Fox's Fantastic Fixer-Upper

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by Volpone, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    So here's where I'm at on current projects:

    -Gutters: Bought 'em. Was kind of hoping to paint the trim before mounting the gutters.
    -TARDIS: Need to do the finish work on it (and get the bugger watertight), but I'm stalled by foul weather so there's a tarp over it.
    -Floors: Pretty much just need to clean and lightly sand the other bedroom floor before finishing. Now the living room...that needs a rented belt sander and an afternoon of work. And the mini-hallway between the living room, bedrooms and bathroom, I'm going to have to gobble a solution together for. Probably Pergo. The walnut floor meets the cedar flor there--with a nice chunk of plywood thrown in for good measure. Oh, and someone did an excellent job of installing wood-tone linoleum over that. Several hours of scraping and still, less than half of it is cleared. And as much as I'd like to do the kitchen, the vinyl there is in good shape. And it has a floor structure like the bathroom--with significantly more square footage so fuck that, if anything, it gets Pergo.
    Exterior paint & minor trim work: waiting on weather.
    Landscaping: Hell, take a number. Besides, there's only so much you can do in the winter.

    One interesting development is that I was finally able to get rid of my surplus heating oil tank. The Russian scrap metal guy has been eyeing it since Labor Day and I wasn't able to hide from him Saturday. So Sunday he came over with an associate to pick the thing up. I foolishly assumed there was only a minor amount of oil in it. It turned out to be about 100 gallons. So now I've got 100 gallons of heating oil but no tank for it. (Trust me, you don't want to know). Thankfully, someone is supposed to be by tomorrow. As much as it pains me to give away around $300 worth of oil, it is a liability to me.

    -Oh, and the garage roof. That was the whole reason for this update. If I had it to do over again, I'd definitely have contractors do it. Yes, it would've cost me 3x what I paid for just the materials, but it would've lasted 3x as long and I wouldn't have wasted countless weekens up on the roof--or countless rainfalls going inside to see how badly the fucker is leaking. :garamet:
  2. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Oh, and the garage gets cleaned up inside and the back patio gets tiled over, a pergola, a fire pit, and big bamboo planters in each corner.
  3. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Finally got a chance to sand down the living room floor. Still need to do the edging, but now that it is clean, it looks like a mix of oak and walnut. Haven't decided if I'll stain it a uniform color or leave it natural. I think I'll do a light coat of oil to see how it looks. It should still take stain then, if I change my mind.
  4. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Murphy rears his ugly head...

    Yeah...

    So if you're refinishing floors by the book, you do your edging with a "disk edger". But since I don't own one of those and didn't want to rent one, I opted to use my trusty palm sander. After all, it worked fine on the cedar bedroom floor.

    Unfortunately the living room floor is a lot larger and walnut is not cedar. Still...I was probably 2/3 of the way. And with care and luck I would have enough sandpaper to finish the job.

    What I hadn't counted on was one of the tensioner springs that holds the sandpaper on the sander would snap while I was changing paper. :spaceturk:

    I worked for a bit, using a block and doing it caveman style, by hand. In some ways that was working better than the sander. But it was tiring. And fairly slow. In desperation I tried duct taping the paper to the sander. That worked for a couple minutes before dust accumulation defeated the sandpaper.

    It is too late to go to the hardware store--even if they would have replacement bases for sanders. So I either finish the job by hand, go to Fred Meyer and buy a sander, or something else. :garamet:
  5. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Gah. Friday-Sunday finishing the living room floor. Four hours with a rented belt sander. Then an hour or two of work with a palm sander on the edging until it shit the bed 1/2 of the way through and I wound up finishing by hand. :garamet:

    Then after the first coat of linseed oil I decided I needed stain. The stain was a good choice, but it also stopped me for 8 hours, waiting for it to dry. Put the final coat of polyurethane on a half hour ago and I'm beat. Who'd-a thunk a little paintbrush would be so tiring?

    I really wanted to move the furniture back in before work tomorrow, but it looks like that'll have to wait until Tuesday morning. Even after the poly is fully dried, I've still got to tack some shoe mouldings around the bottom of the baseboards.
  6. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Prep work: not rewarding, but necessary...

    ...so, also, is taking a break.

    Working on the :tardis: and I'd tried a couple different light options that I wasn't totally happy with. Eventually, after thinking about it for a couple days, I realized Lowe's had a "jam jar" lamp cover that was perfect for the glass. Later I realized they have fencepost caps in the fencing department that would work nicely for the top. Next was making a very, very flat roof (with lots of tiers and nooks and crannies) waterproof enough for the Pacific Northwest. I think a few days rest helped me figure that out too.

    So today I farted around, finishing up the roof. I also had to cut the "window" "glass". That's fluorescent light fixture diffusers. And because I didn't want weird light effects coming through, I just left plywood instead of cutting windows and then painted the wood grey under those panels.

    I also had to caulk the shit out of a bunch of stuff. Of course I immediately ran out of caulk--30 minutes after returning from a trip to Lowe's. :garamet: I also don't have enough trim for the window panels.

    At some point, I need to put in the lock as well, but I'm going to hold off on that until I've painted.

    Fun stuff was the graphics. I did up the phone plaque with PowerPoint and then futzed around with some old dried up markers, "aging" it. I think it turned out pretty well. For the main signage, I bought some transparency paper. The problem is, since I've got an ink jet, it never dries to something waterproof. So I took a shot and caaarefully sprayed it with a can of spray poly I had laying around. Got the job done before the can ran out, it didn't smear, and hopefully it's waterproof. Once that was done, I flipped the buggers over and spraypainted the back of the transparencies white. The end result is some pretty slick signage. I just need to trim it to size and assemble it. ("POLICE, "PUBLIC CALL", and "BOX" each get an 8.5x11 page.)

    So tomorrow, after a quick run to the hardware store for the aforementioned caulk and trim, it is paintin' time. :cool:
  7. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    ...unless, of course, it rains. In Portland. In March. :garamet:
  8. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Well, the fucking evil spring weather fucked me again. :garamet:

    Friday was unexpectedly nice, so I took advantage of it to work on the TARDIS. Of course then it rained on all my work all night. Then the next day looked to be, no pun intended, a wash--which was fine because I had plenty of errands to run and indoor work to do. But then, while I was running errands, the weather cleared, luring me with fals hope. Of course just about the time I got everything together and ready to go it started to mist and drizzle.

    But it was too late. I was like "Fuck it. And fuck you. It isn't raining that bad. I'll do what I can.

    This morning I examined the effects of a mild but persistent rain. The roof had completely washed clean, and there were some spots where the paint had washed away, but it had actually dried in the places I needed it to. So today I got all the signage up and the light mounted.

    Of course in reworking the door plaque, I managed to crack the frame glass. :mad: And ironically, because of the fucking leaking roof which, even more ironically, I can't fix until it fucking stops raining for more than 4 hours, the things I painted indoors were still not dry, so I couldn't finish up the window trim. (I did put two strips in place today before finally admitting it was futile and stupid).

    I've still got to close the gap in the top of the roof caused by the weird tiered design (meanwhile it continues to rain on said roof). Two problems: While London is known to be pretty wet as well, the actual police boxes were concrete, so you could get away with having a roof that traps water and also the actual boxes had much more slope to their roof than the Doctor's.

    Oh, wind final gripe about the damned evil, pervasive rain: In spite of the "windows" being set back a good 2" from the weather AND being held in place by a bead of silicone that (I thought) went completely around them, SOMEHOW, 2-3 of my "panes" managed to trap water between them and the plywood. :rant: Damned evil rain.

    Anyway, I wasn't going to do a picture until I was done at this point, but fuck it, here it is. I need the sense of accomplishment:
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  9. Captain J

    Captain J 16" Gunner

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    :techman: looks awesome. What are the exterior and interior dimensions? :chris:
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  10. Captain J

    Captain J 16" Gunner

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    :yes: of course.
  11. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    The corner posts are 8' 4x4"s and the base is 50" on the outside. Top of the light should be just under 9'. Usable interior space should be just under 4x4x8. (I didn't have a supernova to harness to make it dimensionally transcendental.)

    The plan was to keep it as simple as possible--full size 4x4s for the corner posts, full size plywood sheets for the walls. That got me darned close to the dimensions on the original 1963 prop with a minimum of work. But as soon as I started the build, I realized the 4x4s were inside the base and I had to rip almost 8" off the length of the ply.

    Then the more I looked at props and sheds other people had built, the more I disliked the full-length 4x4s--they made it too boxy on top. So the other day I caaarefully ripped the tops down to a more accurate look. They turned out pretty well and now I'm just waiting on dry enough weather to finish painting. I've also got to put the lock on.

    Today I picked up what I hope is the last of the window trim and slapped a coat of paint on that in the garage. If it ever dries in this humidity I can finish up the windows. Then in the short term I need to figure out a floor inside (yeah, yeah, I built it without a floor) and slap a coat of white paint inside it. Because I am officially eccentric (isn't anyone who builds a scale model TARDIS shed?) I plan to pick up some styrofoam plates to glue to the walls inside for a TOS look (even though shovels and rakes etc will ruin the effect). Then it is sideline projects--a better phone panel, trim upgrades, etc.
  12. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    As I'm redoing the wood floors I've got a snag: There's a 5' "hallway", shaped more or less like an oversized home plate from baseball, between the bathroom, bedrooms, and living room. Bad enough that it is a composite of extensions of flooring from the living room and the bedrooms (two completely different types of wood with completely different orientations on the floor), but there's also an 8" wide chunk of plywood right in the middle of it. And literally on top of that, is some very well glued down linoleum.

    After futile attempts to work around this I said "fuck it" and bought a box of Pergo. The "hallway" can be 1/8" higher than the rooms around it.

    I was bothered by the potential amount of waste in cutting the ends for the "point" of "home plate" but I realized I could use both ends of the cuts. Make the 45 degree cut, flip the board 180, and put them against each other. :cool:

    I did a test cut on one board and it worked out perfect! Until I tried to put them together and realized this meant I had two "tongues" on the same side and two "grooves" on the same side. Oh well. I'll have to have some waste after all. :shrug:
  13. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    So my personal canon take on the TARDIS is that it is a sort of dimensional teleporter. The interior exists in an alternate dimension, tied to its power source, and the exterior is a purely mathematical construct in our time/space. It would be similar to the teleportation experiments they're working on right now, where you disintegrate something, convert it to data, and use the data to reconstruct an exact copy at the new location.

    Or, if you have a working chameleon circuit, as something completely different. Since it is a mathematical construct, efforts by Cybermen and the like to destroy it are futile, and the passengers are largely shielded from any external attacks while inside.

    Of course in addition to knowing a lot more about magical physics than we know, you also need an insanely big powersource to create your "doorways" in various times and places.

    So if this were the case, why not just materialize at two (or more) points simultaneously? Dunno. Too much power needed? Physics doesn't allow it? Otherwise you could "land" the TARDIS in 30BC Rome and also in 25th Century Rilea Beta and have a mass exodus by having people walk in one door, through the control room, and out the other side.
  14. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    When I woke up, the sun was out--but I had no time to work outside. Then my plans changed and I decided to paint the last of the trim and paste in the (already painted) window trim that had mostly dried by this morning.

    1) As soon as I changed into work clothes it started to drizzle, and
    2) It appeared that the window trim had, if anything, become less dry since 6am.
    :rant:

    I almost resigned myself to going back inside when the neighbors' idiot pitbull started his baying at me like he'd never fucking seen me before and I was breaking into his house, and I snapped. "Fuck you God, fuck you too Mother Nature. And fuck you Diesel, the Wonderdipshit. If I want to work on a project in my goddamn yard, I'll work on a project in my goddamn yard."

    I touched up the roof and at least put the trim onto the front windows so I could take a picture. (The rest will come when it is dry enough to work properly.)
  15. Captain J

    Captain J 16" Gunner

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    That looks too good for the yard. Bring it into the house and make it a wardrobe. :yes:
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  16. Scott Hamilton Robert E Ron Paul Lee

    Scott Hamilton Robert E Ron Paul Lee Straight Awesome

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    Better yet, sell those bitches on eBay.
  17. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Unless you've got 5' wide doors and 10' ceilings you'd have to scale it down. And I don't even want to know what it would cost to ship one.
  18. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    Saw this over on the starshipmodeler.com site and thought about your project. :lol:
  19. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Yeah, it's not like you live in the middle of a bunch of quirky sci-fi nerds.

    Apostle might actually be on to something. Put it up on Craigslist in Portland and Seattle and see what kinda bites you get.
  20. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    :lol: Shit, then I gotta build a new one.

    ...Which is a good segue into what I was going to say: As a goal-oriented person, owning a house is a bit of a challenge--even a little house like mine. It's like the ancient Greek logic/philosophy trick IRL: If you try to walk to a wall, you will never get there, because at some point on the journey you are always halfway to the wall. If you are halfway to the wall, you haven't gotten there yet. I've made a lot of progress on the place, but every time I start to congratulate myself, I'm reminded of how much remains. One of my goals has been to do all the stuff that requires a truck so I can get rid of the pickup and park the Mustang in the garage. But some things that I need a truck for, it just doesn't make sense to work on yet.

    I want some gravel for the driveway, a couple big, honkin' planters for the back patio, and a pergola for same. But before I start farting around, prettying up the patio, I should, you know, maybe paint the siding I installed there. I've still got to spend a day or so, finishing up the bathroom, a day finishing the kitchen, and probably a weekend on the laundry room. I've got gutters to go up, an exterior to paint, and some minor cosmetic work to do on the front facade (trim on the porch, shutters, painting the mailbox, etc).

    Of course there's the garage roof as well. Why I listened to my idiot neighbor and did it myself, I don't know. Oh yeah, because I'm a cheap bastard and it seemed like I'd save a lot of money.

    Of course on top of that is basic yard work, some minor landscaping, doing taxes, and the fucking 8" stack of paper on my desk that I keep avoiding working on. OK. Screed over. Back to work. If I bang out the paperwork, I can potentially get some more stuff done today. And I found out Lowe's now has roof cement that can be put on in wet weather. Oh, it is still black, sticky, and messy, but at least I don't need a 4 day window of no rain. Waiting for that in Portland in the winter/spring will break your balls and drive you mad.
  21. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Exterior is (more or less) done. It needs some touch-up caulking a couple minor tweaks, and another coat of paint (if it ever stops raining). Then the interior needs to be finished. Since it is a storage shed, it will need some shelves and hooks. Since it is a TARDIS, it will need a coat of white paint and a bunch of paper plates, glued to the walls. Well, it will need the paint anyway to protect the wood. I've also got to get a moisture barrier and a floor in.

    The floor will be more challenging than I'd realized. The door opens in, so it probably needs to be closed when I put in the floor. But then I need to be inside to put in the floor. And if I'm inside and there isn't a floor for me to stand on, having somewhere to be while the floor is going in could be...difficult. I suppose I could put it in in two pieces...
  22. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    One thing that worries me is that, because of the stepped roof, I couldn't figure out how to do a roof vent. I was thinking of maybe rigging a vent behind the door signs--and may still do that. But the other option would be to buy a roof vent and use that as the base for my lamp. The lamp isn't wired to light up anyway, so it would likely work fairly well. But I dread cutting into my roof, since it seems pretty waterproof.
  23. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Fox's loves the caulk...

    Sunny and beautiful most of the day, so I resolved to paint the TARDIS. First I had some brunch, did the dishes, and got a load of laundry going. By then it had gotten notably grey out. And of course by the time I got outside it was drizzling. :garamet: Still, it stayed dry enough to finish up caulking the exterior. (Well, maybe not finish, but close enough.) And I was able to get a floor in. So now if the weather permits tomorrow, I'll paint the outside. And if it doesn't I'll paint the inside. And glue a bunch of styrofoam plates to the walls for effect. Then I can move crap into it and actually benefit from the extra storage. :cool:
  24. Captain J

    Captain J 16" Gunner

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    Next, you'll need to build a console for the interior. Oh and a time rotor of course. I means what's a TARDIS without a time rotor?











    A small shed. ;)
  25. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    He'll also need to install a gravitic anomalyzer. And some means for reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.
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  26. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    The Plan of the Day...

    Well. I hesitate to jinx myself, but I seem to finally have a waterproof garage roof. I wound up putting up the roll roofing in less than ideal conditions and the seams didn't bond as well as I needed them to. So last week I picked up a couple gallons of rubberized patching compound and applied it to the seams. Seems to have done the trick.

    Yesterday the weather was downright schizophrenic. Sunny! Raining. Sunny! Torrential downpour. Sunny. Hail. I mean, it wasn't like, blustery, it went from no kiddin', not a cloud in the sky to pouring down every 2-4 hours or so.

    My next important outdoor project is getting gutters and downs on. (Yeah, I know I should've done that a year ago. Long story.)

    I had one on the back of the garage that was largely rusted through and I wasn't able to salvage when I did the roof. I also had one on the "bonus room" that I was able to salvage. Finally, there's a, say, 15 year old gutter on the front of the building. It has a visible dip in the run and the down doesn't extend all the way to the ground. So far I haven't been able to find a down in that style anymore. One of the reasons I've been holding off on doing the gutters is that I want to paint the fascia behind them before installing them, so I need a day that is dry enough and warm enough to paint.

    So the plan for the day is (weather permitting) paint only the trim the gutters will be attached to and put up my gutters and downs. Then if there's time, paint the inside of the TARDIS. If I get really ambitious, I need to replace the trim around the front door and at the very least repair the trim around the garage door (bottom 5" is rotted away on one side) as well as do some trim work on the front porch. Then I get to continue to caulk the shit out of everything, but I think I'll move indoors at that point.

    Once I'm indoors, I've got some remaining prep work in the kitchen and then touch-up paint on the baseboard in the guest bedroom, touch up to finish the kitchen and the bathroom, and finally do the floor in the guest bedroom. Eventually I'll probably want to replace the closet curtains with proper doors (a standard closet door is 1" taller than my closets, so I've just used curtains for now), and I get to paint the laundry room. Obviously all that won't happen this weekend. After the laundry room the interior is pretty much done (until I get a wild hair up my ass (and some $$) and decide to replace the vinyl in the kitchen. Monday I get to call someone about the possible termites.

    Then I get to paint the exterior, slap on some shutters, pretty up the inside of the garage (that's a post in and of itself), add gravel to the driveway, and pretty up the patio (again, that gets its own post). Crap. By the time I get everything the way I want it, it will be time to sell the bastard.
  27. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Oh, and for the record, if you go to a "big box" hardware store in the USA and ask for a gallon of "Oxford blue" paint, they will stare at you stupidly, irregardless of whether you are in a Lowe's or a Home Depot.
  28. Captain J

    Captain J 16" Gunner

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    Of course they would. You have to ask for TARDIS blue. :diacanu:
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  29. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    I have decided I'm going to "weather" the TARDIS. I was on the fence about. I figured being outdoors, Mother Nature would take care of that, but it just looks too new and pristine. I've got a slightly different shade of blue interior paint that I'll be doing a dry overbrush with and then probably some detail work with black artist's acrylic and a rag, but all that is a very, very low priority. Right now I'm focusing on getting the house painted. Then I'll finish painting the interior of the TARDIS so I can start moving crap into it.

    I expect I'll need to figure out venting for it as summer approaches too. I already had to plane more off the door to get it to close right and it is measurably warmer inside already. I'm thinking I can put vents behind the "POLICE BOX" signs. I just need to work it out so they shed rain.
  30. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    Flagforge...

    Hey flag code/etiquette geeks, a quick question:

    On a porch with two columns, what side does the flagpole go on and what side gets the house number. The Flag Code doesn't seem to say and photos show it both ways, so I'm thinking it is "whatever works best for you", but I'd be curious what everyone thinks.

    As far as the house, I got maybe half my trim painting done yesterday. Should finish up today, but my friend really wants to get the boat in the water. And it is actually a little hot for painting. I was holding off on posting photos of the porch until trim painting was done, but I may just put something up.

    I put strakes on the front of the porch to match the siding facade behind it. Then I built faux pillars around the actual structural steel pipes. I didn't do as much detail (capitals and bases) as I'd planned. Partly because it was a lot of work, partly because I needed more scrap trim than I realized for the job, and partly because it actually looked better understated.