Anyway, I, um, "misplaced" the camera during the construction of the western (front) porch, but managed to take pics of the eastern (back) porch when it wasn't rainingl and they're identical, so no harm done. Again, we're using surface pads and piers for the foundation. This time the pads are a sandwich of pressure treated 2x4 and plywood with precast concrete piers instead of reinforced concrete pads and poured piers like we used on the cabin since the porches are much lighter. The cabin's surface foundation has proven quite stable and effective with barely any shift despite a rainy summer, a fast freeze-up, an unusually cold and snowy winter, an extremely wet and slow break-up, and another rainy summer... so we're confident that the porches won't go anywhere either.
Since we didn't want to waste a lot of time and effort leveling the pads and pier jacks after building the deck, we opted to build the deck first in 3 independent square frames, attach each frame to the cabin's sill beam since it was already level side-to-side, use temporary braces to level the deck frames front-to-back, and then drop the posts into the pier blocks through their corresponding slots in each of the deck frames and plumb them up before nailing them to the already-leveled frames. Then we came back and shored the posts up with cross ties and angle braces.
This method worked out pretty well for our two-man team without a flat surface to start with, and certainly went faster and smoother (and more level, plumb and square) than erecting the posts and beams first and dropping in the joists second like we did with the cabin floor. Just one of the many benefits to designing and building on a modular grid!
|Floor frames built first and then attached to the sill beam.|
|Pads, piers and posts placed after the frames were attached.|
Ripley, sneaking into the shot again!
|Double-checked that the posts were plumb side-to-side and tied them together with a header plate on the inside and outside.|
Then checked plumb back-to-front and tied the porch posts to the cabin posts -- yay for the modular grid again!
|So here's the front (south) dead-on with both completed porches.|
LOL - kinda has an Amityville Horror thing going on from this angle!
Now, if I could just get James Brolin or Ryan Reynolds to come split that mound of wood for me!!
|And oblique angle from the SW corner, which shows the roof better.|
Yes, our cabin is really that small and our truck is really that big ROFL!!
|And the back porch with the siding installed (hmmm, to paint or stain, that is the question).|
Remarkably, we managed a halfway decent job keeping the shingles even, straight and smooth!
We'll be adding the siding on all faces eventually, but might not make it before the snow flies this year. With winter coming, the worst of the rainy season should be over, so we're not panicking to get the gutters up either; but we'll have straight gutters with a downspout into collection barrels on the south end for watering the garden with sun-warmed rainwater, rather than the near-frozen hard water that would come up from a well.