Tuesday, January 15, 2008

we ran out of money, but we did it

This is my brother-in-law, husband, and father at their finest.

A few months ago we decided we really didn’t like our deck. It was small and badly in need of repair. The stupid bumblebees had bored hole after hole in the railing, there were nails sticking up everywhere that my husband had to keep knocking back down, and the wood was in such poor condition that we were afraid to let Jules run around out there barefooted. Also, there was only one small set of steps to the sidewalk on the far end of the deck and it made it a big pain in the rear to run after Julianna when she was headed for trouble.

So my brother-in-law (who’s working on his contractor’s license) offered to help us with a new one. Jonathan produced a preliminary design and they worked through a few ideas on paper. We saved up what money we could and decided on Trex instead of regular lumber. On November 4th Jonathan started taking down the old deck. The plan was to work a little each weekend or whenever there was spare time and see what could get done before next summer.

On Sunday, Jonathan swept off the last few scraps and particles of sawdust. We’re super-pleased with the result thus far although the proposed L-shaped bench, the stair lighting, and extra step to the ground on the far end will have to wait because we’re out of money for now.

If you take a look at the picture below you can see how much we need to pressure-wash the house now. The line you see shows how much lower the new deck is than the old one. The lower height is super-nice because you can step off at least the front half of the deck at any edge and be right on the ground. If Julianna were to fall off, I wouldn't be too worried about her getting really hurt. Also the height means, no hand rail which means greater visibility from all around.

If we do put the bench seats in (eventually), they’ll probably be just under the small window and down the far side of deck where it’s higher off the ground (the back left corner). We’ll probably add another step at the front, left angled edge and then lights all around the sides and steps.

They also extended it out from the house about four feet so it is considerably larger. When we put the cheap-o patio table and chairs back on it the other day it was obviously roomier.

Although at first I wasn’t sure about the color choices, I really like how the dark edge design turned out. I also love the angled corners (even though and especially because I wouldn’t have thought of it myself).

We’re probably going to have to fill in with some dirt on the lower side to make it a little more level in the yard around it, but I'd say it's not bad work indeed, especially for free-labor. One thing’s for sure, Julianna will miss frequently seeing her family members working outside the kitchen window, but she will definitely enjoy the fruits of their labor in a few months when the sun finds it's way back to NC.

Finished product.  For now.


Merritt said...

Ohh--So pretty!

Michelle M. said...

Hey Courtney! I just recently discovered your blog. I really like the new deck and the dark border. Looks great so far!

Amy said...

Wow, the deck looks great. I can't wait to see it in person when I come to visit on Monday!

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