Saturday, July 8, 2017

Summer 2017 - Tweeks, Fixes and Betterments

I don't post as often these days but we are still here working on this or that large and small project.  

It takes us longer to complete things as we typically have several projects going at any given time, and we work on them in little fits and starts as time allows.

Another Deck

The biggest project since my last post is the building of a deck on the South facing or front of the house.

You may recall that we had already built a deck on the North side of the house a while back.

It was in the plans since the beginning of the home build to have a deck on the South side.  
For many years we had the door to nowhere in the living room - and now it leads to a nice big deck!

Last look at the "door to nowhere"

So this project started in January of this year.

Ganging up 2 x 12's to make a beam.

Dean used the Genie to lift the beams into place.

Next up the cross joists.

The deck spans the full front of the house and meets up with our little entry porch on the side.  Rather than a square meet up, this end of the deck angles to become contiguous with the porch.  Because of this design element, Dean needed to fabricate a kind of heavy duty joist hanger that was angled to receive the beam.

The corner is reinforced with a bracket also fabricated from steel by Dean.

Then we had a blizzard in February

In March, the first upright went in.

And more followed.

And then we started laying the decking.  And by we, I mean Dean because  I was busy bringing home the bacon!  Actually, other than hammering a few nails for the beams, and consulting on design elements, I did very little work on this deck.

Then more snow...

More decking progress

With the decking almost completed, Dean worked on this corner where the gutter's down spout will go.

Just as we did on the back deck, we added a decorative element to the railing support by making a pattern of small holes.

And like we did with the back deck, we went with a system of horizontal cables to finish the railing.

Here Dean is measuring to drill the holes through which the cable will be strung.

and Missy now has a new favorite place to sun herself while also keeping watch over her domain.

and a new favorite door from which to enter the house.

Just a coat of paint, and the deck will be ready to use.

In anticipation of this, we pulled our old patio furniture out of the storage shed where it has been for quite a few years.  I was thinking that I would sand and paint it (a huge job!), but Dean suggested powder coating.  A great idea!

So we loaded all the furniture onto the utility trailer and carted it over to Central Mass Powder Coating in Clinton, MA to have the job done.  And I just heard from them that the job is done and they will deliver it to us on Monday!

One other thing we plan to do to further embellish the deck is to add a couple of shade sails.  

These will make it a more inviting place on those blazing hot summer days.

But before that happens, the fascia board needs to be scraped, re-nailed, and re-painted and the gutters need to be installed.

Another Mini Roof

Pumped up by the success of the small roof I built for the electric meter panel mount, we thought I was ready for another mini roof project.  

This one is for our outdoor shower shampoo and supplies caddy.  We discovered that the rain destroys the bar of soap, and we thought some shelter from a little roof overhang would solve this problem.

We used some pine scraps that were leftover from building the sheds.

I used some leftover cedar shingles as the roofing material.

We added some aluminium flashing to cap the roof's ridge, nailing it in place with some little copper nails that Dean happened to have.

And there you have it.

The Last Bit of Trim and Fixing a Squeak

For some reason, these last few bits of baseboard trim have remained unfinished for some time now.  Perhaps the reason is that we needed to fix a floor squeak.

Dean cut a section of drywall out and put in a screw to stop the squeak.

All trim in the house is now done!

One More Outdoor Project

We have had this stainless steel sink with counter top that Dean salvaged from U.S.Windpower when the company was closing it's Burlington Facility.  We finally figured out a use for it.

Dean built a base out of pressure treated wood, and I put a coat of paint on it.

Dean carried it out to the back of the house.

We put it in place and leveled it using paving stones and slates under the footings.

We then placed the sink on top of the base.

And I've got myself a nice work area!

Then we decided to finally lay some pebble stone in this entire area under the deck.

So we took everything out.

The first thing we did was construct a form for the future pebble mosaic that will be the step out of the basement door.

While the sink was out, I decided that I wanted a couple of shelves on the bottom.

These shelves may or may not get a coat of paint in the future.

We laid landscaping fabric starting with this old roll of mouse chewed material that I got from my mother's garden shed when we helped her clean it out.

We got a delivery of 3/4 inch pebble stone from Powell Stone.

And carted it by wheelbarrow to the back of the house.

And I learned something about using a wheelbarrow.  Did you know that if you place most of the load toward the front of the wheelbarrow that it makes it lighter and easier to push?

My load

Dean's correctly loaded wheelbarrow

So we spread the pebbles out using a rake.  We did need to buy another roll of landscaping fabric to finish the job.

Rather than plumb the the sink, I thought a short section of hose would work as a water source. for my work station.

We cut a section of hose, and dean helped me to place the fittings.

We needed to use a heat gun to soften the hose so the fittings could be placed.  Then I used a ratchet wrench to tighten the hose clamp.

and here is the finished project.

And that's the end of this post.  Phew!


  1. Cathy and Dean
    You have done SO work on your house and the new deck.
    It looks wonderful!
    With love to the 3 of you!

  2. Posting at 5:19 AM?? Don't you sleep? I'm tired by just looking at your pictures :-P

  3. looks fabulous! I missed the shower and sink space when we were there. Will have to see in person next time! xxoo

  4. Nice work all around! I love the shower caddy and photo of Missy waiting to come into the house.