During the restoration of the Judge Fenton House porch, our carpenter James Sarsgard kept a project journal detailing the process. What follows is the final part of our three part blog series, Judge Fenton House: A Look Back.
FINISHING UP, CLOSING UP SHOP
The last few weeks were taken up with a good deal of prep work. The porch won’t be painted until spring, so we double, and often triple primed all surfaces prior to installation as well as pre-caulked the joints, to stop any potential water infiltration.
After most of the carpentry was complete, there was still a lot of work for us to do: priming, puttying and caulking. But things were looking pretty good here – the last little piece is framing a new pediment that will sit over the center of the stair landing, and then installing the roofing.
The above photo shows the pediment, minus the fretwork insert in the gable, and the roof membrane and shingles. The bottom course of shakes at the house had yet to be replaced. This turned out to be a bear, as the previous carpenter had peppered every square inch of the course above with narrow crown staples! Note also the turned spindle pieces and the corbels – lucky for us, these were in pretty good shape, and all could be reused.
All told, this was a pretty interesting project, and a good test of one’s carpentry skills and creative problem solving. The thing I enjoy most about restoration work is the process – every day, every job brings a new set of challenges and a chance to test one’s abilities against an unpredictable environment. Our small crew is highly skilled in this type of work – we bring a wide variety of skills and experience to the table, and we all enjoy this work immensely.
Above is a side view, complete except for temporary handrail and stair. Brick pedestals and iron stair railings will replace the temporary handrails.
Photo Credit: Sally Painter