On Deck

By , August 23, 2016

After procrastinating far too long, I’ve gotten back to work on building a new veranda for our homestead.

Deck construction as of Sunday (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Deck construction as of Sunday (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The job progressed slowly since we decided how to replace our old beach deck (see It’s Time to Replace the Veranda). It ground to a halt when it reached the point where we needed to decide how to support the deck on the beach side. We didn’t want to do “the right thing,” which would be to install proper piers for posts. That would have cost too much, involved even more hauling of heavy materials, and taken too much time. Instead, we wanted to either install wooden posts, build rock cairns, or install some combination of the two.

The breakthrough in the process came Saturday, when Aly and I went to the north boundary rock to fish. We didn’t catch anything, but we did find a nice block of pressure treated wood that someone had painted with preservative paint on all sides. I put it up above the high tide line and left it “just in case,” but its presence remained in the back of my mind.

On Saturday, Michelle and Aly both had the day off. We all worked together to lay out the deck and level it. We ended up installing that wood block to support one corner, creating a rock cairn for the other one.

Once we completed that leveling, the job turned fun. I laid out the stringers, then added the top decking in a couple of days. As you read this, all that remains to be done is to add risers to a stairway down to the beach. I need to complete that today if I can, because the process of building the deck has limited access to the beach, and degraded that access at the same time. The old beach logs that line our beach have rotted over the years, and they’re not holding up very well as I run back and forth across them to complete my construction project. Once I build those stairs, they’ll offer just about the only safe access to our beach at that corner of the yard.

Construction as of Monday evening. The remaining planks will become risers on the stairs down to the beach (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Construction as of Monday evening. The remaining planks will become risers on the stairs down to the beach (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Now that I’ve gotten involved, I can’t leave the building project alone. I had a long list of tasks to accomplish yesterday. Almost all of them remained undone, because I couldn’t tear myself away from building that deck!

I hope the same will prove true for the benches. That construction involves more “fiddly bits” and some strategic logistics, which I’ll no doubt detail here, whether they’re successful or not.

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