Sunday, May 13, 2012


Here we are after a year in the house, finally getting around to the deck.
It has been needing replacement from the start. But, as thing go, priorities must be made.

Here is What it looked like in June 2011. Looks OK but, there are many loose and rotted boards. Supports (which are too few) are unstable. The plants are growing crazy all up under there.

june 16 2011
june 16 2011
I did end up removing the plant-life over the next few months.

Here we are a year later and we can finally get to it.
A gorgeous weekend grants opportunity.

Day One Saturday 12th May 2012

Today we get started on demolition. Actually, he, as I am still recovering from illness and tire easily.

Notice how the lower deck slopes to the grass and center?

Here are some pics of the rot and poor craftsmanship.

And, Oscar keeping company

Day 2 Sunday 13th May 2012

Hubby gets busy on the rest of the deck while I mow the lawn.

Main task today finish lower deck removal and remove upper deck.

Day 3 Tuesday May15, 2012

Nothing much. Hubby works a little on cleaning up wood pieces and de-nailing.

Day 4 Wednesday May 16, 2012

Hubby continues dismantling the rest of the deck. Now only nail removal and clean up left.
I work on the foundation garden. (in another post).

Day 5 & 6 Thursday & Friday May 17 & 18th, 2012

Clearing debris and removing nails is the theme these days.

Day 7 Sat. May 19, 2012 


Haul 1000 lb of debris to the transfer station ($100).
Flip the deck direction because the stone retaining wall.
Re-learn and re-learn (squared) the Pythagorean theorem for an hour. 
Finally square the placement of the corner blocks.
Clear the foundation for the blocks, lay base and place them.

playing with special effects - I have twin hubbies and kids :-)
Materials purchased today
Deck-Bloks 32  = $205
24 treated 4x4x6 posts = $158

Day 8 Sunday May 19, 2012

Enjoying the petrichor!
Placing of the blocks is the hardest part. It is the foundation and has to be right! So stressful. But, once that is done, the lumber part is actually enjoyable for us.
Rain is in the forecast for the week so...
you may not get an update for a while.

Days 9 & 10 May 25 & 26 2012 

Day 9 Friday -

Mark took a 4 day weekend
After we dropped off the kid at the bus stop, we went into town to have a nice quiet breakfast and run errands.
We got back at about noon and worked on setting the blocks. Mark fired up the grill and a thunderstorm started brewing. Our 1st thunderstorm here. This is a rare occurrence here in the foothills of the west Cascades. But very cool to hear the thunder booming through the hills and the occasional lightning. It lasted for a good hour and brought in some cooler air off the mountains.
We finished up leveling some ground and will finish tomorrow.

Day 10 Saturday - 

I am still aching from yesterday's work. But, finally finished up squaring and leveling the blocks shortly after lunch. Mark worked on demolishing the wood shelter. Wow does it look better without that thing there.
He will finish the rest later. It was not too bad. Just in the wrong place and the wrong height and the cedar shingles were all rotted out. Some of the posts were also rotted at the base because the posts were set in concrete below the soil and water level.
new toy - mitre saw
We had to go buy a miter saw since our electric circle saw plate was bent and doesn't cut well enough for building structures (although its fine for throwing up a fence or making raised bed boxes). The table saw just doesn't cut it for good post cutting. We will include a review of our new toy in this post later.

Since the forecast calls for partly cloudy and rain possible Sunday-Tuesday, we HAD to get the mowing and edging done! It took us the rest of the afternoon into the late evening to get it done. Looks great.
The rest of the weekend was a break from decking.

Day 11 Friday June 1st  -

Now, with laser level on board we cut the posts.
Hang the thing on the house so that the laser is where the height of the posts should be. Then level it and Buzz all the beams and mark them when they are level.

Day 12 

Installing brackets and starting to hang face board.

Day 13

Finished nailing in al the brackets. Finished hanging end boards. Leveled and re-leveled posts. We had to move the south 5 based back 2 inches. Mark did an awesome job of doing the cross supports while I took another run to the Home Improvement store and measured and marked the post locations.

Day 14 & 15

We worked a bit on the corner posts. and more support angles. Ya can't have too much support!

Day 16 & 17

Finishing up railing posts and laying the deck boards.

Day ... Whatever

Ok. I say "day whatever" because, well ... It is day whatever!
There have really been no dedicated teamwork days on the deck in a while. Hubby left for a week business meeting and I worked on some measurements and the railings. We went to my Sis' house for a weekend and when we returned, it was birthday party planning for the daughter.
Mark worked on things here and there and I worked on things here and there.

Here is our latest big accomplishment.
Stairs! I measured and marked the stringers and Mark Cut and hung. I love the custom rise / run. I did a comfy 5" rise and 11" run. He did the posts and attached most of the steps.

The neighbor dog has been watching us all day, anticipating the steps being done so he can finally get up there!

After Mark got the steps up, the dog looked up at the deck and "asked" permission to get up there. He granted and I took this picture of a very happy doggie finally able to get up on the deck and wait by the back door.

Now we I have to get the "balusters" done.


Got the last rails installed last Saturday! (August 4th)
Yes, there are details left to do like staining and a table set, and decor. Need to make a gate and install it at the top of the steps as the dog is here-forth banned from the deck and is back to lounging under it on the concrete pad. But, Yes, it is done. I did not post sooner because my sis and her fam come up for a visit the same day and well... blogging is the last thing on my list when I have an opportunity to have some girl time with sis and love on my precious niece! Here is is in all it's glory. It is so nice to be done and enjoying it!

I really love how the Hi-5 railing came out! VERY time consuming and difficult to paint but worth the end result. It is galvanized so had to prime every last inch in primer for galvanized metal, dry for a week, paint in hammered copper paint 3 layers with 7 days between each layer (fudged a little on that part).  It looks awesome in torch light at night.

 The view is minimally obstructed and still provides the 4" space building code.

Steps are great with a 5" rise and 11" run - comfortable for the knees. I am kinda proud of these since I measured and marked them and they actually turned out great!

A little of the construction detail. We went above and beyond minimal code. Used the Simpson strong tie brand super coated, hurricane code fasteners for this thing. Cross braced everything for extra peace of mind and stability.

 Lots of blood, sweat and tears but worth it in the end. And no, we are not for hire. Build your own deck!


  1. Looks so good!!!! I see a BBQ in the near future :)

  2. HOLY CRAP! I finally got to see the pictures and that thing looks awesome! Makes me feel like I'm super lazy! Maybe I'll do more work outside when it's not above 100 degrees!


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