Supporting Role

9 Jun

Well the deck boards are off!!


We just have that little strip of partial boards to remove in the photo above, but that won’t take long. We’ve also gotten rid of most of the boards after putting an ad on Craigslist. Saved us a trip to the dump!!

During some of the planning this past week, we did break a joist. That’s why it looks a little wonky in that photo.  It’s ok though because we are planning on turning the joists the other way (perpendicular to the house) based on a recommendation from a local “handyman.” We had him stop by this week to make sure we made it as secure as possible before we re-laid the new deck boards.

We also met with a company in town that makes vinyl hand railing. He gave us a few suggestions to keep in mind so the railing we chose will work. It’s a bit more labor intensive but we want this baby to last! Once we have the support staff in place, we can send him the dimensions and he’ll put it all together and place our order. It’ll be so nice to pick everything up in town!

Saturday we rented a U-Haul to get all of our building materials and boards home. It took longer than anticipated, partly because our trailer lights weren’t working and partly because we had to pick up a lot of boards! I wish I had a picture of the full trailer, but here are a few cell phone pics of our trip.


Mike’s assessing the cedar… I don’t think this one passed the test.


I’m unloading the trailer… this is the beginning of a big pile!

Today was all about the support. We added several sister joists and three 4+ ft 4×4 posts. We have to add posts in between all the tall 4×4’s holding up the roof because of the railing we chose. It can’t really handle any distance bigger than 8 ft and most of our openings were at least a foot bigger than that so we decided for the sake of symmetry we would put posts in between them all.

We also added joist hangers for a little extra security to the nails that were previously holding the deck up. We made pretty good progress thanks to some extra help from Eric (Mike’s brother)- so Thanks, Eric!! By the time we were ready to call it quits, we had most of the big deck area done. Here are a few pics of the handy work.


Here are two of the 4×4 posts we added. These two went to the ground based on a suggestion from the local handyman. You can also see the joist hangers and some of the new joists.


Here’s a close up of one of the posts. As you can see, we had to cut our current handrail in order to get them in.


Here’s the third post. We didn’t need the extra support here, so we didn’t make it go to the ground.

We’re hoping to be all set to lay deck boards by the end of this coming weekend. So we will have another busy week around here. I think we should re-visit the to do list for this project. I have a few additions to make!

  • Finish removing the floor boards
  • Enhance the floor support with additional joists and bracing
  • Install 4x4x4 posts in between our full length posts
  • Put up joist hangers
  • Re-do joists at the front of the house (make them perpendicular to the house)
  • Fix the front set of stairs so it doesn’t look like 2 houses
  • Install new floor boards
  • Replace the hand rails
  • Build new steps
  • Fix the roof/ceiling with more support

I told you I was missing some crucial steps last week. The list is looking a bit more thorough now!

You may have noticed the addition of “fix the front set of stairs so it doesn’t look like 2 houses” item. Here’s a picture of how they currently look.


As you can see, they aren’t the prettiest set of stairs and they also make most people think each set of stairs leads to a different house! So one of the things we want to do with our porch re-do is somehow fix this part. We’re thinking of having two steps lead to a platform under the window and then have two more steps facing out to the road. We have to be careful with how close the porch is to the sidewalk- we don’t have a lot of room to come out away from the house. So, we are open to suggestions! What do you think we should do??

Well, until next time! Have a good week!


2 Responses to “Supporting Role”

  1. Nancy Pants June 10, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I see what you mean about the split stairs. That’s a little bizarre. I think what your saying makes more sense… joining the porch in that middle section and building out stairs to the walkway would make it more inviting. Any plans for a porch swing?

    • mj June 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      Hey, Sorry for the delayed response. Our internet has been down for a few days. I’m glad you followed what I was saying and agree! I think it will look much better that way also. As for a porch swing, a friend of mine has been sending me pictures on a regular basis of some awesome porch swing beds. At this point, I’m not sure our roof can currently support one, but we are planning to have some help with extra support for the roof when the base is done… so maybe?!? It would be very nice for relaxing!

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