House Week 40: Screwing Things in Place – Front Porch

So after weeks and weeks of rain i was finally able to get all of the porch boards sealed on all sides, which meant once i got back from LA they were ready to be drilled, screwed, and walked on.  Since we had planned ahead (for once) all of the boards were cut and marked making it truly as easy as it sounds.  Here’s what i did:

Step 1: Determine the Spacing for the screws and boards.  While this sounds easy, it actually is!  The hardest part is ensuring that the holes for the screws are equidistant from both edge of the boards.  This is helpful if you ever damage a board and want to turn it over to the other face so that holes align and you are not tearing up the boards or joists.  As the template we drilled our holes into a paint stirrer stick which was super light and easy to use board to board.  Also to ensure that the boards don’t move around or squeak i placed screws on every other joist.  This meant that the boards were screwed down in three different positions the length of the board averaging every 24”.

Step 2: Lay out all of the boards exactly where you want them and mark the spots for the screws.  By laying things out first you are able to ensure that you have all of the boards in the right spots and make adjustments if necessary.  Mark the holes using a sharp felt tip marker.  When you remove the template check that you can see your marks, little is more frustrating then having to go back and remark everything a second (or third) time.

Step 3: Drill!  Well before you drill check that you have the appropriate sized drill bit.  I had the right size but found out i have a talent for breaking off drill bits.  Off to the hardware store i went with a piece of the porch and they were able to help me find dre_ah strength drill bits which i managed to not even break one of…nice!  Drill as straight of a hole as possible where you placed you marks on all of the boards.

Step 4: Screw!  Once you’ve drilled the boards realign all of the spacing around each board, the Merbau recommended 5/16” (check the manufacturers info for the board spacing as some woods need more than others).  Once in alignment pull out your giant box of deck screws (ensure the screws are appropriate for the weather you porch will be enjoying) and screw down the boards.  I found it helpful to stand on the individual board i was setting to ensure it didn’t move.  Also i placed one screw along the top of each of the boards down the entire row came along the back of the row repositioning each board setting one screw to get them all right where i wanted them before setting all of the remaining screws.  This allowed me to maneuver them instead of having to pull out the screws to make minor adjustments.   Here is a picture of what we have so far…

House Wk 42: Screwing the Porch

Step 5: Set the remaining screws…and you’re done!  Time to enjoy that awesome porch!  Or in my case, go buy a rosemary plant.

House Wk 42: Finished Ft Porch     House Wk 42: Top Down Front Porch

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