Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Deck Saga - Deck Demo Finale!

Isaac had his 7th Birthday (!!) this year on a fine autumn day.  If you define fine as a humid 90 degrees, that is. It was a wee bit hot for having fun outside like we planned, but we managed to still have a good time celebrating in the shade of our beautiful deck.

Five points if you understand this.  Also, can we hang out sometime?

Okay, maybe the deck was not so beautiful, and maybe the shade not as cool as we'd like, but in my mind I imagined what it could have been, and it was beautiful.  I've spend a great deal of the last few weeks figuring out the best way to keep our building inspector happy and keeping my imagination happy.

So, this is what I've come up with for a new deck plan.  We're going to keep the length to the current deck about the same, as we like it where we cut it off last time.  We're going to extend the width of the entire deck to the end of the sunroom, so the railing won't obstruct the window, we'll have more room for a set of comfy chairs and we'll be able to walk through more easily.  A small section of the pool will be wrapped with a raised deck.  We're going to add a set of stairs to the other side where no stairs were and we're going finally have stairs off our kitchen again.  We're hoping to have a patio area at the base of the deck near the kitchen stairs, but I don't have that fully planned out yet.

Original Deck
One of the first big tear downs
At the end of the first round of destruction, before we moved the pool pump
 We've had quite a long time to think over the plan, you know, at each step of tearing down and fixing our old deck.  I'm happy with our final decisions we've settled on.  As you can see, the deck that came with the house originally was massive.  Even if it weren't falling apart, it was more deck then we would really use, and we really, really didn't want to maintain all 800sqft every year.  Plus, with a farmers porch on the front and a wrap around deck, it was an overwhelming amount of wood deck.  Not much variety.  That's a big reason we're wanting to shorten it up and add a patio to the mix.

That, and when we brought down the deck, we affirmed we were happier with a flat ground on our side lawn. Tearing it down opened up the side to our happy crab apple tree and really made it feel more airy and open.

But we did really miss the ease of opening a gate and going right into the pool.  I loved being able to sit on the side and put my feet in.  I loved being able to jump off from the side and not a dinky little ladder.  That we're hoping to gain back with our new pool deck.

...  we also really miss being able to open the door to our kitchen.  Given that we've had no stairs over there since we tore down the old deck two years ago, I'm really looking forward to having stairs over there.  We thought of moving the door to the other side of the wall, over the deck... but with our utility locations, it's really not feasible.

black aluminum railing left, Our composite front runner right
What we haven't 100% settled on is the decking and railing choices. We're thinking of  vertical cable, black aluminum or glass balusters, in an effort to try to keep the view to the pool as open as we can.  I think added visibility that's one of the biggest pluses to having to rebuild for us.

We also wanted low maintenance, splinter free decking... so pressure treated wood is out.  We narrowed it down to Trex Transcends (composite) or Garapa (hardwood).  Garapa would be more maintenance, but I really like the idea of using real wood that can be sanded and restored as needed.  Plus, upfront at least, Garapa is actually the cheaper option . We'll see though.

Current-ish.  Around spring time.
Current.  Around late summer.

Back to our current deck.  Or at least, the deck as it was at the end of Isaac's party.

. . . at least, until about 20 minutes after it ended.  After about a hour I had unscrewed all the railing we put up.  Then with Jon's help we [okay, he] just kicked down all the old railing.

Eli working on the more robust section of decking

Fifteen minutes after that Eli and I had popped off all the decking in the "new" (and more poorly constructed) section.  It appeared they used drywall screws that only stuck in about 1/4 of an inch.

 :: sigh::

After the last section of of the new deck was torn down, our progress slowed down a bit.  The original section of the deck was constructed a lot better, and it's a bit more time to get the boards off.  Buying a nice long crowbar has helped a lot though.  We're trying to keep the decking intact so we can reuse them for a super secret future project.

It was broken before I pulled the joist "out".

One last look of the wonders of that crummy section of deck.  Our permit is pulled and material list set and ready to be ordered.  This deck project to be continued . . .

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