|The holes, back in summer months|
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|
|Dad checking out the gutter under the finished deck at the end of day 3.|
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!