Saturday, August 10, 2019

Rebuilding The Deck!

Around 10:30pm on 4th of July, Michael and I said goodbye to the kids and headed for home. They were staying at Ga-Ga & Pa's for 3 nights so Michael and I could focus on rebuilding the deck. This task has actually been on our Goals list for the last 2 or 3 years. We figured since the house was getting completely redone because of our wind claim it was just the right time to go ahead and tackle it. Plus the railings were super shaky and it wasn't the safest place to be. 

We were both up at 7am on Friday, July 5th ready to work. The first thing we did was move all the furniture into the center of the deck. Our plan for the first day was to take down the railings and install new posts. 

Here are some before pictures. 

Those black marks on the deck are from me spray painting an end table years ago. We had decided to redo the deck so I figured I didn't need to put a tarp down....then we realized we didn't have enough money saved up. So we've had to live with those funny spots for years. 

Michael's already knocking out one railing! 

Barely hanging on! 

That screen material that is on the railing was basically plastic chicken wire. When Ella was a baby, Michael and I were in the backyard and we looked up and she was basically hanging out from between the rails and it freaked us out big time. Those most definitely were not installed to code. We bought the plastic chicken wire and put it all around the deck and it worked really well. 

First section knocked out! 

Since I had just recently built my outdoor furniture I was able to be so much help to Michael. He would tell me when he needed something cut to and I'd go do it. 

The first two posts are up! 

We just tossed the rail sections down to the easement...well at least we tried...a few of my plants had a little bit of damage! 

Time to tackle this section! 

Railings to do the posts! 

This one was tricky because Michael had to cut away some of the old deck so he could install a new stringer since the old one was rotten. The way the old deck boards were cut made it look like our new board wasn't square, but we got a chalkline and made sure it was good to go. 

Since Michael had to cut away some of the deck he pushed down all those little boards so neither one of us would accidentally step on them and fall. 

6 posts in! 

Time to work on the longest stretch! 

Bye bye!!! 

While we working up here it dawned on me that movies are just so full of it. Whenever you see people jumping from roof to roof or any noticeable height they would most definitely die!!! :) 

Here was the set up with the furniture. 

Later on I moved things a bit so we didn't have to walk all the way around to go back into the house. 

Just a few more posts to go! 

We weren't ready to deal with the stairs yet, but we did go ahead and get the posts placed just not fully attached.

Here is a better view of how we placed the posts. Michael calls it blocking them in. Doing it this way made them very stable. 

Here's another one...he also used these big bolts to really anchor them in place. They most definitely aren't going anywhere. 

Look at all those new posts! 

So nice!!!

Here's our pile of wood! 

That was the end of day one....

Day two....

Our goal for this day was to get all the railings in. Michael built a jig...that board that looks like a I on the left. That helped us make sure we were equaling spacing each railing. 

We had also bought these nice metal brackets that were going to help secure the railings to the posts, but unfortunately they didn't work out. They were just a teeny bit too wide so the boards didn't look right. 

Ready for the rails! 

Michael and I had a good system going with installing the railings. I'd tap them in and he make sure they weren't sticking out on the bottom. I'd hold the board in place while he screwed them in. Rince and repeat 573 times! :) 

Once we had all the railings in for one section Michael would come back with the reciprocating saw and cut down all the extra wood that was at the top. 

First couple sections are done! 

Even though we had squared all the posts the day before there was still some fine tuning that had to be done once we started getting the railings in. 

I'm not sure how Michael was originally going to build the railings, but he changed his mind and decided to go with this design instead. It did require more wood, but I love the way it turned out. Of course they don't have the top board on them yet. 

Cute little railings all in a row! 

Cutting off the excess boards. 

The end of the second day and we finished all the railings on the deck. 

Day three....

Now it was time to do the deck pad. Michael wanted to work a small section at a time so we always had somewhere to step that was safe. 

Look at all those beautiful cedar boards! 

Placing the first board! 

Some board required cutting in order to fit around the posts. 

First 4 rows done. As you can see the old deck was made with 2x4's, but the new deck was being built with 1x6's. I absolutely love the way the 1x6's look! 

Michael decided to take a picture of me working. 

I really did work hard on this project. I felt so capable to help Michael with almost anything. I love working alongside my man! 

While I was cutting boards to size and screwing them in, he was using a nail puller to get the old deck boards out. It was most definitely not something I could do and it was NOT easy at all. In fact it was exhausting! 

More wood piling up! 

This was when I decided to start a fire in our fire pit. There was no way we were going to talk all this wood to the dump. It would have cost us a fortune! 

Once we got enough of the pad built we moved the furniture over on to the new portion so we could keep working. 

Our goal for the third day was to get to the posts in the middle of the deck. We were definitely spent by this point, but I'm a slave driver so we pressed on! 

Ta Da!!! End of day 3!!! 

The next day was Monday, July 8th and Michael had to go to work. He was actually so happy to go back so he could rest a little! :) 

While he was at work I was busy though! 

I started to cut up all those boards into small enough pieces to burn in the fire pit. 

I cut all the deck boards and was just left with the rails. 

With all that wood I knew I needed to have a way to store it. I found this idea on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. 

All I needed were some cinder blocks which we have lots just lying around. I put 2x4's in the cinder blocks and then piled in pea gravel to weight them down a bit. Then I stacked up the wood. They worked perfectly!!! 

Here's the set up....I made 4 of them and they were full of wood. At one point I actually had 6 of them, but a couple of them fell apart...that was the problem with building them on pea gravel and not solid ground. 

That night was the first night of soccer camp so the kids and I met Michael at church. After we got home from that Michael got right to work. He wanted to work a little each night to remove the old deck pad. This area of the deck was actually newer that the area we had been working on in the beginning. The nails were almost impossible to pull out even with the nail puller. Michael had to go about remove them a different way. He used the circular saw to cut the deck boards and then he hammered the boards off the nails and then cut the nails using the reciprocal saw. It was definitely a process! 

A couple days later on July 11th, I set out to cut up all the old railings. 

I used the circular saw to cut them apart. 

Once they were individual boards I then was able to use the chop saw to cut them into smaller pieces. 

Because of the boards giving us such a hard time Michael was just going to have completely remove this part of the deck and then we'd build off the new deck as we went. 

The old deck is almost gone!! 

The view from down in the backyard. 

On July 12th, Michael started working on the staircase. 

Here's the before of the staircase....

and Charlie's Kitty Deck. 

We decided to have Charlie's Kitty Deck go all the way over to the chimney so Michael had to attach the stringers for that. 

It is most definitely a safe Kitty Deck that could hold a grown man no problem!!! 

On Saturday, July 13th we were back to working on the pad. Our hope was to get the pad completely finished that day. 

Charlie's Kitty deck now has a pad. 

Not only did we finish the pad, but we started on the railings for the staircase. 

That whole week during the day while I had been working outside doing other things I had also been feeding the fire. You can see that two of my V wood holders are empty already. They wouldn't be empty for long though....not with more wood coming from the staircase. 

Michael needed some help with this part of the railing and while I was helping him an ember got out from the fire and did this....

Seriously it was only a second. Thankfully I had the hose on so I was able to put it out quickly. After that I made a point to hose down the grass around the fire pit every 5 - 10 minutes depending on how fast the area dried. 

This part of the rebuild was hard because we had to get the angle just right.

Left side railing installed. 

Fast forward to Tuesday, July 16th and we were back at work. 

Time to work on the other staircase railing. 

Railings all in and ready to be trimmed down. 

On Friday, July 19th Michael came home from work early so he could finish the deck. 

He started by trimming down the railings. 

Then it was time to redo the stairs. As you can see from the above picture the stairs were always open on the backside, but I didn't really like that. Since I wanted them closed off I had to run to Lowe's to buy more wood. Of course that wasn't the first time I had to run to Lowe's during this whole process. I've been there more times than I can count. 

While Michael was knocking off the old boards I was busy cutting new ones and cutting the old ones down to smaller sizes so I could burn them. 

I really love the way the stairs are closed off. So much better! 

Exactly two weeks after we started the deck we officially finished rebuilding it. 

We were having friends over for a BBQ on Sunday, July 21st so we finished just in time. On Saturday, July 20th we took the time to clean up everything and get the deck all set up to entertain. 

Here's the view once you walk out of the house onto the deck from our dining room. 

This is the view when you walk up from the stairs in the backyard. 

A few days before this I had bought an umbrella holder at Lowe's. We've had this umbrella in the basement for years. Our neighbors son gave it to us when he was cleaning out their basement. 

Here's the view that Michael has when he turns around while he's cooking at the BBQ. 

Oh my word...I absolutely LOVE it!!! It's truly is a whole other living space for us to enjoy.