Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Mochas Mom - question re hinging

Mochas Mom, your profile is set to 'no reply/no access' so I couldn't email you re your comment. Here is my answer to your query re hinging doors:

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

Porch framed in

I've finished framing in the porch, although I am going to leave the glazing until later. I filled in between the door and the pillars with some scrap ply leftover from the kit, and applied a baseboard of the same. I applied thin strip along the upper edge on both sides, then finished off the top surface with a coffee stirrer to bring it pretty much level with the top of the pedestals. At the back edge I ran a strip up from the lower panel to the bracket going into the house, to mark the outside of the shop window. Since taking this photo, I have applied clapboard on both sides and now the display window looks pretty much like it was meant to be there. For the glazing I am planning to make framed panels that will stand on the 'shelf' of the lower ply insert and butt up against the sides of the pillars.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Second side done, moving on to the front now

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

Living Room Bay Window

After finishing the first side, I moved on to the back of the house. This was straightforward to apply clapboard to, apart from the question of whether to paint the exposed edge in the clapboard colour, or to leave it as the interior colour. I decided to paint the edge in the clapboard colour, so that you have the suggestion of the wall being cut away to reveal the house interior.

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.