This lovely eyesore is the deck/screen porch that came with the house when we bought it. We wanted to remodel our kitchen first but from the day we looked at the house, before even purchasing it, we felt this deck was built incorrectly and unsafe.
Not to mention, when I sit on the deck I want to enjoy the outdoors, not be cooped in this dark, gloomy room. We felt pretty confident there were no concrete footers under this deck at all. We knew when the snow melted in the spring, it leaked really badly between where the porch roof and the house roof came together. It was carpeted inside so to have the heavy leakage, the floor had to be rotted and moldy under that carpet.
What we didn’t know, until we hired someone to tear it off, is just how dangerous it really was. We had been looking for someone we could trust to do the work for us as we just weren’t sure about detaching it from the house and knowing what we were doing, it was more than just building a deck. We were at the range one day and they were trying to talk us into buying yet another gun…. we said, sorry, at this point we need a deck first.
Sometimes things just work out in conversation like this…. it turns out the owner of Lakes Trading Gun range used to do construction before opening a range. One of his employees at the range also worked with him in construction. They still do jobs like remodels or decks on the side for extra income. We felt we could trust them and they are good guys so we asked them for a bid.
They came out and started working on the deck a couple Mondays ago, Monday is the only day the range is closed. It rained all day on them but they worked hard and had it looking like this by the end of day one. James was home with them for the day because we weren’t sure how Ares would act. He said when they pulled the first post out, not only was it not set in concrete at all but it was only about 18 inches into the ground. They just pulled it out for the most part. One of the posts was completely rotted. James made the comment to Ben, I told Ann the roof was the only thing holding this deck up anymore. Ben replied…. about the roof, it was never tied into the house roof correctly. It was basically just screwed to the roof board. James was shocked and commented back, so I am lucky to be alive….. Ben replied, with a chuckle… well, it is a short fall.
Needless to say, this re insured my feeling that the kitchen could wait another year or two, we need to do the deck first……
We now have 6×6 treated timber posts that are on concrete footings buried 50 inches deep to go below the frost level.
This is the end of day two for the deck, they have the main frame up and it is sturdy. My husband tried to give me a hard time, he emails me at work what a terrible job they are doing. I get home and he says look at the mess they left, and how can I use this deck, you can’t walk on it without falling through…..
The frame looks pretty secure to me, even though anything would after the old deck. They have three support beams on top of the 6×6 posts. The frame will be all in treated timbers.
The top of the deck will be all cedar. It smells wonderful in my garage right now with all the cedar sitting in there. Hopefully it will help keep the mosquitoes at bay when we sit out there in the summer.
The end of day three, they have made some pretty good progress, they had the holes to dig for the staircase which took some time. They built this platform for partway down the stairs. We have this dog that gets a little too excited to play ball in the yard so he runs down the first 5 or 6 steps and then jumps the rest of the way. He keeps hurting his leg and having to rest for several days. We thought if we had them put this platform with a railing and a 45 degree turn, put the final 2 steps after he has to stop and turn, he would no longer jump and hurt himself. I hope it works…. cost extra and slowed things down but saves on vet bills down the line if he seriously hurts himself.
They will be back tomorrow and hopefully finish or come close to finishing. It is getting tiring walking the dogs at 4:00am in the dark because we can’t just let them out the back door to the fenced area right now. We knew it would take longer higher these guys on a side job but I would rather wait and deal with this than chance someone coming in and doing it wrong again. You don’t always know who you are getting when you hire someone.
I am excited to have it finished for my photography as well, will be nice to be able to sit out there and catch my many pets and visitors to the yard. It is tough trying to sneak outside after they are already there.
This group of deer come several times a day to pick and eat the apples on our tree. It would have been easier to sneak out on the deck through the back and get some photos of them. I tried to sneak out the front but she saw me and stopped eating and headed to the neighbors. She was up on her hind legs picking the apples and I would have loved to catch her doing that on camera.
She had the babies with again too, they were playing some but this time when I came out they left right away. They are cute little buggers to watch.
You can see the apples on the tree, plenty of apples for them to pick and eat. They are pretty tart, I tried one when I was out there earlier this morning. If you click on a photo in this blog, it will enlarge and you can see these details better.
This is the second baby, he/she realized the others were leaving and ran to catch up.
There are two adults and two babies, this is the final deer to leave the apples.
This is the first one that left when I initially walked out the door and she spotted me.
Yes, that deck will be nice, I can sit out there in the evening and see all kinds of friendly critters and hopefully they get used to seeing me there and not running away.