Posts Tagged ‘Deck’

Outdoor shenanigans

We aren’t making much progress on the basement, but we have gotten some outdoor tasks done.

The first project was digging a giant hole for the egress window.3 feet

Emma helped by continuously dropping her toys into the giant pit.     narrow

The excavation went well, all things considered. We abused some 5 gallon buckets, and eventually started using this pulley system.pully systemIt ended up 4 feet by 101″ wide (8.5 feet) and about 7 feet sizeWe used a 72″ gray Rockwell elite egress window from Summit Contractor Supply. It was $952. That’s about $400 less than most retailers, but it was still not cheap. The good news is it will last as long as the house. Plus it looked adorably like a covered wagon before install.

wagonMounting the well was very easy,  just 12 concrete wedge anchors into the block wall.bolting

We leveled and repaired the erosion on the back of the house with the leftover dirt piles. It ended up about a foot deep for a good 50 square foot area. Michael is a champion mover of dirt.


After creating the giant hole, we marked the window rough opening, custom ordered the casement window, and now we’re waiting for the window to arrive.

Well, by waiting I mean pouring concrete slabs and working on the deck 🙂



Progressing right along 🙂


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When we last talked about the deck, it looked like this:

We left the wood banded together, and we tarped it right after it was rained on. That ended up working very well to reduce shrinking/weird warps. The bad news is that the wood was incredibly heavy, and in some cases even slimy. Blegh.

We have been working on the deck for several months, and we’ve had a lot of progress. I’m sharing pictures, but I’m not going into a lot of detail about how we completed this job, mainly because we do not feel comfortable teaching or showing anyone else how to do this 🙂

Emma helped whenever possible, true to form. Her especial talent during this job was dropping her toys into the footer holes.

Since those last few photos, we’ve finished installing the tin roof and started work on the electrical. We still have the deck railing, stairs, and staining process left to complete. Maybe we’ll finish in late November…just in time to enjoy the fire inside 😀

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There has been more deck progress! We talked about it here, but that was just to say the deck was partially gone. (Thanks Jimmy)

Here it is more gone.

Check out the giant cave that the previous owners’ dogs left. This is now our tornado shelter.

After removing the deck, we still had a lovely 7 inch thick pad of concrete. Michael stubborned his way through a section of it with a sledge hammer (stubborning is a verb that Michael is adept at; it takes qualifications).

And then decided that a jack hammer (called demolition hammer by all the rental places) would work a few months more quickly.

We got a 4 hour rental for a 70 pound demo hammer from Home Depot for $56 after tax. They had hammers as small as 11 pounds, but those are not intended for 7 inch slabs.

It took Michael an hour to go from this…

To this:

That’s the same amount of time it took for him to sledgehammer off the first section. PS: If it sounds like Michael did all of the work… that would be because he did 😀

In other news…

We also got the deck lumber order. It was entertaining/terrifying to watch the forklift navigate over the fence, budge forward 3 inches, and then duck under the power lines.

Tada! Our Deck:

The wood is still banded together, and we tarped it right after it got rained on. We’re hoping to delay as much shrinking until after installation as possible.

Our next steps are to clear the site, shorten the ledger board, and dig and pour the footers. Then it’s deck party time 🙂

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We’ve finished swapping out all of our exterior doors!

Here’s the fogged up sliding door before:

The seal was definitely cracked.

With our friend Jimmy’s help, we swapped out the door… and then did nothing to it. The trim isn’t done, and when this picture was taken, the gaps around the door weren’t even sealed.

The new doors have in-the-glass blinds 😀

We also swapped out the dining room door with a full-pane glass (Energy Star, yay)

For this door, we also swapped the direction that the door opened (no more walking around the door to get from the kitchen to the grill.)

The dining room door was the only door not original to the house. It was good enough to use, just not pretty. So, we replaced the garage door with it:

It still definitely needs a cleaning, but the old door was rusting and had damaged trim, so 100% an improvement.

My favorite door swap is actually in the Master Bedroom.

This door leads to a balcony overlooking our ridge view. I think the new door shows it off much better:

Now we just have to install the new knobs, seal the envelope, and install the trim. Oy vey. I’ll post more details about our sources and costs when we finish installing them.

So that’s what we did last weekend. Oh, and we ripped out most of our deck 😀

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The Deck Project

We’re starting another project! Yes we are already re-doing the garage and installing new windows and doors. It wouldn’t be nearly as stressful if we didn’t do everything at once 😀

Current Deck

We have a deck.

It’s fine, except for 3 things.

  1. It gets full western exposure the entire day, and then reflects all that heat into the house.

  1. It blocks the light into this poor basement window.

  1. Terrible foundation.

The deck is supported on undersized posts with over-spanned joists on stacked cement bricks. Oy vey.

The deck plan

You’ll notice A: Michael spent a lot of time sketching this, and B: It will have a roof.

We’re also altering the footprint to be narrower (no more blocking the window) and adding a more useful exit to the yard.

I’m looking forward to the roof, big time.

The deck plan of attack

So the first step is to demo the current deck, salvaging what we can. Then we’ll pour concrete footers for a legitimate foundation.

After the foundation is set, we’ll cut a scary hole in the roof and work like crazy to get the deck framed and the roof back on. We are inviting a lot of people over to help and calling it a “Deck Party.”

We put a materials list together from Michael’s ‘sketch’, and did some shopping.

First; our quote for the tin roofing… We’re ordering 29 gauge tuff-rib steel roof, which was $1.88 a linear foot. This stuff is energy star rated (reflecting light=reflecting heat, yay) and it comes in lots of colors.

We’re getting either Charcoal Gray or Black to blend in with our future shingles. I guess I need to pick those out too 🙂

The cost for 950 square feet, including screws, ridge & valley trim, delivery, and tax was $711.

We also comparison shopped for lumber. Ta-da, the official Lowe’s vs. Home Depot vs. Local Guy price list.

Type Size # Lowes HD Local
PT 4x6x8 4 14.97 13.97 11.3
PT 4x6x12 4 22.97 21.97 17.1
PT 2x10x12 3 15.97 14.97 12.67
PT 2x10x16 2 19.97 19.97 17.17
PT 2x8x8 6 7.97 *7.97 5.83
PT 2x8x10 13 11.97 11.97 7.6
PT 2x8x12 7 13.57 12.57 9.17
PT 2x6x8 6 4.97 4.97 4.19
PT 2x6x10 8 6.97 6.97 5.86
PT 2x6x12 5 7.57 7.57 6.67
PT 2x6x14 22 10.97 10.97 7.95
PT 1x6x16 (decking) 50 8.97 8.97 8.79
PT 1x6x12 (decking) 4 5.57 5.57 5.65
PT Furring 1x3x8 42 1.45 1.45 1.6
PT 2x6x12 1 7.35 *7.35 6.67
Interior 2x4x8 20 2.84 *2.84 2.55
Interior 2x4x12 2 4.86 *4.86 3.8
Total: 1508 1490 1259
Total after tax: 1655 1636 1354

Lowe’s and Home Depot were very close. Our local yard was less expensive & was the only one who offered free delivery; They got the bid.

( * means we didn’t get that number and guessed)

Our expenses so far are about $2000. That’s most of the cost, but we still need boring stuff like foundation concrete and hardware; plus all the fun stuff like deck stain and lighting 🙂

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