Sunday, 19 October 2008
Friday, 22 August 2008
Friday, 1 August 2008
Monday, 16 June 2008
Friday, 30 May 2008
Sunday, 25 May 2008
The picket fence came from Joanne's Fabric Store in America, it was in the dried flowers section and is about 3/4 inch high - more of a 'keep off the lawn' fence. You can see that I painted my electrical wire green, to blend it into the lawn, and the bit of fence it goes under can be loosened in case I need to lift the house off of the base.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Sunday, 11 May 2008
Monday, 5 May 2008
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
After painting the plastic railings to look like verdigris, I installed them around the top roof fascia by drilling holes partway into the wood to accommodate the plastic posts. By carefully trimming the pieces of railing, I was able to achieve a seamless look although I haven't actually glued the seams yet. If I do glue them, I will use plastic modeller's glue. The posts themselves are fixed into the holes with tacky glue. I think the railing really adds an authentic 'Second Empire' look to the house. I may also install railing around the porch roof and fix a sign to it, but I will leave that decision until later.
Then I painted the Northeastern brackets that I bought in Chicago at the Three Blind Mice show. The brackets that came with the Willowcrest kit almost all fell apart, the inside of the veneer sandwich literally crumbling away in whole or in part from most of them. These Northeastern brackets are virtually the same size. They came in sets of four so I had enough to install two brackets at the rear of the house to give continuity, although I had to trim them narrower as the fascia does not protrude as much at the back. I think I mentioned earlier that my main fascia is not entirely level, so I had to trim the angle on several of my brackets to fit them into the not-90-degree positions.
I am now working on all the interior window mouldings, which I sealed and then gave a preliminary coat of emulsion prior to a thorough sanding and filling holes with smooth filler. Before I did all that, I glued some crown moulding on the 'sills' of most of the frames, to make them look more dimensional and realistic. It seems that each window will need individual attention, as the frames are not exact matches for the openings. Therefore on some windows you will see the underside of the interior frame from outside (so it will need to be painted in the interior colour) and on other windows you will see the interior edge of the opening protruding forward from the interior window frame (so it will need to be painted in the external colour).
Friday, 25 April 2008
I bought loads of accessories for the house at the Bishop show. But about the only thing I have done since I returned is to paint the railings to look like verdigris. These will be installed on top of some of the roof trim, like a typical Second Empire house.
Monday, 24 March 2008
As you can see, despite best efforts, I have managed to get quite a bit of paint onto my blue trim, so the next job is to go back and touch up the blue and green paintwork.
Friday, 14 March 2008
The shingling is finished, and I could finally sweep away the kazillion little bits of shingle and splinters and sawdust littering my work area. It looks like a house now, and I feel like the end is in sight, even though there is still loads to do.
I have about three-quarters of a sheet of shingles left, even after wasting about a sheet on my false start, so there are plenty of shingles in the kit. In fact, I also found some more clapboard in my box which I had thought was shingle, so I had more clapboard left over than I thought also.
Now I have to decide what colour to paint the roof. I've put on a starting coat of Anita's Rust Red but I don't want this to be the final colour, it is too orangey and too much like the foundation. I'm not sure whether I want to go darker, or lighter. I've taken the left over shingles and mocked up a bit of 'shingled roof' on a scrap bit of MDF board, and I will try out a few paint possibilities on that. I want something that will look realistic, but also contrast with the blue and green colours. I am tempted to pick out the fishscale shingles in a different colour, but I did read that that wouldn't be historically accurate. I might do it anyway.
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Friday, 22 February 2008
Saturday, 9 February 2008
Friday, 1 February 2008
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Thank you! I love this house, it is such an attractive design. Because I have converted the house to be a shop (store), I actually only have two hinged doors. There is the main front door, which is a commercially purchased set of French doors with the grille removed, so it comes already hinged. The other is the bathroom door. Because the kit door is so thick, and got even thicker when I applied coffee stirrers to give a panelled effect, I hinged the bathroom door with the pin method. I drilled a small hole at the top and bottom, near the corner, and glued in a sewing pin, then cut the sewing pin down to about 1/4 inch. You need to round off the hinge edge of the door for this to work, so it will open smoothly. Then I drilled a corresponding hole in the floor for the bottom pin to fit into, and a slot into the top of the door frame (hidden by the door moulding) for the top pin to fit into. To mount the door, I just pushed the bottom pin into the floor hole, then stood the door up so the top pin went into the slot. Then I glued on the door moulding to hide the slot. The door pivots on the pins. If you didn't round off the hinge side of the door, then the corners of the door would bind and it wouldn't pivot properly. They do make small brass hinges but I felt it would be too difficult to try to attach them.
Friday, 18 January 2008
Monday, 14 January 2008
I've finished applying clapboard to the left side now. I found fitting the boards around the top window moulding was very fiddly, I had a lot of trouble with breakages as the boards splinter apart very easily when you try to make complicated cuts. But it's come out fairly well, I'm pleased with it.
I've now moved onto the front, where I need to finish my conversion job to turn this house into a shop. I am going to glass in the porch as a display window. The first step was to customise the french doors and glue them in. Next I will be fitting panels either side of it which will support the 'glass'. The graphics on the door are things like credit card logos and opening hours that I found on the internet.
Thursday, 3 January 2008
Then I moved on to the right side, which includes the living room bay window. I ran into trouble deciding how to treat the edges of the bay window, and ended up trying three different options before arriving at a fourth option which was my chosen solution.
1) I had already painted the bay window in my clapboard colour (green) before applying the blue window trim. My original plan was to apply clapboard only up to the window sill level, and leave the rest of the bay bare green. However, I found that once I started clapboarding up the side of the house, that when I looked from the front of the house, the bay side wall looked really naked and wrong. So I ripped off the side boards I had applied, back to the level of the windowsill. I am now using a British solvent glue called UHU, similar to QuickGrip but perhaps not as strong and more prone to strings, but I was able to rip the boards off.
2) I mocked up a narrow vertical strip of clapboard siding on some masking tape, and stuck it on the front bay side wall (the one you see from the front). This immediately looked a lot better from the front of the house, because it gave the continuity of the clapboard ridges. But it looked terrible from the side of the house because you saw all the rough raw edges of the clapboard ridges and the gaps between them as they rested on top of each other. And although I have seen pictures of other Willowcrests where keen builders have applied clapboard all around the tiny gaps between the window frames, I didn't want to try to do that with all the complex angles involved. Because of the big gap I had previously had to fill, between the bay front side wall and the next angled panel, my corner wasn't even sharp, it was more sort of rounded from filler and not even entirely straight vertically, so I didn't fancy my chances of trying to mitre clapboard around the corner.
3) I tried simulating the clapboard ridges by cutting appropriately spaced grooves into one clapboard, and sticking it on vertically on the bay side wall. I flooded the grooves with a little diluted black paint to give them the appropriate shadowing. This didn't look too bad from the front of the house, but didn't look very realistic from the side, so I took that off as well.
4) My final solution has been to stick an additional post down the side of the front bay wall, painted green to match the clapboard, and then applied clapboard in the remaining space between the post and the side wall. This means that from the front of the house, the eye sees the expected clapboard, but from the side of the house, the post gives a neat finish and you don't see the rough side edges of the clapboard. Painted green, the post is unobtrusive and the end result is acceptable. I still need to do a bit of paint touch up, but you can get the idea from the photos.
Happy new year to everyone following my build, and I hope that you have a productive 2008.