Sept 13: Order of opperations: 90 N Crest Rd

Sept 13: Order of opperations: 90 N Crest Rd



Resolved: Order of operations for building/preservation is vital to efficiency, and produces better results while remaining frugal.


In this preservation we are addressing the successful restoration of all surfaces on the exterior, the majority of those surfaces being painted old-growth lumber.

The exterior finishes are composed of:


  • Shingle siding on upper level and gables
  • Lap siding on lower level
  • Window and door casings
  • Decorative trim
  • Cornice trim


The two front-facing wall surfaces are interrupted by the porch roof, meaning access to the upper cornice will require building of scaffold on top of the roof of the porch.


This condition should dictate that restoration work above the porch on upper surfaces be completed, and roof scaffold dismantled before work on the porch/lower surfaces proceeds.


The reason for this is two-fold.  For one, the act of building scaffold on the porch roof will be destructive to the roof itself.  It can be patched after the fact, but it leaves a less-than desirable condition.. The second reason is efficiency.  If work on the gutter above requires scaffold, it makes the most sense to use the same rig needed for the gutter work, to safely access the wall and encapsulate the lead waste as it is stripped.  Working off of a scaffold, the work is more efficient and cheaper than multiple bumbling setups/breakdowns with ladders off a roof.


For wall areas not interrupted by a porch, it still makes the most sense to build scaffold to working height for the gutter/roof work, and then use the rig to access the walls.


The cornice in each section should be disassembled only as needed.  The topside work in the gutter is somewhat independent of the cornice trim below.  This is true in most cases where the trough lumber forming the V is sound. In areas where the trough lumber is no longer viable, it can be replaced with modern, store bought lumber, 1×4, and 1×6 pine.  Since the trough lumber is only providing a shape for the metal cladding and is not structural.


In areas where the structural members that form the gutters need replacement, the cornice trim will be removed.  These usually coincide with rotten trim as well, so it’s necessary to dismantle, trim, trough lumber, and repair/replace all as needed before sending back for assembly.


The old growth lumber making up all trim, decorative elements, and exterior surfaces should be saved, and consolidated with epoxy systems where spot deterioration is present.  In most cases the majority of the board or decorative element is fine, and only the end, or a small section needs epoxy. Only as a last resort should these elements be replaced with new elements milled to match the profile.

A first assessment reveals very few original moldings, or decorative elements that would require whole-sale replacement, and re-milling.  In the rare case that this is required, old-growth salvage lumber should be sourced over premium modern lumber products. There are very few lumber products on the market which have the same longevity as the old-growth lumber.  Mahogany, Redwood, and “heart” pine, are all sourced either in un-regulated markets, and are quite damaging to the ecosystems they are sourced from. The “new lumber” option should be used sparingly and only as a last resort.


Order of operations for porch work: Load bearing elements.


There are two approaches to repairing/rebuilding the porch platform and load-bearing masonry it rest on.  The first approach would involve:


Supporting the overhang, and removing columns for assembly-line style stripping/restoration.

This is the best approach as it removes the load from the platform frame, and allows it to be repaired without dismantling the flooring.  Or only removing flooring as needed. This also improves efficiency and cleanliness in the stripping operation as the columns can be worked on from a bench, and installed as brand new, primed units.


The same order of operations for the upper porch trim/cornice and gutters would follow from the upper work.  The original gutter metal is removed, trough lumber is assessed and repaired as needed, and trim elements are stripped in place, and dismantled only in the case they need repaired / replaced.


With the porch roof supported with temporary bracing, and the platform / floor repaired completely, it can be easily braced to allow the masonry work on the piers to commence.  


Then the columns are installed on the newly finished floor, and finish painting can commence on the whole assembly starting from the top-down.


Notes on material selection for load-bearing elements of porch platform:

All lumber replaced in structural elements of porch platform should be of the same quality as the original lumber.  Especially load-bearing elements that are directly under columns. Store-bought lumber will degrade within 20-30 years when exposed to elements, and porch framing is crucial to a succesful, long lasting assembly.  The only acceptable source for any framing elements of the platform is salvaged, old-growth lumber with a track record for existing outdoors. You can survey any residential “deck” built of pressure treated lumber that is more than 30 years old to confirm this for yourself.  Even with sealing products and the best pressure treated lumber, the lifespan of these materials is questionable.


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