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Deck & Porch Projects:

How To Lay Out Stair Stringers:

The hardest part of building stairs is figuring out how to cut the notches in the stringers, which are the angled support boards that hold everything together.


Tall Stairs For A Second-Story Deck

Originally, the deck on this house could only be reached by walking through the house.

We removed part of the handrail and built a small extension to the deck, and supported it with long 4x4 posts. Then we cut 4 stair stringers from 16-foot 2x12s and anchored them with 2 pairs of 4x4 posts set deep in the ground.



Installing Synthetic Handrails:

While rebuilding the deck we installed handrail posts and a maintenance-free railing system.


Building Handrails With A Simple Jig
To Speed Assembly

Whenever I need to build something with repeating elements, such as a fence or handrail, the engineer in me wants to create a jig to simplify layout and guarantee accuracy.


Also See: Index of Deck & Porch Articles

Remodeling Projects:

Straightening A Leaning Garage

This old garage had developed a serious lean, so I bolted some automotive tow hooks to opposite corners and used a winch to pull it straight.


Reducing Floor Bounce And Sag With A
Suspended Partition

While raising the sagging floor, we installed long studs that connected the second-floor joists to a beam built in the attic. Rock solid floor accomplished.


A Heavy-Duty Concrete Footing For
A Deck Or Porch

It only took a few minutes to build the forms for a 16"x16" poured concrete footing. With an L-shaped anchor bolt and metal post bracket, this footing will resist uplifting forces (from wind) and should never settle.


Replacing A Load-Bearing Beam In A Porch Roof

The original beam had been replaced years earlier, but it was too small and the porch roof had developed a sag. So we supported the structure and installed a bigger beam, and returned the trim to the original style.



Also See: Framing and Structure Articles | Deck & Porch Articles

Roofing Projects

Installing 3-Tab Asphalt Roof Shingles:

Nailing down 3-tab roof shingles is easy, but there are some tricks to guarantee that the rows look straight and uniform.


Installing New Shingles On A Steep Roof With Gables And Valleys

This was a complex project, but when broken into 4 phases it became much more manageable.



Also See: Index of Roofing Articles

Exterior Trim & Siding Projects:

Building Traditional Window Casing From Cellular PVC

After installing this new-construction window, I made the exterior trim from Azek cellular PVC instead of wood. No problems with paint peeling or water damage.


Installing Tongue-And-Groove Wood Siding

While remodeling this garage, we needed new wood siding to fill in some new sections of wall beside the garage door.


Trim Carpentry Details For A
Window Air Conditioner Wall Opening

Instead of filling up the room's only window with an air conditioner, I made a clean opening in the wall for the A/C.

Also: A custom cover for wintertime.


Building Traditional Water Table Trim With Cellular PVC Lumber

While replacing the siding, we decided to rebuild the "water table" trim with low-maintenance PVC trimboards.


Installing Fiber Cement Siding

HardiPlankĀ® fiber cement siding goes up quickly when fastened with a coil roofing nail gun. We cut the siding with a special dust-collecting saw, but other tools also work well.

We even cut boards with a special wavy pattern to match the century-old original siding design.


Also See: Index of Exterior Trim & Siding Articles

Rainy Day Indoor Projects:

Refinishing Old Furniture

We took an old dresser and turned into a showpiece. Turns out, it was a quality piece of furniture after all.

Stripping The Finish...
Sanding And Prep Work...
Wood Finishing With A Sprayer...
Renewing Old Brass Hardware...
Adjusting An HVLP Spray Gun...
Spray Locations - Some Thoughts...


Building A Bookshelf From Pre-Finished Parts -
An Easy Woodworking Project

This shelf unit was made from knotty pine lumber that we almost threw away. After cleaning up the wood, cutting it into shelves and finishing the wood, I used a pocket screw jig for easy assembly.



Installing Simple Window Casing

To trim out a window with basic 2-1/4" casing, four pieces of casing are mitered and joined at the corners to make a box. Then the entire unit is nailed in place.


DIY Custom-Made Jamb Extensions For Andersen Windows

I needed extension jambs wider than Andersen's regular jambs, so I bought some clear pine and cut a simple notch on my router table. I saved money too.



Build A Basic Work Bench

This sturdy workbench can be built for around $20, and is made from 2x4s and OSB or plywood. All you need is a circular saw, though a miter saw and jig saw improve accuracy.


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