New Deck!!

WOW do I have a big project for you! I was meaning to do a lot more small crafts over the last couple of weeks but I got a little distracted. Between the weather and schedules lining up, Jarod and I decided to start a project that we’ve been wanting to do for a while: revamping my deck. The supports were safe and sturdy, but the deck boards have been in disrepair since I moved in 3 years ago. Dry rotting deck boards plus dogs who like to chew on railings, it just wasn’t safe.

I started ripping up the deck one day after work. I still had an absurd amount of energy and a good bit of daylight left. So I got out there with my hammer, screwdriver, and chisel and pried up some loose boards. After about a third of the deck was up, I called it a night. A few days later, Jarod showed up and helped me tear down the rest. It was a slow process – I had already gotten a lot of the easy stuff up on my own so a lot of stubborn boards were left. We took up the main floor boards and most of the railing before we started cutting the new wood.

With only a few hours of daylight left, we only got about 6 boards cut and nailed in. We designed a herringbone layout, so making sure angles were correct and everything fit along the centerline was a little tedious. The hardest part was figuring out which boards to cut. We got a lot of 10 and 12 foot boards so we could use the cutoffs as smaller boards and waste as little wood as possible – lumber is SO expensive!! Unfortunately, this is where we ended the weekend. There wasn’t an easy way out of the back door and down to the yard, so I spent a week taking the dogs out through the garage and hoping they wouldn’t climb the stairs and fall through. They were very confused dogs that week.

Luckily, I decided this past weekend that I was taking 4 days off. I spent Friday catching up on everything around the house and getting some good reading in so that Saturday we could go ham on the deck. We got a slow start, but ended up spending about 8 hours putting the rest of the floor boards down before calling it a night. While Jarod was making breakfast on the 4th, I hopped outside and tore up the steps and what was left of the railing. First, we reinforced the steps. Even though they were structurally sound, the wood was starting to splinter where we needed to nail into it. After reinforcing, all we had to do was cut some 6 foot pieces and nail them into place. By now, we had come up with a rhythm: both of us measure, Jarod cuts and pins the piece in place, then I could come behind and finish nailing to each support.

Once the stairs were done, we had to call it a day. Although we wanted to take the time to do the railing, it was the 4th of July and we had people coming over for a fire and some foil meals! So we tacked up a temporary railing on the stairs and spent all of five minutes enjoying the deck before getting ready for our friends. We have a super cute railing designed that will use less lumber, be structurally sound, and leave room for the dogs to look out. After the railing and some yard work tearing out bushes, we have plans to replace the awnings and add a portico. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a LOT of outdoor projects from me this year! What are your summer projects? 😊 As always, if you take any fun pictures or videos, tag me on Instagram @SmileMakePeopleWonder and use the hashtag #DandelionSmiles. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the next exciting idea!

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