Plan your work and work your plan is what my daddy alway told me. Well, it paid off on our recent deck project. We had been kicking around the idea of enclosing the deck on the rectory for the past year, and this summer looked like a great time to get it done. With a project like this, though, you don't build as you go. First, you build it in your mind. Then the actual constructing of it is just following instructions.
Sunday, July 23, 2023
Two things we were after: shade and privacy.
The deck is south facing and is in the sun 99% of the day. It is also wide open for everyone to see what you're cooking. Consequently, we rarely spent time out here.
So with a plan in mind, we set out by taking down the old railing.
Selecting the right wood was crucial. Not planning on treating any of it, we intentionally found fir lumber for the framework.
Attention to detail is my style. The more work you do ahead of time, the less cleanup you have in the end.
Ron McGinley was my righthand man of choice.
Shorts were definitely welcome attire when working during the mid-day.
Needing a couple 2x4's and having a 4x4 around that I mis-cut earlier, we decided to rip it in two. Ron questioned my judgement.
She framed up nice. The north/south laterals were strong because the far post was attached to the wall of the house. The east/west needed some help, though. It is amazing how these diagonals firmed up the structure.
We also framed in a gate that opens to the inside.
For the heavy lifting I called in Jared Biegler. We didn't want the structure to carry the weight of snow, but we did want to provide for some sun shade the best we could. The 18' 2x10's did the the trick. We bridged them in the center, which I've been told doubles their weight capacity.
Then came the big day to side it. We wanted to match our surrounding fence, so we chose 6' cedar fence panels. This way they will weather well.
We started screwing them but splitting became an issue. So Ron brought over his air nailer and saved the day.
We also put lattice on the top of the purlins to help cut the sun at different times of the day.
Come on in.
If you think through your work before you start, you don't waste any time. I bet we spent a total of 15 daylight hours on this project. The right tools and the right people made all the difference. But so does making sure you have all your ducks in a row before you pull the trigger. Dad's advice has paid off time and time again. Now it's time to get a lawn chair or two and enjoy the rest of the summer!
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