Saturday, December 13, 2014

porch, day three

Yesterday, when the carpenters and electrician had gone -
oh, did I mention the electrician?
It seemed sensible to add outlets while walls are open - 
I spent a good half hour just tidying up.
At one point, I was sweeping snow into a dustpan.
It was surreal.
But a lot of snow had been tracked in and packed down.
It had not melted on the cold porch,
but it would have made pools when the sun came out again.

Friday morning, before chores,
I stepped out to admire the overall progress.
The ceiling insulation was all in place, and most of the ceiling boards.
The kneewalls were wired, ready for insulating.

I looked at the time...

the carpenters weren't due for at least an hour.

The goats weren't calling for Room Service.

So, what the heck.

I started insulating the kneewalls.
When the carpenters arrived, I had only one little space left to fill,
but I quickly got out of the way and let them get to work.
It was good timing; my back was protesting all the leaning.
But gosh, it felt good to do a tiny bit of the work!

Today the remainder of the ceiling was covered,
and careful work began on the interior walls.
(You can left-click to embiggen these snaps, if interested.)
That's all native white pine, locally harvested and milled.
Hand-selected and driven home on the roof of that tireless workhorse,
the Little Green Sportswagon.

How I love wood.

It was a pretty good day!

Now the carpenters will be off til Tuesday,
which gives me time to resolve the gable question.
It's a pesky problem.
Feel free to weigh in with a comment -
I'd love to hear your opinions!


All along, even when the first builder was here,
finding an option for the gable was a major priority.
I do not want to close it in.
But every effort to find windows, old or new,
to fill even a part of the space - 
like a rectangle or square in the center,
or a transom across the bottom -
has been futile.
So far.

As you can see in the image below,
the tip of the peak has already been cut off by the new ceiling,
and it looks very different, but still okay.
And simply closing in the whole thing would look nice -
more wood!
What could be better?

Well, glass. Glass would be better.
Because I would really miss that view into the canopy.

Even from inside the adjacent parlor,
looking south into the porch and seeing that bit of sky and trees
makes a big difference in how the room feels.
And on the porch, the difference is huge.
It's like the difference between a nice room
and a nice space, I suppose.

A custom-built window to fit the entire gable is not a great option.
Even if I could justify the expense,
it would take weeks to have a window made.

The carpenter suggested a functional compromise:
closing in the peak with pine "for now"
so he can finish the interior construction,
but leaving the outside of the gable tar-papered for protection
until I find a permanent window to install.
Maybe next Spring.
I told the carpenter that, rather than closing it in,
I would probably be happier with clear plastic 
stapled across the gable opening until I find a window.
He looked as if I had slapped him.
That's probably how I looked when he suggested closing it in.
I think we will all be keeping our eyes open this weekend,
looking for window options.

Other, easier weekend tasks:
making a decision on windowsill depth (fun!)
and a couple of trips to pick up more insulation,
to be installed between the floor joists.
This is going to be one cozy room.

Little by little!

Wishing you a delightful weekend!


  1. Quinn, what a wonderful room! I hope you find a satisfactory solution to your window problem. I love that you got in there and did the insultation yourself.

    1. If only I had the skill needed to make double-paned windows! ;)

  2. Quinn - I agree with you totally. What about getting your carpenter to add two bits of frame to that gable opening - in the centre retanglular bit. That way you could order two triangular bits (for either side) and one retangular piece (for the centre) of glass and you can still have your canopy view at a hopefully affordable price :)

    1. You are really used to having a view, Dani! :) Your idea would be very nice! Unfortunately, when it comes to custom windows - or even "stock" windows in atypical sizes - that "affordable price" element seems to be missing. But I have three more days to come up with a solution, and that includes getting more prices. Thanks for your input!!

  3. I'd hunt for a stain glass window maker or window maker that can put together a large oval window in a barter type deal.
    At first thought my mind sees a patchwork various styles/textures of clear acrylic or glass filling in the space. I don't know if acrylic has to be put together like stained glass with the muntin things. I wouldn't do the rays of sunshine thing as that style is so expected. Consider glass blocks.

    1. I love your vision! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I so agree -- having that view is awesome, would be a shame to close it up even with nice wood. Too bad it costs so much to have a window made. Things like that here are inexpensive, but we pay big bucks for Greek yogurt. Ha! Best wishes, Tammy

    1. Well, if I end up closing it in, I will buy a lot of Greek yogurt as consolation ;)

  5. Would it be possible to fix a single pane and put shutters on the outside and/or a quilt over the inside. That way when it's really cold you don't lose the heat you otherwise would through a single pane but can open up the view when you feel in need of it?

    1. Another idea I never would have thought of - thanks, Annie!

  6. You just can't close that space off. It's unfortunate it's a "special order" size no matter which way you go. If paying the extra for what you really want isn't in the cards for now, I personally would close it up until next year and save up the funds to get exactly what you want. It would be great to have that whole triangle covered in uninterrupted window. Obviously, the financial end of it is your own decision, but I think you're patient enough to wait and be really happy with it later. Ask the carpenter while he's there what he would charge to do it afterwards. It all looks fantastic though on the walls and ceilings!! I can't believe they accomplished this in three short days. Amazing :) Wendy x

    1. I'm starting to consider the temporary closure as a likely - and not too disheartening - option. But I've got at least one more salvage/overstock type place to try, and I got directions today so I can take a ride up there tomorrow. We'll see!

  7. I too love the smell of freshly cut wood. I agree with you that a window up on that gable would be fabulous. Is there a local window place that might be able to create a custom one? It might be pricey but in the long run I'm sure you'll be happy.

  8. I adore your porch room!!!! I'm so much like you. Our whole house is wood and windows. Lots and lots of windows. We have a spot like yours where the builder put windows, up high well above anyone's view, but that window gives sunlight to two rooms, and changes the feel of the entire room. So, I understand. Our house was all built before we moved in (except that we added MORE windows after arriving). So, I don't have great suggestions for your window issue, except if there's some kind of used window place where you could buy something that the carpenter could then accommodate. Hmm.... In any case, I am so thrilled for you that your favorite room is shaping up!


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