Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Deck Progress

Whew!  This weekend was a happy blur for us of hard work and trips to Home Depot as we took advantage of any free time to make some serious progress on the deck.  After a bit of a slow start and definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed by the intricacies of the planning phase, we started hitting out stride a couple of days into the building, and now we're having fun with it-- and we even have hope that we'll finish (someday) :).

During this process I had to learn a lot of new information about deck design and construction-- so much that I read both huge books from Lowe's, watched countless you tube videos and tutorials and STILL had to call Brian with a million questions.  Honestly, a lot of the information really isn't that interesting, so I've decided to give y'all the highlight reel of the process rather than bore you to tears with every little detail. 

Our first major step was to frame out the outside shape of the deck with 2x8 pressure treated boards.  The tricky part here is that you're trying to level and square the whole thing now so you can mark where the post holes need to be dug-- and finessing the frame of a 420 square foot structure takes some concentration.  Once everything is in place, we screwed the frame into temporary stilts to hold them while Jady dug the holes for the posts.  The exciting part here was getting to imagine a bit better what the finished size would look like, which definitely helped our motivation.

Some of the lumber, concrete and hardware we picked up ourselves at Home Depot, but when we did the math on exactly how much we were going to need to create this thing, delivery made much more sense.  The guy who brought us our order was amazing!  He couldn't fit his huge truck down our back alley, and the wood was so unwieldy even his little forklift couldn't get it around a corner-- so he drove it way down the street and back again for us so we could have it close to the back yard.  These boards are hea-vy, so we were grateful not to have to drag them all the way from the street in the front.  

To create the posts which support the whole structure, we used 6x6 lumber and notched each piece out to accommodate the 2x8 board of the frame above.  The notching process took us a little while, since our circle saw can only cut so far into these things, and we had to make the rest of the cuts the old fashioned way.  Once these guys were all notched, measured and cut to the right height, we installed them to the framing and secured it all with concrete.  So much concrete.  And these are 80 pound bags of it!  So there's pretty much no way I was going to be of much help in the concrete department (thank you, Jady!).

With the outer frame in place and the perimeter posts secured, we were ready to move on to the beam, joists and another row of posts and concrete pouring.  Stay tuned for the progress!



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