Our house had a nice big deck when we moved in.  It seemed pretty solid, and we could walk out onto it from our dining room.  It seemed perfect.  Over the years, we’ve come to wish it were built some other way.

For one thing, the floor of the deck is the same height as the top of our privacy fence.  Since we live on a corner, with a sports store across the street, lots of people can look right onto our deck.  So much for privacy.

Additionally, the original builders were amateurs, and made some mistakes that made part of it age faster than other parts.  By age I mean rot.  Not really bad, and we’ve been able to patch it easily thus far.  But that kind of thing can only go so far.

Lastly, it took up about half of our total available yard.  It was BIG.  We wanted more grass/flower/play space.

So we made the decision to tear it down and rebuild it smaller and lower.  We’ve actually been thinking about it since last summer, but never quite made the plunge until last week sunday.  We started tearing off the railing.

It was built in two pieces, and we’d hoped to be able to lift the pieces off, and use only one of them.  Since it weighed about 1500 pounds, we decided against that.  Ergo, we started ripping off floor boards.

We did that for days and days.  My hands are very sore, and I have a HUGE bruise on my right bicep.  I don’t even know what that’s from, it was just there one morning.  We pulled out several hundred nails (amateurs use nails, pros use screws), and found where all the rot was.  We’ve been sore and dead tired every night for a week.

We got back from up north on Saturday night, and Sunday I swore we’d have the deck entirely down by the end of the day.  And so we did.

On Monday my friend Dave came over early in the morning with tools and engineering advice.  We made a plan, ran to Lowe’s, and then he had to go have lunch with family.  Through the day my wife helped loads, but she had to work for an hour or so in the middle.  Jamie from across the street came to visit a couple times, and let the girls play at her house for a while, and that helped.  Dave came back in the afternoon to help, and another friend loaned another drill.

I wont’ bore you with more contruction details, but by the end of Monday the floor was on.  We don’t plan on putting a railing on it, since it’s only 14 inches off the ground or so.  We used the old boards, so we need to clean it, and stain it still, but the construction is done.

I have tons of old wood in my yard if anyone wants it.  It’s treated, so you can’t burn it.  Dave gets dibs, but it’s open season after that.

Many thanks to all who helped.  Pictures can be found here.

3 thoughts on “The Deck

  1. *heh* hopefully, you plan to add steps from your porch door to the new deck? Or are you planning on taking cue from your daughters and just *jumping* down and climbing back up? 🙂

  2. Funny you should mention that. We plan on putting steps up, but for now I *have* been jumping. Our dog Lucky is afraid to jump down, but she doesn’t hesitate to jump up.

    Last night she jumped before I got to the screen door to open it, and it flexed in and threw her back out.

    It was *hilarious*.

  3. well, i did like the old deck. but the new deck is gonna rock. and may i say that you are a HOME IMPROVEMENT STUDY. moreover, i had no ideas that nails are for amateurs. now i do!

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