Installing a Porch Floor and Light and Constructing a Porch Trellis

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 10, Part 2



Exterior repairs, painting, and new stucco are underway in Melrose, where Bob looks at the various surfaces that need paint and repairs on this 1921 home. The stucco walls are in good shape overall, but moisture has damaged trim pieces and window frames, especially in the back. Trim is replaced with resilient western red cedar and the back window frame is updated with a synthetic material that will never rot and can be painted to match the home. A painting specialist walks Bob through the surface treatments that will be needed on the home including primer and paint for the new stucco, scraping, sanding, and repainting the trim, solid-color stain for the new wood shingles, and trim paint on facing boards, windows, and rails. The Ipe porch deck is installed with a hidden deck-fastening system that attaches to a deck board and is screwed into the joist to eliminate face nailing. A western red cedar trellis is constructed for porch privacy and a new antique-look exterior porch light is wired in. New operable shutters are installed with shutter dogs that are drilled first through the masonry and then into the sheathing underneath to hold them securely in place.

Part 1: Painting a Stucco and Wood Exterior
Part 2: Installing a Porch Floor and Light and Constructing a Porch Trellis

This project initially began as a basement refinishing project and has grown into a project for a growing family. The front porch of the Melrose home was in need of repair. This involved not just the decking but the structure underneath, which had suffered rot and insect damage. The finished wood deck features Ipe, a renewable tropical wood from Everlasting Hardwoods. This wood is one of the best decking products available but does not nail easily. To get around this, Tiger Claw hidden deck fastening system is used to keep the wood in place without any obvious face nailing. Don Martel of Tiger Claw explains how the product is installed. The version being used is designed for extremely dense materials, like the Ipe decking used here. The fastener attaches to the edge of the board. A screw is then drilled through the fastener into the joist. The fastener holds the board and the screw holds the fastener in place. The fastener is coated in black oxide so it is not visible between the seams of the deck. Every Tiger Claw kit comes with a installation tool. The fastener is inserted into the tool, placed against the board, and hammered into place. Using a hammer board, the next board is put into place with one tap. The fastener from the previous board grips it tight as it is tapped in. The Ipe decking is not only strong but naturally insect-resistant without the use of any chemicals. Western red cedar was used for the porch ceiling and trellises. Eventually a climbing rose will be grown along the trellis and provide a little privacy on the porch from the busy street. Carpenter Matt Staffier explains how the trellis is constructed using one-inch western red cedar and held together using a lap joint, glue, and brads. Staffier creates a spacer after the first cut is made to fit in the previous groove and act as a guide for the next cut. The cut is then made using a router. The trellis is constructed using half-laps, glued, and nailed into place. The trellis slides into a groove used for the previous trellis on top and secured with chucks at the bottom to hold it in place. The trellis has large squares to let in light and an opening at the top for a hanging plant. Bob talks with electrician John Schiavone about the new light fixture being installed on the porch. To install the fixture, first the electricity was turned off in the home. The grounding wire was attached before the other wires. The light fixture has a patina that fits the look of an older house. Once the glass bowl and the finial are added, it's all set.

Part 3: Installing New, Strong Shutters With an Old-Style Look

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