When you're getting approximately 8 work days a month, DIY progress is a marathon, not a sprint. The good news on our little project up North is that we're not in this alone. There's nothing better than heading up to the cabin for the weekend and discovering the work your Dad did while you were gone.
Like these steps:
Sure, we need railings and a finished edge, but we can get up and down people. This is progress.
Speaking of progress, now that we had the old portion of the deck rebuilt and put new composite deck boards on top, we could focus on finally adding that addition. You know, the whole purpose behind this deck project. My Dad started by trimming off the excess deck boards from the old portion. He set the circular saw to the exact high of the deck boards so he cut just the deck boards, and not the wood below, and cut them exactly down the middle of the new ledger board that we added, so that the new deck boards could rest on it.
Then as you can see above, we started to hang the new stringers.
We needed to get the placement of the post exactly right, so we set up a few temporary supports first, until we could line up exactly where to dig our holes.
The depth of your hole depends on your city code and your frost line. In each hole we placed a cardboard form, and then poured in our concrete.
|This particular hole is oblong and slightly bigger because we plan to pace two posts here. More on that later. |
Once the concrete begins to set slightly we sink in the hardware and let it dry fully overnight. The next day we can attach our posts to the hardware, like so:
And before you know it, we have the framing for our new addition!
Here's a look around the side of the cabin. We still had one more post to dig in the center of this photo, (you can see the temporary support in the middle.)
This "little" addition of ours is a really long string of deck, just over 32 feet long. The blurry Hubs on the left is about to do his own version of, "On the catwalk, on the catwalk yeah I shake my little tush on the catwalk..."
Here's a look at the full side of the house so you can see our new door and how the new steps will lead up to it.
And this expanded view shows better how it wraps around and connects to the original back deck.
So we all congratulated ourselves on what amazing deck builders we were, and called it a day, heading for the bonfire to rest and consume a few adult beverages.
Our rest was short lived, as the next day it was time to make that deck usable. We started by attaching the flashing against the house.
And installing the tracks that are used to attach the undermount deck screws.
And then like Groundhog Day, we were back to the business of crawling under the deck and attaching boards. This time it was a little easier to stand within the framing and bend underneath the deck. Here's me trying to avoid the "butt in the air" photo.
Again, it wasn't hard, just time consuming. We ran 16 foot boards the length of the deck, then "capped" them with a horizontal piece to make the transition look nice, and then continued on with more 16 foot boards lengthwise.
We let the length of the boards hang off the edge, and we'll cut those later when we're ready to finish off this edge and add the railings.
And like magic, we have one, fully functional deck.
We intentionally planned for the 2 deck portions to run in different directions and come together at this seam. I think it looks really cool, but mostly we did this because it saved us a ton of money. Composite boards are hollow and require you to buy a composite cap to cover any cut, exposed edges. We have A LOT less of those edges when we placed the new addition boards lengthwise. (10 instead of around 70) We also would have had to purchase a lot more big 2'x8'x16' lumber for the framing if the boards ran in the opposite direction, and that stuff is expensive. I'm happy with the decision, as I think it makes it look more interesting.
So now officially, we have steps and an entrance into our new door! Huzzah!!! Which means we can take the old door out of the new bedroom and finally make that a real-deal room! I want to use all the exclamation marks! All of them!
We plan to add stainless steal cable railing so we don't distract from the beautiful view, but that's for another weekend. We spent the rest of the weekend swimming and boating with the boys, because it's all about balance.