Sunday, March 20, 2011

Deck Building...

Bob had been working on retaining walls around our cottage at the farm. Because it is built into a hill, there is a real need for retaining walls or else all the mud and dirt run down the hill into the basement, onto the concrete pad outside the basement, etc.
So, yesterday he and I finished making the retaining walls [you can see the side of one on the far left of this photo]  and today we started on the lower deck.

Because of the way our house was built into the hill it was tricky figuring out what to do to keep the dirt from piling up against the siding. It is hard for me to describe our problem, but suffice it to say, we could not leave it like it was and Bob had the great idea [and I do mean GREAT IDEA] to make a deck over the dirt.  

There was a lot of figuring out how to make sure everything was level. You can see Scrappy in the background, jumping around and having a good time.

 I was ever helpful manning the tape measure, pencil and Larabars. We tried two new flavors, Fudge Brownie and Coconut Cream Pie. The Coconut one was fantastic! Brownie, not so much. :(

If you haven't had a Larabar, they are great, and very nutritious. Since we didn't eat lunch, the Larabar was a great energy boost.  The Coconut one had dates, coconut, almonds, cashews and extra virgin coconut oil. Delicious! I digress.

 I helped shovel at first, but then I whimped out. Shoveling mostly clay is not really very fun!

You can see how much dirt we had to dig out. We had to do this because dirt was piled up under the deck so that it sloped toward the basement--and that is not good. You want the dirt to slope away from the house. So, there was a lot of digging.

Bob said if he would have known there was this much digging to start with, he would not have been so enthusiastic to start this job today. Sometimes, we both decided, it is better not to know.

 Here you can see the boards that we will eventually nail the deck boards on to. Of course, we will need to put in some more posts and cement. We bought 600 pounds of dry cement yesterday.  We plan to put it into the holes dry and then add some water and poke with a stick. It works well for setting posts.

Our day's work. You can see the sections that we have ready to cement and then nail the deck boards on.  The part in the back, next to the house, still needs to be done. I think there will be more shoveling to be done, then we will screw in the boards, making sure everything is level.

After that, we will cement the short posts [the posts you can see are already cemented in as they are holding up the upper deck.

We hope next Saturday will be nice weather so we can finish the job, or at least get it further along. Not bad for a long afternoon's work.


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