my own and was done in an hour.) Then back up on the ladder to notch those posts for the 4x8" girders. With space to work, I could assemble the 20 foot roof girder from 8 and 16 foot 2x8s. You can see that sitting on the deck before clinching them together.
P1070951 Decking -  Posts Trimmed.JPG P1070952 Ready for Header.JPG

Getting that 20 foot girder up on those notched 8' posts was possibly the most difficult single task. Fortunately I realized just before it was too late that lifting it over the posts (the notch was outside) was going to push the end of the girder off it's support (here -- CATCH!). All it took was temporarily extending that support. (Whew!)

Next was framing the roof and doing the roofing. That's when I discovered that putting the flashing on AFTER the roof would be a good idea. (Oh well.) And I had to remove the flashing I had installed in the privacy fence of the upper deck (that deck is off our master bedroom) as it was put in wrong. (Deciding I was unsure that single piece was right, I did some research on flashing. Good thing -- to put shingle roofing into a wall like that you need to use step flashing. If you put a roof on like that, look it up.) So an hour undoing 5 hours putting that flashing in and I could start shingling. No big deal that, but since we needed new shingles and our house roof was 20 years old, I started looking for a roofing contractor. (If you're in the Raleigh and surrounding area and need a roof, pm me -- I found a great guy!)
P1080255 Roof Complete End-on.JPG P1080256 Roof Complete NE.JPG

Well, the rest was easy, right? Put in pre-stained plywood ceiling panels (I had to cut into 4x4' panels to handle it), cut and install fitted cedar boards for trim all round, do the electrical (get inspected), stain and paint, complete end rails and stairs and install the lights and fans. I used conduit to extend existing circuits and painted them to match the house. So here it is all done.
P1080268 Ceiling and Lights in.JPG P1080275 All Work Complete.JPG

All the furnishings except the grill and the cabinet on this deck, I picked up over the last few months at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store for less than $100 total -- have to save where you can if you're on a retirement budget.

Now the driving motive for doing all this was so I could have a better and larger grilling space, so I thought I'd close out with a few pics showing my new space starting with where the old space used to be (on the right side wall is the cabinet I built earlier to house my grill tools and supplies). In the second pic, you can see the "grill lights" I put above the grill with a switch on the post to the left. Notice my chair is now where my grill used to be. The the third pic is from next to the chair back out.
P1080273 Former Grill Space.JPG P1080317 New Grill Space.JPG P1080318 From Old Grill Space.JPG

So now what. I've decided to build a floor cabinet also in black walnut under the wall cabinet to hold the grates I now have hanging on the grill and on the rails. I have a 12x28" slab of marble that I'll use for the top. I'm also going to remove the 8' rail section just to the right of the grill and extend that deck out 4 feet to establish a seating area out from under the roof. I'll use stainless steel cables instead of pickets for the three sides -- unobstructed view. Finally, I'd like to get a set of cabinet and side table extenders that are available for my grill for more storage and workspace. (I grill or smoke at least 4 or 5 days a week year round, rain or shine, and now do most of the cooking for us.) Since the grill is right across from our kitchen door, this whole arrangement is very convenient.

Rich
 

ashley_phil

Phil Ashley
Corporate Member
wow that looks awfully inviting! great work.

i also like the stealth gloat of your nice weber arsenal!
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
Wondered where you'd been all summer, Rich. Great addition, especially w/ the views you have from your house. Enjoy! :icon_thum

Bill
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Looks great. I can't imagine expecting to get that done in 2 weeks...you're ambitious!
 

richlife

New User
Rich
Thanks for the thoughts, folks. For 20 years we've slowly been improving our outdoor areas and this is probably the last big project. Won't ever stop, but I'm just not up to this kind of focused, extended effort. But yes, it is truly as inviting as it looks. Thanks for noticing. :cool:

Phil, I honestly didn't even think about the Weber stuff being unusual. Yeah, I'm fortunate to have it -- it's added a whole new dimension to my life. But some of the people the grilling forums I follow have so many grills, etc. that I forget I actually have more than the norm. It seems hard to know now how I ever did without them. I cook, but 90% or more is outdoors.

And Bill, yes -- I've been buried. Not only the porch, but getting the contractors in place at the same time just seems unreal now. And Sheila is heavily involved with political activism this year (not my thing at all), so a lot of normal home stuff falls to me also. Not complaining, but I sure glad the election is next week! AND no more political ads!

On top of all this, we have Sandy blowing by us and completely changing the lives of so many in our country. Please pray for and support them all.

Rich
 

Sealeveler

Tony
Corporate Member
Fine looking job,now you have plenty of grilling/relaxing room.Nice view too.Looks better than what I saw last Sunday with salt water coming up my driveway.
Tony
 

ashley_phil

Phil Ashley
Corporate Member
Phil, I honestly didn't even think about the Weber stuff being unusual. Yeah, I'm fortunate to have it -- it's added a whole new dimension to my life. But some of the people the grilling forums I follow have so many grills, etc. that I forget I actually have more than the norm. It seems hard to know now how I ever did without them. I cook, but 90% or more is outdoors.

yeah those are the standard arsenal for serious grillers. i have n old weber i got off craigslist and an UDS.

can't wait to fire them up this weekend.
 

richlife

New User
Rich
Despite the number of times it's posted, I don't think folks realize just what great deals you can find on craigslist -- expecially when it comes to grills and smokers. The WSM in my pics is now 2 years old -- I got it new, in the box off craigslist because someone wanted a grill and ordered the wrong thing. Didn't want to go through the "trouble" of returning it! I heard SO many stories of people who buy a great new grill, hardly use it and decide they just don't like to grill -- almost new grill at a ridiculous price by the end of the summer...

This is actually the best time to check craigslist for good grill. People bought for the season and now want to get rid of them. Late winter is another good time as the realize they aren't goig to use it. Be ready with cash and bargain, bargain, bargain.

Now my Genesis EP-330 was bought new. But I sold myold model 2-year-old Genny for a good price and got a bargain on this one. Considering all, I got it for about 1/3 of list -- and it's a really great grill. It's all the grill I need for up to 25 people. For just Sheila and I, I typically use only 2 or the 4 burners.

Rich
 

richlife

New User
Rich
Thank you, yes. And Christmas came a bit early -- had no choice but to open the package and be sure nothing was damaged. Required quite a bit of work to be sure everything fit properly. Then there was no sense in repacking it all...

New side cabinets and table extensions.
P1080487AfterCabinetry-LateAfternoon.jpg


Rich
 
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