I just completed a project in-which I had the opportunity to design a bit of carpentry work. This project allowed me to work closely with a professional carpenter. Before I go on, let me step back and start from the beginning.
When I first met with the clients, they stated how important it was to them that the entry to the home be inviting and reflect the classic lines of their 1930’s traditional home. Unfortunately the front walk led directly to a wall of flimsy, prefabricated, lattice. The lattice poorly screened the underside of a large deck. The undercarriage of the deck was clearly visible and not the best impression for any home. Clearly the lattice had to go. But the question remained – What should take its place?
After giving the problem much thought it came to me – the best solution would be to build a solid looking faux wall in place of the all too common lattice. After carefully taking measurements of the space I began to sketch what the new wall could look like. I should mention that I had to work with the existing deck post and height under the deck. It was important to me and the home owners that the new wall appears to be original and not look like a cheap add on.
Giving the new wall character was accomplished by incorporating details from the house. The details included using wood siding for the wall, installing identical trim, building an arched doorway to match the front doorway and a niche to act as a “window”. Lastly, the wall and trim would be painted the same color as the house and house trim.
The final sketch was to act as a jumping off point for an experienced carpenter to flush out the construction details. I was not about to pretend I could design and produce construction details for a wood structure that needs to be strong and match an eighty year old house. I was fortunate enough that an experience carpenter stepped into the picture and the faux wall came to fruition.
The carpenter went through the usual process of laying out the project. This included measuring, marking and arranging materials. His keen eye constantly went back to the details of the house. Finding siding to match, as close as possible, the original 1930’s house siding was a goal the carpenter was able to meet. He also took time to measure the height and width of the existing trim and used these as a template for the new wall. The carpenter then proceeded to cut and shape the material on site as well as in his workshop. Finally, the carpenter brought all of the material to the site and began to join the items together. It was exciting to see the new wall block out the undercarriage of the deck and become a focal point. In addition, the large deck now appears to be sitting on a solid structure. This gives the entire front of the home a traditional feel.
As of today only a few items are needed to complete the job. I and the home owners are looking forward to seeing the complete final product. I will blog about the entire project in a future posting. At that time I will be sure to include pictures of the finished faux wall. In the meantime I must say the whole experience was a positive one and the look is exactly what the client and I were looking for.