-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Day four - modifying old house verandah

This morning we continued a somewhat difficult conversation we'd started yesterday, about the verandah for the old house aka 'the cottage'.

There were three areas of contention - the flooring material, the alignment of the verandah posts, and the roof configuration.

Let's start with the floor.

Dad had bought some decking to use for the verandah floor which was nice... but... not exactly in keeping with the spirit of the house. Instead what we'd been expecting to see was traditional tongue-and-groove. Luckily he's only put it on around part of the front, so with Sam & John's help (friends visiting) we came up with an alternative which should be fine.

We're going to leave the decking he's already installed in situ. Instead of using the leftovers as verandah, however, we're instead going to put a step down and extend the decking forward, so that there's a section in the open too. It should look really nice, we could put a little table out there, surround it by garden, etc.

For the rest of the verandah we're now planning to get Jarrah tongue-and-groove, 80mm wide, 19mm thick, from the same place as Sam & John just got theirs ("Australian Choice Timbers" in Kilsyth). It'll work out a little more expensive perhaps than modern decking, but it'll be worth it.

To help cut the costs further, we've decided that even though the verandah roof will go all the way around the house, we will not have a floor for it on the uphill side. There's not a nice view there, so instead we'll make a kind of mini -garden to look out over, just under the windows.

john measuring for location of veranda posts.jpg

Now, onto the verandah posts.

Dad had only installed a few posts, evenly spaced. But when you looked at the house it seemed odd, akin to someone wearing their spectacles askew, because the posts weren't symmetrical around the windows/doors.

We've come up with a way to salvage it though. We're going to install an extra post, to make it seem symmetrical, on the front right... and then to give it a reason for existing, use it as the point from where the step down to the deck extension happens. I might even put trellis between the two posts and grow a climber up it, which will help disguise it even more.

Luckily Dad hadn't progressed too far with the verandah so we've carefully marked out where we think the other posts should go on the plans... so fingers crossed it will be smooth sailing from now on.

Finally, the verandah roof.

Dad had been planning to have the verandah roof about 5m deep in front of the door, so it covered the steps. We have changed this back to where the verandah would ordinarily be, so now it's only half as deep, because it will look more in keeping and allow light to get into the hall which would otherwise be quite dark.

As well, we've decided to raise the verandah roofline to put it where it was in its original incarnation. Where Dad has put it so far is a bit too low, but again we have a cunning salvage plan... which is to leave the verandah over the deck as is, but to build it higher everywhere else. This should look OK we hope as, because the other part is set back it'll make it appear in line with the diagonal roof slope.

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