May 29, 2012

Project: Deck

Once again, we spent our weekend tackling another project around the house.  Exactly one year ago, we installed our patio.  This year it was time to replace our deck.  

Here's how the deck looked when we bought the house (this was during our kitchen construction phase, before we got rid of the pool, painted the house, and replaced the fence):

 

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And here's how it looked on Sunday morning before we got started:

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When we moved into this house we talked about possibly expanding the deck to have space for a table and chairs along with the grill.  Since putting the patio in though we really didn't feel like we needed a larger deck.  That said, the old deck was splintery and rickety and a friend nearly fell off of it when he made the mistake of leaning against the railing.  It was a death trap.  It was also originally stained an ugly reddish color that just didn't work with the grey and greenish blue we chose for the house when we repainted.  Paul tried sanding the wood down to see if we could just restore it but quickly realized that total replacement was the way to go.  And so off to Home Depot he went to pick up the lumber Saturday morning.

Sunday morning bright and early (with LP at Grammy and Papa's house) we started the job.  Paul ripped the old wood off.  My job was hammering the nails down on the wood we were getting rid of so nobody got hurt.  Exciting stuff.  Our goal was to get it done this weekend.

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Of course, every time we do a project on this house we discover something the previous owner did that causes us to have to rethink or plans or come up with some sort of work around.  We like to call him "Mr. Half-Assed" as he seemed to take the easy way out on almost everything.  For example, we assumed that the deck posts were cemented into the ground and decided not to replace them.  Turns out they were just sitting on the dirt.  Off to Lowes I went on Sunday afternoon to pick up some new ones.  

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We also discovered that the deck must have been built some time before our mudroom was built, or at least part of the deck.  The concrete pad on the ground under Paul in the photo above is a landing with stairs that must have gone up to a smaller deck.  And when Paul tried to remove some of the boards he realized that they were running under our mudroom by at least a foot.  We also found remnants of a brick patio which the deck had been built right over.   I wanted to save the bricks but realized that the amount of work to get them out of there probably wouldn't be worth my time.

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On Monday Paul's father came over to help finish up so that I could keep an eye on LP and cook up the grub for our Memorial Day bbq.  The men were on a mission to get enough done to allow us to move our giant 7 foot long grill out of the mudroom and back onto the deck so that Paul could smoke up some ribs for dinner.  They managed to get everything done just in time!

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We left a bit of an overhang at the edge of the deck.  We keep some of LP's outdoor toys in that area and though the overhang would protect them a bit.  We're planning to build a planter box to fill with flowers and place on the ledge to dress things up a bit.  

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And it's great to have stairs that we can walk safely up and down without worrying that they might collapse underfoot!

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We still have to stain the deck and are hoping to get that done sometime in the next week or two.  We chose a semi-transparent color called smoke blue which is a light grey with blue undertones- I think it will go really nicely with the house!

Hooray for one more task crossed off our to-do list (even if we add about 3 more every week!)

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