Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If I had a Hammer

Well, it is finally done! I started building our deck off the back of our house last July. Now, last week, I finally screwed the last screw to the last board on the last step. I had never built anything this large before. I can cut a board and pound a nail here and there, but this is the first 'structure' that I've built. This is also the first thing I've constructed that other people will trust their lives to. People will actually be putting their lives in my hands as they step out onto my deck boards ten feet from the ground. I may have to invest in a trampoline in case anyone falls. I've put furniture kits together that people have used, but those had instructions.

I had some help from the Internet and the hardware store when I had questions. My good friend and neighbor T-roy helped me a lot with the initial framing and heavy lifting. My Dad also came from South Dakota to help put up floor joists. Definitely a two person job. And I also have to thank Lady Di for all that she did. How many other wives would grab one end of a two-man auger to dig the four foot footings needed for the posts?

So why did it take so long? Well, for one thing, I'm not handy by any stretch of the imagination. I usually measured twice or more, then measured again, then cut. I'm proud to say that I only cut two boards that were too short. So all of that measuring slowed me down a bit. I also ran into Autumn weather before I was finished. Fall came and it got cold, so I said I'll finish next Spring. Then we had warm weather for the rest of Fall. But, since I had already decided to wait until Spring to finish, I couldn't very well get my tools out again. So then Spring came, I got the railings up and found out that I was two spindles short. I had to go to two hardware stores to find the color to match. Then we got busy with baseball and the end of school, then graduation parties and family get-togethers, and before we knew, it was Summer. All I had left was to finish the steps from the lower deck to the ground. Just two steps all around the deck on one side. The first hardware store was out of my deck boards. The second store said, "Those deck boards were discontinued. We can't get them anymore." So I had to settle for a look-alike board that had to be special ordered. The special order took four weeks to arrive.

But now, one short year later, I can say that the deck is done. The table with the umbrella in the middle is out. The grill is in it's place at one end. All that is left to do is relax and listen to the birds in the back yard. I can enjoy the rest of the summer in peace.

I suppose we could have hired it out and had our deck last year and enjoyed it sooner. But I think I will enjoy it more knowing that I had accomplished something that I hadn't done before. I'll admit I have a little bit of pride in the finished product. Plus we saved some money. But now that it is done, I'm ready to do something else besides building a deck. I'm ready to move on to a golf or fishing project. There still is some summer left to enjoy.

What's that honey? Landscaping?


creative-type dad said...


I can't built anything that would be used by anybody. If I did, people would die.

Deb said...

Way to Go!! I can't wait to come over and sit on your deck......that is once you've purchased the tramp. HA!

pixie said...

Congratulations! That is a HUGE accomplishment. Now if I can just get Hubby to build our patio an overhang...

Steve said...

Wow, that looks amazing. Nice job

Phil said...

Wow, it looks like a pro built it.

I've been contemplating our back deck for quite some time now. It will be my first deck. I'm putting it off until fall so I don't have to worry about it during the summer. I will most likely be tackling the entire project by myself, so we'll see how far I get before ending up at the ER.

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow! That deck of your looks great! That bit about measuring made me laugh. My Chopper is like you, he will put his hand to most things around the house, however he has problems with the measuring which usualy means he has to measure, cut, try to fit, measure, re-cut, etc.

delightful-d said...

LB - You did a wonderful job on the deck. It is so nice to sit outside and enjoy life! Thank you!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.