Installing a Porch Floor and Light and Constructing a Porch Trellis

The front of the Melrose house gets finishing touches, including a new, insect-resistant porch deck, new trellises, and a porch light.

Clip Summary

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.

Well, it's been six months since we began the work here, which was originally just a basement room refinishing project that grew to include finding more space for a growing family.

We're doing backyard , we're doing repairs to the house and we're standing on one of them right now--the front porch, the front entrance of the house, a nice wooden deck system that needed to be repaired, and not just the decking, but also the structure underneath, 80 year old timbers, many of which were rotted or insect damaged.

So we've done that, and now we're looking at the finished product, which is a tropical product from Everlasting Hardwoods, which is a renewable product.

And, I think one of the best choices for outdoor decking even though traditionally some people don't like to work with it because you have to sometimes drill it, doesn't nail easily.

We're using tiger claw, a system for installing the wood without any kind of face nailing obvious, which keeps the beauty of the wood right out there. Take a look and we'll see how these are attached.

Well what we're using today is a hidden deck fastening system from Tiger Claw.

And this particular fastener here that we're using, is made for extreme dense materials, like the ipe that we're putting' down today.

The fastener is very simple to use.

You could see it attaches to the edge of a board, and then a screw is installed through the fastener, down into the joist.

How it works is, the fastener holds the board and then the screw holds the fastener down.

Now you can see we've driven.

Let's take a look at the fastener here.

All stainless steel with a black oxide coating on them.

And, what the reason for the coating is, it helps it to hide very nicely in the seams of the deck so you don't see it even when you look down into the seams.

Now, the, every every retail package of fasteners comes with an installation tool. Now the installation tool is a very simple block.

You simply insert the fastener into the tool and set it right on your joist. Now that helps you to install the fastener nice and even, just the right height, and nice and square.

Now you see, I apply a little pressure to the top of the board with my foot. Give it a little tap and the fastener nicely goes right into the edge of the board, and I take my stainless steel screw also with a black oxide coating, and I just pop it in at a 45 degree angle and that's it. Simple as that.

Once you install the fastener at each joist, you simply take your next board. You slide it into place

Using a hammer board, and a small sledge hammer, you simply give it a little tap, and the board goes right onto the fastener.

Once you get it in place simply set another fastener and another screw .

And you continue on with that same installation process. I'm going to work my way down, hitting one time at each joist, any more than that can make your installation more difficult. Just hit once and you move along. And you can see I'm getting the perfect spacing. Automatic spacing as I move down. And our board is installed. Now I simply start that process all over again until I reach the end of my deck.

So one of the other things about the Ipe is that it's extremely strong and also naturally insect resistant. It doesn't have any kind of chemical applications.

Now the other wood that we have combined up here is Western Red Cedar, which we used overhead for the Newport ceiling, and just last week we made these trellises, which are a large format cedar trellis that will eventually allow a climbing rose to live here.
And which the homeowner thinks might have originally existed here to provide a little bit of privacy from what is a pretty busy street.

The trellis is made of a western red cedar one inch . The trellis is held together with a lap joint secured with glue and some brads.

The way all the cuts came out so even is that after I made the first cut, I built this spacer.

This spacer has a piece of wood that fits into the previous groove.

That allows me to set my guide up for my next slice.

This also takes into consideration the amount of room that the router itself needs.

The spacer allows me to finish the cut and get a perfect one inch.
It has to be slid into a groove that was here for the previous trellis. These little chucks down on the bottom that were going to use to hold it into place. They need to be screwed down to secure the trellis.

The homeowner wanted nice big blocks to let a lot of light in, but still give some privacy, and we have this cutout here for our hanging plant.

The last touch that we are putting on over here is a new light fixture, and John Travoni our electrician, are you all done?
I wanted to see exactly what it looked like up there.

Yeah, we've got the electricity off, of course, and simple are in just white to white and black to black and the first thing you do is definitely ground the system

And then you just bunch them up and attach it in there.
And I like a lot of these new light fixtures that they're making for exterior use that they have these, patinas on them so that they look appropriate to an older house.

Yes, they're very nice.

Where's the glass?

Then that's the wood.

OK. Alright, and the old-time glass bowl and vinyl which compliment the look.

Thank you Bob.

Very nice John, thanks.