Category Archives: porch

Carpenter Bees

A Carpenter Bee Burrowing

One thing I really hadn’t anticipated would be a problem for us was Carpenter Bees. These large bumblebee-like creatures have a liking for old softwood trees or untreated softwood lumber, in which they burrow, making 1/2cm diameter holes often more than 1m long. They then lay their eggs in them, leaving enough pollen to feed the larvae that will eventually emerge. Our entire place is built out of softwood, however most of it is either CLT, which they don’t go for, or safely treated or under layers of other stuff. However, for some reason, Carpenter bees don’t seem to care about the Sansin natural finish we’ve used everywhere on the external timbers, and in particular, the long non-CLT beam that holds up our porch has attracted their attention. There are all kinds of folk remedies out there, including citrus oils, but none of these seem to bother them that much. They are pretty easy to kill individually but I don’t like to do this as, like all bees, they are getting less common and we need them for pollination. So it seems like the only solution is to have the exposed woodwork sprayed with an insecticide, as recommended here.

 

 

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Deck 2

The deck is finished. As we had expected, Chris and his crew did a fabulous job, both careful and fast. Some people might notice that the colour is not the same as the rest of the external woodwork – it will be eventually but with this kind of pressure-treated timber, you have to leave it for a year before staining or finishing.

 

Deck 1

Our original plan had been to have a concrete floor for the porch / veranda. The reasons for this escape me now. In any case, it became clear that this was not going to be a practical or cost-efficient way of doing things. So instead, we decided to have a simple floating deck, that would be structurally independent of the house and porch. The preparation was done last week, and this week, in between enormous thunderstorms outside and flooring jobs inside, the crew have been getting on with this. Luckily the deck does not need to be very high, so it is not covered by the Building Code requirement to have handrails around it (for decks 2′ (61cm) high or more). Having a floating deck also allow us to extend it a bit beyond the porch. In general, the deck is 7′ (2.13m) from the wall, but at the south-west corner, it extends 14′ (4.26m) in total, making a nice space to have dinner on a summer evening. We intend to have a pergola around this part and grow grape vines over the top.