Monday, November 18, 2013

New deck!

The holes, back in summer months
At the end of September, when I left off, I think we were still digging footing holes in the backyard for our deck. 

It was probably the longest time we've ever taken to do anything around here. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't help very much in digging the four 48" holes in the ground. That was all Chris. I feel horrible for him, too. 

We knew there was a huge tract of slate under our property. Our neighbor told us this when we first moved, and wished us luck ever digging more than a few feet into the ground. we've since planted shrubs and flowers without too much issue, but the deck footings turned out to be quite the project.

The "skeleton" of the deck, right over the crappy patio
My father suggested that we use an old fashioned pinch point pry bar and a sledgehammer to slam through the slate, piece by piece. A pinch point pry bar is pretty much a very painfully heavy bar with a beveled point, as to force rocks to split.

Rocks that are 36"+ inches under the surface of the ground. It was tough. Took us a while.

Once the inspector came and signed off on our holes, my father and I took over and went at break-neck speed. Within three days, we had the 12' x 12' deck done. It was certainly a learning experience, but hot damn, did I enjoy it. 
The end of the second day of work
My father and I work great together. I'd never really had the chance to work with him, side- by-side, in any manual labor kind of way. I've worked for him in his company for more than a decade, but we never really worked outside, building something out of nothing before. It was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done with my father, and I'm grateful he had the patience to deal with my questions. 

Dad checking out the gutter under the finished deck at the end of day 3.
So now, we have this deck. The city has signed officially signed off on it, and oddly asked about the front picture window we had installed about 2 years ago. Apparently, Lowes never closed out that permit, which is lovely. The inspector took note and said he'd close that out in the system since it's quite clearly been installed successfully. 

Despite probably not being technically permitted to do this, we put two layers of some of the old patio pavers on the corner of the deck and bought a nice chiminea to plunk down and have fires with. We've already enjoyed quite a few fires out in the chilly air. 

We plan to put up minimal railings and stain the deck come spring, so this isn't the finished product. It's too cold out to stain now, and the deck needs to dry out a bit too.

All in all, we're looking forward to some fun on the new deck in the better weather!


Kristen In Germany said...

You're so talented! Maybe it runs in the genes! That's so cool that your dad can help you build and repair. My dad is also very handy... he's built most of the house that he lives in, with some help from cousins and friends, etc. Thanks for sharing.

Ryann Hoyer said...

Congratulations on the new deck! I can imagine the parties you'll be holding here during the coming holidays. Hehe! I do hope the weather will cooperate within the next days. Keep us updated! :)

Ryann Hoyer @ YanceyCompany.com

Michelle said...

Congratulations! Creating something so tangible from scratch with love ones must be so satisfying.

townhouseturnaround said...

It looks great!

Barrett Elmore @ Nehemiah.com said...

It's a great time to bond with your father, right? I never had the chance to work with my dad too, but we'll be working on my deck this coming weekend. I'm hoping he won't get grumpy after I discuss the design that I wish to have. Hehe! Anyway, congratulations on your new deck! I bet it's all set for the Christmas celebrations. :)

Toby Almy said...

Hooray for the new deck! Are you done staining your deck? I hope you've been enjoying your bonding moments with your Dad. It's the right time for you to ask about construction tips for future use. Any updates about your deck?

Toby Almy @ TittleBrothers