Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to build a deck

Our original house plan includes decks on both the North and South sides of the house.  We put up the ledger boards for these back when we were shingling and finishing the exterior.

I proposed to Dean that we tackle building a deck this fall, and I really wanted to start with the North side because from there we can hear Locke Brook when she's singing and it would be a nice place to sit and enjoy a cocktail while listening to her song...


Before we could start on the actual deck, Dean wanted to get gutters up on the shed dormer that is on the North side of the house - because once there is a deck, Genie would no longer be able to get in there.


Do we go the the home center to buy gutter?  Of course not.  We are going to make our own using PVC pipe - Oh yeah.

One length of PVC pipe cut in half yields two lengths of gutter.

So the first section of gutter is ready to install and Genie has been moved into position


her batteries are dead.

So it's off to Sears to buy new ones which goes down like this:

  • Drive 30 min to Sears
  • Drive 30 min home and get the wallet you forgot
  • Drive  30 min back to Sears and pay for batteries
  • Load up car and drive 40 min (because now the school buses are on the road) back home

New batteries ready to be installed

Now that Genie is all juiced up, we got to work installing the gutter.

So here we go.  The gutter is attached with sheet metal screws.

The next section of gutter is glued to the first.  Later the joint was sealed with silicone caulking.

Downspouts were added.

and now that the gutters are done WE CAN START ON THE DECK!

We started by putting in the footings.  We used the preformed ones.

Using the backhoe to dig, the first footing goes in...

One footing in - two more to go.

In the meantime, I was put to work nailing 3 of these 2 x 8's together to become the main beam for the outer edge of the deck.  Dean was very happy that we got to use these 16 penny 3 1/2 inch hot dipped galvanized nails that he got from his father and had saved for about 25 years!  At first I was like - "what we aren't using an air nailer for this?"  But it actually felt really good to swing a hammer.

With all three footings and the upright posts in place, we are ready to raise the beam.

Next the joists went in.

And then the upright posts for the railing.

And now we are ready to lay down the decking.

Angie loves being out on the deck!

With the railing cap in place, Dean gets to work on the lower level gutters.

The plan for finishing the railing is a cable wire system kind of like this.

But this will likely have to wait until spring...

Here is the deck after our first snowstorm of the winter.

  In closing, I started this post a few weeks ago having no idea that by the time I finished it our sweet little Angie would have passed away.  

We certainly enjoyed the heck out of  her in the short time she was with us...